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Sep 1 15

Community Invited to Testify at September 10 Public Hearing for Montgomery Village Master Plan in Rockville

by Bridget Schwiesow

MVP public hearing draft cover

Latest version of Master Plan is posted online for review before public hearing

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will take testimony on the Public Hearing Draft of the Montgomery Village Master Plan on Thursday, September 10 in the third floor hearing room of the Council Office Building located at 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland. The public is invited to testify at the meeting to offer feedback about the Master Plan, which is posted on the Planning Department’s web site.

Only a limited number of time slots for testimony on September 10 are available, so the public is encouraged to call 301-495-4605 or go online to sign up at http://www.montgomeryapps.org/planning_board/testify.asp.

The public is also invited to submit comments on the Public Hearing Draft of the Montgomery Village Master Plan via email to mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org. These comments will become part of the public testimony and public hearing record for the Plan.

Following the public hearing on September 10, the Planning Board will hold work sessions on the Master Plan during October to discuss the community testimony as well as issues identified by Board members.

At the conclusion of the work sessions, the Plan will be revised in accordance with the Planning Board’s direction and transmitted to the County Executive and County Council. The County Council will then hold a public hearing on the Planning Board Draft Montgomery Village Master Plan.

Background on Montgomery Village Master Plan:

The new Master Plan builds on the assets of Montgomery Village through four major recommendations:

Preserve the Village’s character: Built in the 1960s by Kettler Brothers, Montgomery Village was purposefully planned with a vast range of housing types. From the apartment communities clustered in the lower Village to the grand colonials of Whetstone, the homes appeal to a variety of lifestyles with a wide selection of designs and prices for residents. The Master Plan recommends preserving this variety and expanding housing choices in the future.

Maintain the public recreation and open spaces: The Village’s sylvan environment is one of its greatest assets. The Master Plan strongly recommends that most of its recreation and open spaces be maintained and preserved. When new development or redevelopment occurs, developers should emulate the Kettlers’ town planning principles to provide ample green spaces, vistas and recreational opportunities. Additional trail connections, with natural or hard surfaces, should be provided to enhance community connectivity.

Encourage reinvestment: Montgomery Village has six conveniently located retail centers throughout the community which serve the everyday retail needs of residents. Over several decades, however retail competition has grown in the mid-County area, consumer preferences have shifted, as has the tenant mix in the Village’s centers. Limited redevelopment opportunities exist in the Village and the Master Plan strongly recommends a sustainable and competitive Village Center. Short blocks with identifiable edges to reinforce the mixed uses and the introduction of new housing units can potentially transform the suburban blocks into walkable, connected and inviting areas, reinvigorating a sense of community and creating attractive centers for community life.

Enhance connectivity: The Master Plan encourages increased options for mobility and connectivity by all modes — transit, walking, biking and private motor vehicles. The Village’s private street network, coupled with many trails and pedestrian connections, offers unique opportunities to enhance multimodal links. Montgomery Village can improve connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists by providing missing links to open spaces, parks, the Village Center and other destinations around the community and beyond.

In order to help achieve these goals, the Master Plan recommends an overlay zone as an implementation measure. The Town Sector zone will not be used going forward, which means all the properties in the village must be rezoned. A large-scale rezoning of this kind is rare, and concerns have been raised about its implementation and potential consequences. The Montgomery Village Overlay Zone is intended to preserve the unique Village character; protect existing open space and conservation areas; and ensure a compatible relationship between new and existing development.

Past PowerPoint presentations and other materials from the Montgomery Village Master Plan process are posted on the Montgomery Village Master Plan webpage.

Stay Connected:
Sign up: for the Montgomery Village Master Plan eNewsletter
Call: the MVPlan Hotline for updates on upcoming planning events: tel. 301-495-4723
Follow: updates on Twitter using #MVPlan and learn more by visiting www.montgomeryplanning.org/mvp

Master Plan Background:
Montgomery Village has not been part of a Master Plan review since the 1985 Gaithersburg Vicinity Master Plan, nor has it been the subject of a discrete County master plan in the past. Although Montgomery Village was within the boundaries of both the 1971 Gaithersburg Vicinity Master Plan and the 1985 Master Plan, neither plan contains recommendations or guidance for this community because the Village fell within the Town Sector Zone, which did not allow the rezoning of properties for a 50-year period that comes to a close in 2015. When the Planning Department initiated an update to the Gaithersburg Master Plan in 2007, Montgomery Village was originally included within its boundaries. However, with large swaths of land on both sides of I-270 presenting different planning issues and challenges, the Planning Department realized the area was too big to be analyzed effectively.

