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May 4 16

Montgomery County Council Unanimously Approves Westbard Sector Plan at May 3 Meeting

by Bridget Schwiesow

PB Draft cover_Westbard

The plan recommends restoring natural features, revitalizing an aging strip shopping center and increasing affordable housing in the Westbard area

Silver Spring, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, participated in the County Council’s work session on the Westbard Sector Plan on Tuesday, May 3 and the Council voted 9 to 0 to approve the Sector Plan.

“This is a great step forward in ensuring a greener, more sustainable Westbard,” says Planning Director Gwen Wright. “The plan provides a blueprint for restoring the Willett Branch stream and providing more affordable housing, parks and a revitalized shopping center in keeping with the scale of the neighborhood.”

The latest version of the plan reflects revisions based on work sessions held with the County’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee and the full Council. These changes include:

– Maintaining the existing zoning and building heights of 35 to 40 feet along River Road.
-Allowing the potential for a floating zone to be requested for River Road properties currently occupied by the American Plant garden center, Roof Center and Talbert’s Ice and Beverage Service to allow future redevelopment of these sites.
-Increasing the affordable housing requirements for new optional method redevelopment projects within the entire planning area, from 12.5 percent moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs) to 15 percent MPDUs.
-Decreasing the floor area ratio (FAR) for proposed commercial development within the Westwood Shopping Center area from 1.25 FAR to .75 FAR.

This summer, the Planning Board will review a Sectional Map Amendment to establish the zoning of properties in the Westbard Sector Plan area.

Background on the Westbard Sector Plan
The Westbard Sector Plan covers an area of approximately 181 acres and was last updated in 1982, making it the oldest master plan in Montgomery County. The Plan builds on the assets of the community by offering ways to improve neighborhood retail and maintain the existing light industrial areas, while expanding housing options and recreational and open spaces over the next 20 years. It allows for redevelopment of the older retail centers and recommends the creation of new parks in the Sector Plan area, which does not have a single County park. Restoration of the Willett Branch stream would both improve water quality and provide a significant amenity for the residents of Westbard and surrounding communities.

Recommendations in the Westbard Sector Plan focus on:

-Encouraging more housing choices.
-Revitalizing older retail areas.
-Emphasizing low-scale development.
-Preserving local light industrial uses.
-Restoring the Willett Branch stream as a public amenity.
-Creating better access to the Capital Crescent Trail.
-Establishing new gathering spaces and parks.
-Enhancing walkability with sidewalks shaded by street trees.

Stay Connected
Sign up for the Westbard Sector Plan eNewsletter.

Apr 29 16

Makeover Montgomery 3 Conference Opens with Keynote Address at University of Maryland’s Architecture School on May 4

by Bridget Schwiesow

MM3_Logo_Final

Karen Chapple, a planning professor at University of California, Berkeley, will present strategies for equitable development during first conference event

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will launch the conference, Makeover Montgomery 3: Balancing Change in America’s Suburbs, with a keynote address from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4 at the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning (3835 Campus Drive, College Park, MD).

Speaker Karen Chapple, a professor of city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley, will discuss strategies for equitable smart growth. Professor Chapple specializes in housing, community and economic development. She is the author of the 2014 book Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions: Towards More Equitable Development.

In 2015, Chapple launched the Urban Displacement Project, a research portal examining patterns of residential, commercial and industrial displacement, as well as policy and planning solutions.  Her presentation will touch on the conference themes: Beyond Transit-Oriented Development, the Sharing Economy and Equity and Opportunity.

The Makeover Montgomery 3 conference is being organized through a partnership between the Montgomery County Planning Department and the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland.

On Thursday, May 5 and Friday, May 6 at the Silver Spring Civic Building, attendees will hear presentations focused on innovations and new policy tools and strategies that can help transform the suburbs, making them more exciting, equitable and attractive. Multiple session tracks are offered, showcasing presenters from the DC area and across the nation. Go online to review the complete agenda.

The online registration fee costs $50 through Tuesday, May 3, and then increases to $60 for registering onsite at the conference, if space is available. To register online, go to www.makeovermontgomery3.com

Plenary Speaker Will Discuss Design Principles of Livable Suburbs

The conference sessions will begin on Thursday, May 5 at the Silver Spring Civic Building (One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD) and continue on Friday, May 6 at the same location. Setting the stage for the sessions will be plenary speaker Stefanos Polyzoides of the Pasadena, California-based firm Moule and Polyzoides. A founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism, this architect and urbanist has been at the forefront of the anti-sprawl movement in advocating for compact, mixed-use and walkable suburbs.

