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May 20 15

Montgomery Parks 2015 Memorial Day Operating Schedule

by Melissa Chotiner

SILVER SPRING, MD—Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has a variety of activities the public can enjoy during the Memorial Day weekend including:

  • Private Gardens Tour through Brookside Gardens
  • Free Guided Hikes at the Underground Railroad at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park and Oakley Cabin African American Museum
  • Spring Photo Walk at Meadowside Nature Center
  • Outdoor Classroom Explore-a-Thon @ Black Hill Visitors Center

Please visit www.montgomeryparks.org/calendar/ for more details.

In addition, several seasonal facilities will open for full-time use starting Memorial Day weekend including:

All other Montgomery Parks’ facilities, parks, and programs will follow standard operating hours with the following exceptions:

Closed Saturday, May 23 – Monday, May 25:

  • Cabin John Ice Rink
  • Wheaton Ice Rink
  • Brookside Nature Center

Closed Monday, May 25:

  • Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center at Cabin John Regional Park
  • Wheaton Indoor Tennis Center
  • Locust Grove Nature Center
  • Meadowside Nature Center
  • All recreational and regional athletic fields located in Montgomery Parks
  • Park permits office

 

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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 420 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.

 

May 18 15

Montgomery Parks Issues Request for Proposals to Find a Tenant for the Historic Darby Store

by Melissa Chotiner

Pre-bid meeting (for people who were unable to attend first meeting) will take place Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 9 a.m., RSVP required by June 3.

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to select a tenant for the Darby Store, located in the Beallsville Historic District at 19801 Darnestown Road, Beallsville, MD 20839. Montgomery Parks is seeking a tenant to reinvigorate the building while keeping in mind its historic character.

Darby Store current photoA mandatory Pre-Bid Meeting will take place on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at Owens Local Park Activity Building, 19900 Beallsville Road, Beallsville, MD, 20932.  This is the second meeting intended for interested parties who were not able to attend the first meeting. Attendees must RSVP by June 3 to Jana.Harris@MNCPPC.org or Julie.Mueller@MontgomeryParks.org

M-NCPPC is looking for a tenant who will have creative ideas for this special building that may include but are not limited to:

  • Handicraft, music, book, gift, art, variety store
  • Antiques, furniture or furnishings shop
  • Garden supply, hardware center
  • Charitable / philanthropic institution, museum
  • Office space

Parks staff will discuss the RFP process, outline conditions for use of the historic site and answer questions. The Darby Store will be open directly following the meeting for interested parties to inspect. All potential tenants must attend the pre-bid meeting.

Interested parties may download the Darby Store Leasing RFP (#P35-127) or by contacting Jana.Harris@MNCPPC.org. The application deadline is July 7, 2015.

About the Darby Store
Located at the intersection of Routes 28 and 109 in the Beallsville, MD Historic District, this beautiful rehabilitated country store offers a generous 3,500+ square feet of combined retail, office and storage space. It also includes a new parking lot, HVAC, plumbing and electric systems, and an ADA accessible front entrance. The property is zoned Neighborhood Retail (NR).

Centrally located in the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve, the Darby Store is less than a mile from Woodstock Equestrian Special Park, and easily accessible from Bethesda, Poolesville, Frederick and Sugarloaf Mountain. This area boasts many local businesses such as wineries, pick-your-own farms, artist studios, and hiking trails. The store sits at the intersection of two Rural Rustic Roads that are a favorite recreational route for tourist exploration and cyclists.

M-NCPPC has been working hard to bring new life to this quaint store. Its rehabilitation will be completed by the end of June 2015.

For questions about the RFP or to obtain a copy, please contact Jana.Harris@MNCPPC.org. For general information about the Darby Store and the proposal please contact Julie Mueller at Julie.Mueller@MontgomeryParks.org or by phone at 301-650-4390.

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 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

 

 

Accessibility

Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities. Contact us a minimum of five business days in advance of the program start date or public meeting date to request a disability accommodation. CONTACT INFO HERE.

