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Description

Warner Circle Special Park (WCSP), located in the heart of the Kensington Historic District, was the home of Brainard Warner, the founder of the Town of Kensington and a significant figure in the development of Montgomery County. This 4.5-acre park was acquired through the Legacy Open Space program to preserve historic structures and valuable public open space in a down county location. This PDF funds (1) repair work to stabilize the manor house and carriage house in preparation for adaptive reuse and (2) improvements to the parkland surrounding the historic structures to create an attractive and functional park. Park improvements funded by this project to date include: demolished nursing home wings and restored associated parkland; addressed deferred maintenance of significant trees and landscaping; re-created the historic loop road; and stabilized the main house by reconstructing historic exterior walls, repairing damaged porches and roof areas, and rebuilding the rear stone terrace.

After a lengthy search for an appropriate adaptive reuse, the historic structures are proposed to be sold to a residential developer specializing in historic structures via a condominium regime that would retain the park in public ownership save for an approximate 6-foot buffer around the buildings. The disposition and conversion of the buildings into private residences will be governed by an existing Maryland Historical Trust preservation easement, Historic Preservation Commission review, and other binding legal contracts to ensure the preservation of the historic resources and appropriate integration of the private units into a well-used and well-loved public park, including full public access to the park grounds and some public access to the historic buildings and terraces for special events. If disposition of the buildings for residential conversion does not proceed, public private partnerships or other tools to achieve appropriate adaptive reuse will be pursued. This PDF will continue to fund improvements to the public amenities on this significant historic park.

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Phase

Ongoing

Status

Active
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Budget Snapshot
$6.18M Total
Expenditures/Funding
$0M 6 Year Total
Expenditures/Funding
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Location

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Estimated Schedule

Phase I completed in FY14. Structural stabilization complete in 2017. Negotiations are ongoing with potential unsolicited partner.
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Justification

Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation (1979); Kensington Historic District listed in 1986; From Artifact to Attraction: A Strategic Plan for Cultural Resources in Parks (2006); National Register of Historic Places: Kensington Historic District (1980); Vision for Kensington: A Long-Range Preservation Plan (1992); Legacy Open Space Functional Master Plan (2001); Facility Plan approved by Planning Board (2011)
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Fiscal Note

In 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2015 a total of $725,000 in state bond bills was awarded to M-NCPPC for this project. State Board of Public Works has approved consent that Parks, via County approval, may dispose of two buildings while retaining ownership of all ground and has forgiven loan repayment, affirming that all bonds were used for permanent historic preservation improvements to the property.
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Disclosures

A pedestrian impact analysis has been completed for this project. M-NCPPC asserts that this project conforms to the requirement of relevant local plans, as required by the Maryland Economic Growth, Resource Protection and Planning Act.
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Coordination

Restoration of Historic Structures, PDF# 808494, Maryland Historical Trust, Town of Kensington, Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission. Parks has committed to a great deal of community outreach on this project as well as research into uses that can be accommodated by the building code. Agreeing on an appropriate and necessary use for this building is essential at this time to prevent further vandalism and the unnecessarily rapid deterioration that accompanies vacant structures.
Budget Snapshot
$6.18M Total
Expenditures/Funding
$0M 6 Year Total
Expenditures/Funding
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Project Details
Project NumberP118703
Date Last Modified05/06/21
Administering AgencyM-NCPPC
CategoryM-NCPPC
SubCategoryDevelopment
Planning AreaKensington-Wheaton
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Total Expenditures by Cost Element (000s)
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Total Funding by Source (000s)
EXPENDITURES (000s)
Cost ElementsTotalThru FY20Rem FY20Total 6 YearsFY 21FY 22FY 23FY 24FY 25FY 26Beyond 6 Years
Planning, Design and Supervision69576190000000600
Land00000000000
Site Improvements and Utilities548289923100000004352
Construction00000000000
Other00000000000
Total Expenditures617797525000000004952
FUNDING (000s)
Funding SourceTotalThru FY20Rem FY20Total 6 YearsFY 21FY 22FY 23FY 24FY 25FY 26Beyond 6 Years
G.O. Bonds501361000000004952
PAYGO139139000000000
State Bonds (M-NCPPC Only)102577525000000000
Total Funding Sources617797525000000004952
APPROPRIATION AND EXPENDITURE DATA ($000s)
Appropriation FY 21 Request0
Year First AppropriationFY11
Appropriation FY 22 Request0
Last FY's Cost Estimate6177
Cumulative Appropriation1225
Expenditure / Encumbrances1225
Unencumbered Balance0