Over the past three decades, Polyzoides and his wife Elizabeth Moule have designed civic buildings, historic preservation and commercial projects, housing and campus and urban plans. As advocates for sustainable development, they have produced a variety of exemplary green buildings for university and institutional clients.

Polyzoides is a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Southern California and has been a visiting professor at several leading architecture schools. He is the author of several books, including Los Angeles Courtyard Housing: A Typological Analysis.

Lunchtime Presentation Will Examine the Future of Driverless Vehicles

On Friday, May 6, the lunchtime presentation, “A Roadmap for the Future: Planning for Driverless Vehicles,” will examine how autonomous vehicles will become a reality within the next few decades to transform the infrastructure of cities and suburbs. The panelists will examine implications of self-driving cars for planning and real estate, and the potential impact of driverless vehicles on car ownership, transit, parking, roads, commuting patterns and development. Lunch will be provided to registrants.

Conference Sessions Organized Around Three Themes

The conference sessions will be held on Thursday, May 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, May 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building (One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD). Conference organizers are pleased to present an exciting lineup of regional and national experts to lead discussions on a variety of topics within the following tracks:

  • Beyond Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)
  • The Sharing Economy
  • Equity and Opportunity in the Suburbs

These themes address the challenges faced by planners and residents as they grapple with how to adapt to demographic shifts, changing housing preferences, and growing infrastructure costs in the suburbs– all while making communities more sustainable and equitable.

Conference sessions will address a variety of topics, including the impact of gentrification on neighborhoods, the role of public art in placemaking, shared housing for seniors, digital tools for civic engagement and others. This event will showcase ideas and opinions from some of the brightest planning minds in the country.

Review the full conference agenda, including speakers and topics.

Please visit www.makeovermontgomery3.com for more information.
Questions? Please contact Jason Sartori at jason@ipcllc.net.

MM3 Conference Details At-A-Glance:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 7 p.m. Keynote Address at the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Auditorium in College Park (3835 Campus Drive, College Park, MD).

Thursday, May 5, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, May 6, 2016, 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. sessions at the Silver Spring Civic Building (One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD).

Apr 28 16

Planning Department Participates in County Bicycle Events in May and June

by Bridget Schwiesow

Bicycle Master Plan

The Bicycle Master Plan team will participate in the Olney community bike ride, Metropolitan Branch Trail review, Bike to Work Day and Third Great MoCo Bicycle Summit

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is participating in several local cycling events this spring as staff continues to develop the Countywide Bicycle Master Plan.

On Saturday, May 7, the Bicycle Master Plan team will join Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and community residents on a bike ride from 1 to 2 p.m. around Olney, Maryland. The bicycle tour, which will depart promptly at 1 p.m. from the Olney Library (3500 Olney Laytonsville Road, Olney, MD), is open to the public, but several on-road segments may be uncomfortable for less experienced riders. Consult the Montgomery County Bicycle Stress Map for details. Following the tour, a discussion about the Bicycle Master Plan will be held at the Olney Bagel Bakery (3490 Olney Laytonsville Road) from 2 to 3 p.m.

On Thursday, May 19, 2016, Planning Department staff will lead the Planning Board in a review of the proposed Metropolitan Branch Trail. The date for this Planning Board discussion is tentative and may be changed. When the date is confirmed, the session will be posted on the Planning Board website at www.montgomeryplanningboard.org/agenda/.

The Montgomery County Planning Board welcomes your participation at this trail review. You may sign up online to testify at the meeting. Written comments must be submitted at least one full business day before a scheduled hearing (by 9 a.m. on the Wednesday morning before a Thursday hearing) and sent to Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson by email at mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org. They can also be sent by mail to the Montgomery County Planning Board (8787 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910) or via fax at (301) 495-1320.

On Friday, May 20, 2016, the Planning Department will participate in this year’s Bike to Work Day.  This regional event is organized by Commuter Connections, a division of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA).

Bicyclists are invited to join convoys led by experienced cyclists and commute to their work places. Pit stops throughout the County will offer refreshments and prizes. Members of the Planning Department will be at pit stops in Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Bethesda to discuss the Bicycle Master Plan.