 

 

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May 15 15

Montgomery Parks to Host Community Meeting on Activating Three Kensington Historic Buildings

by Melissa Chotiner

Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 7 – 9 p.m. at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Kensington.

SILVER SPRING, MD—Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will host a community meeting to discuss ideas to activate and enhance three Kensington Historic Buildings; Warner Circle, Kensington Cabin and Noyes Library. Information about the meeting is below; as well as available online at www.ParksCulturalResources.org and on Facebook and Twitter via #HistoricKensingto

Kensington Historic Buildings Community Meeting

DATE:             Wednesday, May 27, 2015

TIME:              7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

LOCATION:     St. Paul’s United Methodist Church,  10401 Armory Avenue,  Kensington, MD 20895

 

The public may submit ideas online at www.ParksCulturalResources.org. For additional information or questions related to the meeting please contact Julie Mueller by email at Julie.Mueller@montgomeryparks.org or by phone at 301-650-4390.

 

At the upcoming meeting, parks staff will share results from the public input analysis that was collected at an introductory workshop in January and discuss progress to date. Some of the ideas that are being considered for the activation of these sites include a summer concert series and a reading garden.

 

About the Kensington Historic Buildings:
The three unique historic buildings include Warner Circle, Kensington Cabin and Noyes Library.

 

House 2357Warner Circle is a 4.5 acre park with green space and mature trees. Located in the heart of the Kensington historic district, the park features the late 19th century home and carriage house of Kensington’s founder, Brainard Warner. The home was later converted to a nursing home in the 50s, which has since closed. Parks staff is in the process of rehabilitating both buildings and exploring potential future uses.

 

Kensington Cabin was built in the 1930s as a New Deal, Civil Works Administration project. The cabin is included in the Maryland Historical Trust inventory. It served as a community hub and recreation center until it closed in 1991. Montgomery Parks is now working with meKensington Cabinmbers of the Kensington community to re-activate the building with programming.

 

 

 

 

 

Noyes Library for Young Children was established in 1893 and is part of the Montgomery County Public Library System. It is the oldest public library building in the Washington D.C. area and one of the few that is dedicated to children. The one-room library offers books and programs specifically for early childhood.

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 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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May 15 15

Planning Department Releases Staff Draft of Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan

by Bridget Schwiesow

bethesda cover

Recommendations focus on social, environmental and economic sustainability, including affordable housing, parks and public amenities

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has completed the Staff Draft of the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan for presentation to the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday, May 21. Pending approval of the Staff Draft, the Board’s public hearing about the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan is scheduled for Thursday, June 25, when the community is invited to comment on its recommendations.

View the Bethesda Downtown Plan Staff Draft.

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 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.

After the Board’s public hearing in June, the plan will be revised through work sessions with the Planning Board before the final Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan is presented to the County Council for approval.  Council action is anticipated in the spring of 2016.

Learn more about the planning process for the Bethesda Downtown Plan.

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

May 14 15

Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson Announces Initiation of Countywide Bicycle Master Plan at Bike to Work Day

by Bridget Schwiesow

twitter-logoCAnderson web-101
Anderson and planners will attend event on May 15 as part of wider planning commitment to safe cycling routes and facilities

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department and Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, are participating in Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 15. The event is sponsored by Montgomery County Commuter Services, Commuter Connections and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association to promote bicycling as a fun and healthy way to commute.

Pit stops throughout the County will offer refreshments, music and bicycle maintenance to cyclists. At the Twinbrook stop in Rockville, Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson will discuss the highlights of the Countywide Bicycle Master Plan, which will be launched by the Planning Department on July 1, 2015.

More than 100 cyclists have registered to participate at the Twinbrook location. Twinbrook is one of the highest demand areas in Montgomery County for non-recreational bike trips.

At the Silver Spring stop at One Discovery Place (Georgia and Wayne Avenues), Planning Department staff also will provide information about the Bicycle Master Plan.

