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Horizon Hill SWM Project
Construction Advisory

The City’s contractor, Highway and Safety Services, Inc., will begin work on the Horizon Hill Stormwater Management Retrofit and Stream Restoration during the week of Oct. 27, staking out the construction area and installing tree protection fencing throughout the park. Tree removal and excavation will begin the week of Nov. 3, weather permitting.

Construction will occur throughout the park (see map). The park west of North Commons Way, including the playground at Sunrise Drive and the basketball court at Fallsmead Way, will be closed during construction. The network of paths from North Commons Way to Wootton Parkway will remain open. There will be temporary closures of the path between Pebble Ridge Court and Glastonberry Road during construction hours. The playgrounds at Fallsmead Way and Longhill Drive will not be affected.
Horizon Hill construction map
During construction, contractor vehicles, equipment, materials and personnel will access the project area. Impacts will include construction noise, tree removal and on-street parking restrictions adjacent to the construction access points. When undertaking repairs or new construction, the City makes every effort to remove as few trees as possible. The Department of Public Works consulted with the City forester to identify trees for removal for this project.

Construction will occur on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The contractual completion date for this project is September 2015. Additional information is included in the project's construction advisory

The History

In the 1970s, three stormwater management facilities, stream stabilization measures and associated storm drain outfalls were constructed in the Horizon Hill Park Stream Valley in conjunction with the Horizon Hill subdivision. These were designed to protect the watershed and provide the required level of management that was mandated at that time including the safe conveyance of the 50-year storm event. In 1993, the City completed a project to stabilize the stream banks at various locations and to remove accumulated sediment from the ponds.

All three facilities are dry, extended detention ponds. These normally have some water flowing through them, but no permanent ponding. During storms the ponds fill with water and gradually release it to the Watts Branch after the storm has subsided. When the ponds have drained they revert back to areas that are basically dry with the stream flowing through them.


Capital Improvements Program Plans 2012 and 2013

As part of the City of Rockville's Capital Improvements Program, the City has undertaken a stormwater management project for environmental improvements to these facilities. The improvements are the result of recommendations in the Watts Branch Watershed Study that was completed in August 2001 and later approved by the Mayor and Council. The goals for this project include restoration and protection of the stream valley, enhanced water quality and stormwater management, erosion repair and prevention, and protection of park amenities.

The City's consultant has prepared a conceptual plan that outlines the anticipated changes to the stormwater management facility. These changes include the conversion of the upper and lower dry ponds to wet ponds which will have permanent, year-round water surfaces. Additional changes include the widening and stabilization of portions of the stream connecting the middle and lower ponds. The modifications to these facilities will reduce the potential for flooding of adjacent properties, correct the ongoing erosion that is destabilizing the stream banks, and provide stormwater management in accordance with current standards.

Community Input and Questions

Community input has and continues to be a vital part of the success of this project, especially as it relates to park use issues pertinent to the design of the SWM improvements. The City would like to maintain a line of communications with residents throughout the design and construction process.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this project, contact Gabe Kosarek, civil engineer II at 240-314-8513
 or Email.

Community Engagement

August of 2009: City staff held a community meeting and conducted a field walk to introduce the project to the residents and discuss alternatives for the design.

June of 2012
: The City and their consultant held a community meeting at the 30% design stage to solicit input from residents regarding the next phase of this project, 60% design. The following Saturday, June 23, the City held a field walk at the park to discuss specific items related to the project. Outreach preceding this meeting included an advisory postcard mailed to 421 households, an advisory letter mailing and a reminder door-hanger for the 92 households immediately adjacent to the park, as well as a publication in Rockville Reports. Residents from fifteen households attended one or both of these meetings and provided valuable feedback on the design.

The information presented in the June 21, 2012 meeting included the following:

November 23, 2013: Following a community advisory mailing to 418 surrounding households, City staff and their consultant conducted a field walk and presentation at the park on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. At this meeting the staff presented the 60% plans to the community, discussed how changes based on their feedback from the previous meeting were incorporated into the plans, and sought additional input on the design. During this meeting the community expressed concerns regarding the overall aesthetics of the project. City staff is working with the consultant to address these concerns with additional landscaping, surface treatments, and alternative stream restoration techniques. Residents from 17 households participated in this stage of the project.

The information presented in the November 23, 2013 meeting included the following:

January 30, 2014: City staff sent a community advisory prior to conducting a community meeting on January 30, 2014 to review the revised plans, discuss how the revisions address community input received since the November meeting, and seek additional community input on planned and potential park amenities.     

The information presented in the January 30, 2014 meeting included the following:
Horizon Hill Park Amenity Task Force
At the January 30, 2014 community meeting, volunteers signed-up to participate in a Task Force to develop a companion park improvement project as the stormwater management project moves forward with design. This Task Force will brainstorm/review ideas, share opinions and build consensus on a companion park improvement project. Possible park amenities for consideration include fitness clusters, a  pond overlook, rubberized play surfaces at the playgrounds and interpretive signs. Three meetings were scheduled to complete this task:

 For additional information on the Task Force, please email Steve Mader or call 240-314-8702.