On Saturday, June 18, the Planning Department’s transportation planner David Anspacher will join County Councilmember Hans Riemer at the Third Great MoCo Bicycle Summit. The morning event starts with a family-friendly group bike ride from 9 to 10 a.m., beginning at the intersection of the Bethesda Trolley Trail and Tuckerman Lane. The route proceeds through Rockville to the Council Office Building (100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD) where the presentations in the third floor hearing room run from 10 a.m. through noon. David Anspacher will speak about the update to the Bicycle Master Plan starting at 11:15 a.m.

About the Bicycle Master Plan

Launched in July 2015, the Bicycle Master Plan is focusing on developing a high-quality, low-stress network throughout Montgomery County that reflects the newest biking practices. Separated bike lanes, buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities, are being studied for specific locations. This current effort will consolidate all bicycle recommendations into a single plan for the first time since 1978.

The 21-member Bicycle Master Plan Community Advisory Group was appointed in 2015 to guide planners in developing the Plan. The group consists of 13 members from cycling and other organizations, and eight community members who applied to be part of the effort.

A draft of the Bicycle Master Plan is expected to be presented to the Planning Board in spring 2017.

Apr 26 16

Montgomery Parks Announces 2016 Spring Festivals

by Melissa Chotiner

SILVER SPRING, MD—The warm weather is here and Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has a series of special events and programs planned this spring in the parks and at park facilities for people of all ages and spanning various interests. A sampling of festivals is listed below. A complete list of all programs and events is available at www.MontgomeryParks.org/guide and more information about the festivals is available at www.MontgomeryParks.org/festivals.

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Returning this year, is Brookside Gardens premiere “Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Show,” which is open from April 27 – September 25, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily. Entry is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 – 12. Visit www.BrooksideGardens.org for more details.

 2016 SPRING EVENTS

 MAY:

May 1, 2016, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Raptor Festival
Meadowside Nature Center at Rock Creek Regional Park
5100 Meadowside Lane, Rockville, MD 20855
Free
www.MeadowsideNature.org

Photograph taken by Francine Bethea 2007

Photograph taken by Francine Bethea 2007

Experience the thrill of viewing some of Maryland’s premier predators live and up-close. Explore the world of owls, hawks and eagles through games, crafts and talks given by local experts. Tours of the new habitat gardens will be given. Free native plants to the first 200 families

 

May 7, 2016, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
History in the Parks: Family Archaeology Day
Needwood Mansion
6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD 20855
$10 per person / $20 per family
www.HistoryInTheParks.org

 

See and experience what parks archaeologists do. Event features a 19th century slave quarters dig exhibit, mansion tours, a simulated archaeology dig for children, storytelling, old-time games and crafts. Bring a bag lunch and stay for the day.

 

May 22, 2016, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Flocks and Farms Festival
Black Hill Nature Programs at Black Hill Regional Park
20926 Lake Ridge Drive, Boyds, MD 20841
FREE
www.BlackHillNature.org

 

Join the Maryland Bluebird Society and Black Hill Nature Programs for a celebration of the conservation success stories of the Eastern Bluebird and Montgomery County’s very own Agricultural Reserve. Participants will learn how to help bluebirds and other cavity-nesters, while meeting farmers and organizations based in the Ag Reserve.

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 417 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org

 

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Apr 25 16

The Butterflies are Back at Brookside Gardens

by Melissa Chotiner

Wings of Fancy Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit Returns April 27, 2016

 

SILVER SPRING, MD— Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announces that Brookside Gardens annual Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit will open April 27, 2016. Visitors to the seasonal display interact with hundreds of live butterflies from all over the world including North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia. Families, students, nature lovers, and everyone in between can interact with native and exotic butterflies in an intimate environment to learn about their amazing metamorphosis, the role they play in establishing healthy ecosystems and how to ensure they thrive in residential gardens.

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The Wings of Fancy exhibit is run by knowledgeable staff and over 150 volunteers who help visitors learn what they can do to create environments that support the full butterfly lifecycle.

 

The Gardens provide an educational brochure, “Gardening for Butterflies,” full of tips for selecting the best plants to attract all stages of the butterfly lifecycle, from egg to adult. Visitors can see those garden ideas in action right outside the Conservatory in the newly certified Monarch Waystation Garden. For the kids, Brookside Gardens offers a summer camp, Butterfly Flutterby Fun, where they can learn more about these amazing pollinators, get a special behind-the-scenes tour, create butterfly crafts, and more. There are also dedicated morning hours on certain days each month for photographers to capture images before the exhibit opens to the public.