Background on Bicycle Master Plan
While cities across the United States have taken the lead in retrofitting streets for bikes, Montgomery County aims to be at the forefront among suburban jurisdictions with its Bicycle Master Plan. The opportunities to create new bike routes and bike facilities are immense, as older areas such as White Flint and Shady Grove are rebuilt, and newer transit projects such as the Purple Line, Corridor Cities Transitway and Bus Rapid Transit System are implemented.

“Our goal is to create the best bike plan in the entire nation,” says Anderson, who is an active cyclist. “The number of bike commuters in the County has increased by 62 percent over the past decade and we need to meet that need with up-to-date facilities.”

The County’s new plan for bicycle routes and bike facilities will focus on developing a high-quality, low-stress bicycle network reflecting the latest biking practices and will consolidate all bicycle recommendations into a single plan for the first time in decades.

It will recommend the newest types of bike routes, such as separated bike lanes, buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities.

The Bicycle Master Plan will initially focus on developing a high-quality bicycle network along the rapidly developing route of the future Corridor Cities Transitway, a 15-mile bus rapid transit (BRT) line proposed to run from the Shady Grove Metrorail Station, through the Life Sciences Center area and ultimately to Germantown and Clarksburg.

WHAT: Focus on County Bicycle Master Plant at Bike to Work Day
WHEN: Friday, May 15, 6:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Twinbrook area of Rockville across from 5635 Fishers Lane and One Discovery Place at Georgia and Wayne Avenues

For more information about the Bicycle Master Plan, contact:

David Anspacher
Functional Planning and Policy Division
Montgomery County Planning Department
david.anspacher@montgomeryplanning.org
tel. 301-495-2191

Learn more about Bicycle Planning in Montgomery County.

May 14 15

Planning Department Launches New Security Improvements at Headquarters

by Bridget Schwiesow

flower pic
Bring Your Badge to Work Day on June 2 starts new procedures for staff and public access

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), is updating the security system in its headquarters building (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD) to increase safety and protection for the public and staff.

On Tuesday, June 2, the Department is launching the new system with “Bring Your Badge to Work Day.”

Starting that day, all employees will be required to swipe their identification badges to gain access to offices throughout the building. Visitors will be required to be escorted to their destinations by calling an employee on a lobby phone next to the auditorium. Visitors will also be able to proceed to the second-floor information counter if they need additional help in contacting a staff member.

“As the County’s planning agency, we think ahead and these upgrades are designed to protect our staff,” says Gwen Wright, Planning Director. “At the same time, the Planning Department headquarters will always be an open and welcoming building for visitors.”

A new way-finding kiosk will also be available to welcome visitors in the lobby. The kiosk will offer office floor-plan layouts, access to an employee directory and websites for the Planning Board, Planning Department and Department of Parks.

For questions about the new security measures, please contact the Communication Office: 301-495-4507 or the Information Counter:

E-Mail: MCP-InfoCounter@mncppc-mc.org
Phone: 301-495-4610
Hours: 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Monday – Friday
Fax: 301-495-1306

May 12 15

Planning Department Celebrates County Recognition of Preservation Month through Ongoing Financial and Community Awareness Programs

by Bridget Schwiesow

PreservationMonthProc15

Grants and tax credits for historic properties, and Montgomery Modern initiative represent County’s strong commitment to historic preservation

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is renewing its focus on historic preservation programs following the County Council’s recognition of May as Preservation Month in Montgomery County. On May 11, 2015, Councilmember Hans Riemer introduced the proclamation by praising the efforts of the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission.

“Historic preservation is always such a challenge and it’s thanks to the pressure, the support and the ideals of the historic preservation community who keep us moving forward and prioritizing this important need,” said Riemer.

The Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office contributes to this momentum through community outreach programs to fund historic preservation projects and raise awareness of tax credits for exterior restoration and the historical significance of mid-20th-century modern structures in the County.

View the latest video promoting the work of the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office. 

Grants for Historic Preservation Projects
Currently, the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is seeking proposals from non-profit organizations or municipalities that wish to apply for matching funds to finance historic preservation projects in Montgomery County. Application materials must be received by May 18, 2015. Up to $60,000 may be available to be awarded in this grant round.