 

The display runs April 27 through September 25, 2016 and is open seven days a week from 10 am to 4 pm. Cost is $8 ages 13 and up, $5 ages 3-12, and free for ages 0-2. Frequent visitor, family, and dual passes are available at the Brookside Gardens’ Visitors Center or at the Conservatory gift shops.

 

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About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 417 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org.

Apr 22 16

Planning Department Announces Calendar of May 2016 Events

by Bridget Schwiesow

Calendar of Events

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce its May 2016 calendar of community meetings, work sessions and public events. These events offer opportunities for the Planning Board and Planning Department staff to discuss policies and engage with the public. Review the full list of events below and go online to www.montgomeryplanning.org for more details on projects and plans.

Stay connected to us online by following Montgomery Planning Department news and information on Twitter: @montgomeryplans and like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/montgomeryplanning.

Montgomery County Planning Department Events in May 2016

May 4-6 – The conference Makeover Montgomery 3: Balancing Change in the Suburbs will begin with a keynote speech starting at 7 p.m. on May 4 in the Auditorium at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland in College Park. Sessions on May 5 and May 6 will be held at the Silver Spring Civic Building and will address three themes: Beyond Transit-Oriented Development, the Sharing Economy and Equity and Opportunity in the suburbs. To register online and obtain more information, consult the MM3 website.

May 9 – The Planning Board will hold its first work session on the Working Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy at this meeting. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on additional agenda items.

May 12 – The second annual Design Excellence Award competition sponsored by the Montgomery County Planning Department opens with a call for entries. Developers, property owners and their design teams are invited to submit built projects that contribute to improving the quality of physical environments throughout the County. The selection of a winner will be made by an outside jury of accomplished professionals invited by the Planning Department. The winner will be recognized on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at an awards celebration at the Silver Spring Civic Building. Learn more about the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Design Excellence initiative.

May 12 – The Planning Board will hold its second work session on the Working Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy and a work session for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on additional agenda items.

May 16 – Attend a community meeting for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan at Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville, MD) from 7 to 9 p.m. to discuss the results of traffic modeling for the area.

May 18 – Starting at 7 p.m., the Bicycle Master Plan Community Advisory Group will hold a public meeting at the Planning Department (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD).

May 19 – The Planning Board will vote on approving the Public Hearing Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy at its meeting. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on additional agenda items.

May 20 – Commute by bicycle today as Montgomery County and the region recognize Bike to Work Day. Bicyclists are invited to join convoys led by experienced cyclists and participate in activities at designated pit stops throughout the County. Members of the Planning Department’s Bicycle Master Plan team will be at pit stops in Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Bethesda.

May 23 –Participate in the Rock Spring Master Plan community meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD) and learn about transportation-related issues in this area of North Bethesda.

May 25: Attend the public presentation by Rodolfo Machado of the Boston-based architecture firm Machado Silvetti from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Spring Room of the Silver Spring Civic Building. Machado will talk about his firm’s design of the Silver Spring Civic Building, which won the Planning Department’s 2015 Design Excellence Award, and other projects. Seating is limited and RSVPs are required. Learn more about the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Design Excellence program.

Apr 22 16

April 28 Work Session on Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan Will Address Affordable Housing Recommendations

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Planning Board will discuss recommended affordable housing, updated transportation analyses and property owner requests submitted after the public hearing process

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will hold a work session for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan on Thursday, April 28 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD). Discussion will focus on affordable housing recommendations for Downtown Bethesda, followed by property owner zoning requests that were submitted after the public hearing  was held last year. The goal of the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan is to preserve existing, market-rate affordable housing, provide a mix of housing options and increase the number of moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs) in exchange for development incentives. The Plan identifies sites where density can be transferred in exchange for a rental agreement to retain 30 percent of housing units as affordable for 20 years. Renters eligible for affordable housing must earn 65 percent or less of area median income or about $70,000 for a four-person household.

Currently, the average rent in the Bethesda Downtown Plan area is $1,916, about 20 percent more than the average rent in the County. Newly built apartments typically rent for $2,750, which is 40 percent more than the average rent in the County.

At the April 28 work session, staff will also discuss the transportation analysis related to density increases throughout the plan area as a result of previous Planning Board work sessions. For details about the April work session, consult the Planning Board Agenda.