A range of projects will be considered, with special priority given to projects that document or interpret historic resources or use technology to present information and engage the public in historic preservation. The types of projects that will be considered include GIS mapping, apps for mobile devices, development of websites and digitally accessible content, walking tours of historic districts, handbooks, design guidelines, historic site brochures or other interpretive materials, historic district or site survey and documentation, oral histories, videos or exhibits pertaining to County history or architecture.

Grant guidelines and applications are available online. 

Increase in Tax Credit Applications
Currently, the Planning Department’s historic preservation staff is reviewing applications from County property owners seeking financial rewards for faithfully restoring the exteriors of their historic structures. The 92 applications for tax credits were submitted in April 2015 and represent an increase from the 87 received in 2014.

This tax credit may be granted against the County real property taxes, based on the amount expended by a homeowner for restoration or preservation of an historic property.  The property must be an historic site designated on the County Master Plan for Historic Preservation or within a historic district designated in that Plan. Tax credits are approved for exterior work only and no credit is granted for new construction.

Award for Montgomery Modern Initiative
Earlier this spring, the Planning Department’s historic preservation staff was honored with the Excellence in Community Engagement Award from the Maryland Historical Trust. The award was announced in March at the 2015 Maryland Preservation Awards ceremony, hosted by the Maryland Historical Trust Board of Trustees.

This accolade recognizes the success of the Montgomery Modern program, launched by the Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office in 2013 to raise awareness of the County’s remarkable legacy of mid-20th-century architecture and design. The educational and outreach initiative has included bus and bike tours of modern neighborhoods and buildings, and an interactive website. A book documenting the County’s midcentury structures is now being written by staff preservationist Clare Kelly for publication in fall 2015.

May 4 15

Montgomery County Planning Department Announces Calendar of May Events

by Bridget Schwiesow

Calendar of Events

Residents invited to get involved with special events and community meetings to discuss plans and regulations for the County’s future.

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce its events calendar for May 2015. These sessions offer ways to engage with planners and Planning Board members, and help shape the future of communities within Montgomery County. 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 Planning May 2015 Events:

May 4 – This year’s Affordable Housing Conference,Housing, Transit and Jobs – The Foundation for a Strong Economy,” features guest speakers Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, County Executive Ike Leggett and US Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez, among others. The event is being held at the Bethesda North Marriott Conference Center from 8 am to 3 pm.

May 6 – Join the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County at the Wheaton Veterans Urban Park (11200 Amherst Avenue) from 5-7 pm to learn about the future Wheaton Outdoor Living Room. The site-specific installation will be created by artist Matthew Mazzotta based on community feedback.

May 7 - Planning Department staff will present the Concept Planning Framework for the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan to the Montgomery County Planning Board. View the full agenda for the Planning Board meeting.

May 11 – The White Flint Sector Plan Implementation Advisory Committee will meet at the Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center (5900 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda) at 7 pm to discuss the Plan’s newest developments.

May 14 – Attend in person or tune into the live broadcast of the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting. Agendas, which are posted two weeks in advance, can be viewed on the Agendas & Staff Reports page.

May 15 – Bike to Work Day, sponsored by Montgomery County Commuter Services, Washington Area Bicyclist Association and Commuter Connections, celebrates bicycling as a clean, healthy and fun way to commute. Stop at one of the 15 pit stops in Montgomery County to receive refreshments and enter a raffle for a free bike.  More information about the pit stop locations is available online.

May 21 –Planners will present the Staff Draft of the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan to the Montgomery County Planning Board. The meeting agenda, which is posted two weeks in advance, can be viewed on the Agendas & Staff Reports page.

May 21 –Members of the Planning Board and Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education will meet over dinner to discuss school planning policies.

 

Apr 30 15

Updated Concepts for Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan Presented at April 29 Community Meeting

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Topics discussed included recommendations for the four districts and new zoning proposed particularly near future Purple Line stations and Silver Spring business district

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, held a community meeting to discuss the newest concepts for the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan on Wednesday, April 29, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Gwendolyn E. Coffield Community Recreation Center (2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, MD).

Since the last public meeting on January 21, staff has been refining the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan to reflect community feedback about specific areas. Changes to the Sector Plan include:

  • Providing pedestrian and bicycle paths and connections across proposed Purple Line light rail tracks and around the Rosemary Hills-Lyttonsville Local Park;
  • Preserving, rather than rezoning, the majority of industrial areas;
  • Preserving single-family residential areas;
  • Proposing zoning changes primarily around future Purple Line stations and close to the Silver Spring central business district.

At the April 29 meeting, Planning Board member Natali Fani-Gonzalez introduced the goals of the Sector Plan before Planning Department staff presented more detailed plan concepts for four areas of Greater Lyttonsville and heard feedback from the community. Residents and business owners will have the opportunity to make additional suggestions about the proposals. The Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan concepts will be presented to the Planning Board on Thursday, May 7.

Learn more about the latest developments in the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan on our website.

Apr 27 15

Planning Board Tours Downtown Silver Spring to Advance Design Excellence Agenda

by Bridget Schwiesow

Board_tour shot

Visit to housing, library and fire station underscores possibilities for improving quality of architecture and urban design throughout Montgomery County

SILVER SPRING, MD –  The Montgomery County Planning Board part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, visited several new buildings in Downtown Silver Spring on April 16, 2015 to gain a better understanding of how projects recently approved by the Board have come to fruition. In addition, the afternoon walking tour underscored the goals of the Planning Department’s newly launched Design Excellence initiative to elevate architecture and urban design in the County.

“The tour gave us the chance to see the impact of high quality design and the ways these new buildings fit into the fabric of the County,” said Planning Board Casey Anderson, who led the tour.

Also in attendance were Planning Board members Norman Dreyfuss, Natali Fani-González and Marye Wells-Harley, as well as Planning Department Director Gwen Wright, Deputy Director Rose Krasnow and Parks and Planning staff.

Tour stops included the new Fenwick and Eleven55 Apartments, Silver Spring Fire Station No. 1 and the Silver Spring Public Library, which is now under construction.

“It was gratifying to see these buildings come to be,” said Wells-Harley. “I now know what design excellence really means.”

The projects were selected for the tour based on their incorporation of key strategies promoted by the Design Excellence program and recent County Master and Sector Plans, as follows:

-Fresh, contemporary civic and residential architecture appropriate for urban-style density, as in Downtown Silver Spring.

-Proximity of affordable housing and community resources, as evident in the new Silver Spring Public Library.

-Low-impact, environmentally sensitive stormwater management areas integrated into landscaped open spaces and streetscapes, as realized at the Fenwick Apartments.

-Provision of a public park and connections to surrounding businesses and Metrorail, as in the Eleven55 Apartments development.

-Co-location of several public uses on a single parcel as in the fire station, which shares its site with a police substation, offices and community space.

View the video recap of the Board’s Design Excellence tour of downtown Silver Spring.

About the Design Excellence Initiative:
As one of the nation’s wealthiest and most educated counties, Montgomery County deserves neighborhoods, public spaces and buildings of the highest quality design to reflect this prosperity and maintain a competitive edge within our region. Design excellence is becoming increasingly important as the amount of available land for development in the County is shrinking and densities in our centers are increasing. These development challenges present a greater need to create attractive, safe and sustainable places to live, work and play.

In January 2015, the Planning Department advanced its Design Excellence Initiative by consulting with nationally recognized urban design and planning expert Noré Winter for three days. Winter met with planning staff about the creation and implementation of effective design guidelines and then presented many of these ideas to the Planning Board and community.

Next steps in continuing the Design Excellence Initiative include updating the Planning Department’s design guidelines process and creating an advisory panel of experts to consult with the Planning Director and staff on design-related decisions. Learn more about the Design Excellence Initiative: www.montgomeryplanning.org/design