Another work session is scheduled for Thursday, May 12. Public participation at the work sessions is at the discretion of the Planning Board Chair. Prospective speakers must send a written description of their discussion topics at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting date to mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org.

Following the work sessions, the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan will be revised at the direction of the Planning Board and reviewed by the Board before being sent to the County Council later this year.

Learn more about the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan.

Background on the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan

The new plan builds on the success of Downtown Bethesda by offering ways to strengthen its centers of activity – Bethesda Row, Wisconsin Avenue corridor, Woodmont Triangle and other established and emerging districts – over the next 20 years. Among its recommendations is a high performance area that incentivizes more energy-efficient buildings, new parks, tree-lined streets and innovative storm water management. The priority of the plan is to create a truly sustainable downtown. Other goals of the plan focus on:

-A mix of housing options, including preservation of market-rate affordable apartments and new moderately priced dwelling units in exchange for development incentives.

-New and/or expanded civic greens at Veteran’s Park, Bethesda Farm Women’s Cooperative Market and along part of the Capital Crescent Trail.

-Economic competitiveness within the region based on new development, public amenities and proximity to transit, including Metrorail and proposed Purple Line light rail.

-Density averaging (a planning tool that allows square footage to be sent from one mixed-use site to another mixed-use site) to create or enlarge parks, protect significant community landmarks and retain affordable housing.

Work on the Staff Draft of the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan began in January 2014. Community participation was encouraged through public meetings and workshops, online surveys and happy hour events, which were intended to reach residents who don’t typically participate in the planning process.

The Plan serves as an amendment to the approved and adopted 1994 Bethesda Central Business District Sector Plan and the 2006 Woodmont Triangle amendment to that Sector Plan.

For questions or comments about the Staff Draft, please send an email to: bethesdadownplan@montgomeryplanning.org

Apr 14 16

Community Meeting Held on April 12 Focused on Transportation-related Changes to the County’s Subdivision Staging Policy

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Proposed revisions to the transportation elements of the Subdivision Staging Policy were discussed at a public meeting held at the Planning Department in Silver Spring

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is updating the Subdivision Staging Policy (formerly called Growth Policy) for review and approval by the County Council by November 15, 2016. The intent of the Subdivision Staging Policy is to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and transportation facilities, are adequate to accommodate new development.

A community meeting, attended by about 20 County residents, was held on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Montgomery County Planning Board auditorium (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD) to discuss key transportation elements of the policy update.

This event follows a similar public forum held on March 15, 2016 and, like that meeting, presented the opportunity for the community to learn more about the Subdivision Staging Policy and share thoughts about proposed changes to the policy.

The meeting summarized recent discussions at Planning Board briefings that have focused on changes to the current transportation adequacy tests known as Local Area Transportation Review and Transportation Policy Area Review. These tests are intended to ensure that development in Montgomery County is accompanied by appropriate and sufficient transportation facilities. They are used to estimate the impact of development on the transportation network and determine effective ways to mitigate that impact when transportation facilities are inadequate.

Planning Board work sessions to refine the Subdivision Staging Policy will continue in April, May and June. A public hearing about the policy will be held in June before the Planning Board draft of the policy is transmitted to the County Council at the end of July. The Council will hold its own work sessions in the fall, before voting to adopt the revised policy in November.

Background on Subdivision Staging Policy
Planning staff is proposing new ideas in transportation and school capacity planning as part of revising the Subdivision Staging Policy, which is updated every four years. This quadrennial policy (formerly known as the Growth Policy) includes criteria and guidance for the administration of the County’s Adequate Public Facility Ordinance (APFO), which matches the timing of private development with the availability of public services.

In the past, the APFO was designed to ensure that road and school capacity – as well as water and sewer and other infrastructure — kept pace with new development. Where new areas of the County were developed, infrastructure to support new homes and businesses was needed.

Today, much of the County has been developed. Growth is occurring through infill development and redevelopment, including the resale of homes in many of the County’s established neighborhoods. This type of growth creates pressure on transportation systems and school facilities; however, the current tools used to evaluate the impact of development may not adequately access these changing growth patterns and are being examined for their effectiveness.

Apr 13 16

Montgomery Parks Celebrates Completion of Brookside Gardens Garden Gateway Project on Friday, April 22, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.

by Melissa Chotiner

Media are invited to join Brookside Gardens’ staff to tour major renovations to the Gardens; volunteer planting and ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place following tour.

 

Silver Spring, MD – Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is celebrating the completed Brookside Gardens’ Garden Gateway project – a transformation of the Gardens entrance which began in February 2014. A special ribbon cutting ceremony and volunteer planting will take place on April 22, 2016 at 9 a.m. at Brookside Gardens Visitors Center.

 

The $5 million Garden Gateway project uses sustainable design to improve the entrance, parking and access to Brookside Gardens. Improvements resulting from this project include:

original artwork_

A renewed entrance at the intersection of Glenallan Avenue and Heurich Road, with a
safer, dedicated pedestrian walkway

Original artwork

A new boardwalk and parking garden with additional parking spaces

New landscape areas including a magnolia grove and many new plant collections

A courtyard for safe drop-off and pick-up of passengers at the Visitors Center

A new overlook for the Aquatic Garden (north of the Visitors Center)

The new south terrace (outside the Visitors Center Atrium) — a tranquil spot for conversation, plus small classes and events

A water garden featuring a design to treat stormwater runoff.

 

 

WHAT:                      Brookside Gardens’ Garden Gateway Project Tour and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

 

WHO:                         Brookside Gardens staff, Montgomery County elected officials, students from Glenallan Elementary School and members of the community will celebrate the final stages of completion of the project. 

Media will be given a tour of the new sustainable design and enhancements, and provided an overview of spring and summer programs including the popular Wings of Fancy Live Caterpillar and Butterfly Exhibit.

 

WHEN:                      Friday, April 22, 2016 (rain or shine)
9:00 a.m.: Garden Gateway Tour and Volunteer planting
11:00 a.m.: Ribbon-cutting ceremony

 

WHERE:                   Brookside Gardens Visitors Center
1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton MD 20902

 

PLEASE RSVP:        Please RSVP to: Melissa.Chotiner@MontgomeryParks.org or by phone at 301-650-2866.

 

 

About Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks manages more than 37,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 417 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org

 

About Brookside Gardens

Brookside Gardens is Montgomery County’s incomparable, award-winning 50-acre public display garden situated within Wheaton Regional Park.  The Garden features numerous distinct landscape areas, including the Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden and the Woodland Walk. The Formal Gardens areas include a Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, the Maple Terrace, and Fragrance Garden. Two conservatories showcase changing seasonal displays for year-round enjoyment. A horticultural reference library and gift shop are located in the Visitors Center. Admission to the Gardens is free.

 

 

 

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Apr 12 16

Rodolfo Machado of Boston Firm Honored with 2015 Design Excellence Award Will Present Work at Silver Spring Civic Building on May 25

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Renowned Argentina-born architect will talk about the award-winning design of the Silver Spring Civic Building and projects undertaken by his firm Machado Silvetti

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, held its first annual Design Excellence Award competition in 2015 and honored the top winner, the Silver Spring Civic Building, at a design celebration last October.

The architect who designed the building is now scheduled to talk about his work on this and other projects on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. The public presentation by Rodolfo Machado, FAIA, of the Boston-based architecture firm Machado Silvetti will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Spring Room of the award-winning Silver Spring Civic Building.

Continuing education credits are pending for AIA, AICP and ASLA. Seating is limited and RSVPs are required. Learn more about the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Design Excellence program.

RSVP for the event here (spots are limited).

About Rodolfo Machado

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, architect Rodolfo Machado is a citizen of the United States, where he has resided since 1968. Machado received his Diploma in Architecture from the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1967 before studying urban design at the Centre de Recherche d’Urbanisme in Paris. In 1971, he received a master of architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley where he continued doctoral studies in architectural theory.

Machado practiced architecture in San Francisco and Pittsburgh before forming a practice with Jorge Silvetti in 1974. Since 1986, he has been a faculty member of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where he chaired its Department of Urban Planning and Design from 2004 to 2009. Machado has been a visiting critic at many schools of architecture in this country and abroad, and has served as a juror for many national and international competitions and prizes. His drawings and projects have been extensively published and exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. For more information, go to http://www.machado-silvetti.com/OFFICE/office-people.php.

About the Design Excellence Award

The Planning Department’s annual Design Excellence Award was launched in 2015 to recognize the best examples of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design in the County, and increase awareness of the importance of design excellence. More than 35 entries to the competition were submitted in August 2015 by architects, developers and property owners. The winning entry and citations were chosen by an outside jury of accomplished professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design, and presented at a design celebration in October 2015 co-sponsored with the Potomac Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.