In 2008, the Planning Department divided the large Gaithersburg Master Plan area into two planning efforts – one for the west side of I-270, which became the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan (GSSC) – and one for the east side of I-270 – Gaithersburg East. In 2014, the County Council asked the Planning Department to refine the Gaithersburg East Plan to have one plan for Montgomery Village and one plan for the remainder of Gaithersburg East. The Council also directed the Planning Director to work very efficiently on the Montgomery Village Plan, with the goal of having a draft plan transmitted to the Council within 14 months of the plan start date. The Council wanted the zoning to be reassessed holistically before the prohibition on piecemeal rezoning of Town Sector property expired in 2015.

Sep 1 15

Draft Scope of Work for White Flint 2 Sector Plan Will Be Presented to Planning Board on September 3

by Bridget Schwiesow

WF2 Cover

Goals discussed for filling in the gaps between the areas covered by the plans for White Flint, Twinbrook and Rockville Pike through new planning effort

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, launched the White Flint 2 Sector Plan at a community open house on June 25.

On Thursday, September 3, the Montgomery County Planning Board members will return from their summer recess and review the Draft Scope of Work for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan to discuss the planning objectives they would like to achieve in this area. The meeting will be held at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD).

Community residents and business owners are invited to attend this meeting to learn about the goals of the Sector Plan and existing conditions, opportunities and challenges.

View the draft of the White Flint 2 Scope of Work.

Background on the White Flint 2 Sector Plan

The White Flint 2 Plan aims to fill in the gaps between the areas covered by the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan, Twinbrook Sector Plan and the pending City of Rockville plan for Rockville Pike (MD 355). Its land use, zoning and transportation recommendations will apply to properties in a bow-tie-shaped area between the boundaries of these already established Plans. White Flint 2 will link common elements between the Plan areas, including Rockville Pike and the proposed network of bike lanes and public open spaces.

Planners will be looking at parcels along Executive Boulevard, west of Old Georgetown Road; east of the CSX rail tracks, between Randolph Road and Nicholson Lane; and north of Montrose Parkway along Rockville Pike to the city limits of Rockville. Nicholson Court, which was a part of the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan, will also be included in the proposed plan area.

Challenges of the plan include improving transportation networks, including the redesign of Rockville Pike into a tree-lined boulevard; integrating land uses on both sides of the CSX tracks and proposed MARC station; and encouraging mixed-use, walkable developments.

For more information about the White Flint 2 Plan and June 25 open house, contact the planners:

Nkosi Yearwood, tel. 301-495-1332, email Nkosi.Yearwood@montgomeryplanning.org
Andrea Gilles, tel. 301-495-4541, email andrea.gilles@montgomeryplanning.org

Stay connected with the latest information about the WF2 Sector Plan
Connect with us on Twitter: #WF2
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/montgomeryplanning

Sep 1 15

Montgomery Parks 24th Annual Harvest Festival October 3, 2015, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

by Melissa Chotiner

Festival highlights the vital role of horses in the daily life of a working farm.

 

2013-10-05 14.46.30SILVER SPRING, MD—Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will host the 24th Annual Harvest Festival on October 3, 2015 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. This year’s festival centers on the theme “Horse Power,” showcasing the important role of horses in everyday farm life. The festival takes place at Montgomery Parks Agricultural History Farm Park, situated on 445 acres of land in the Agricultural Reserve. The park is located at 18400 Muncaster Road, Derwood, MD 20855.

 

A number of new activities related to the “Horse Power” theme will be offered this year including:

 

  • Draft horse plowing demonstrations
  • Carriage rides
  • 4-H riding demonstrations
  • Stick horse races

 

“The Harvest Festival is a fun family event that celebrates the rich farming heritage of Montgomery County,” said Michael F. Riley, Director of Montgomery Parks. “Many newer residents in our urbanizing county may be surprised by the degree of farming and agriculture that continues to occur so close to our nation’s capital.  Our county is recognized as a national leader in preserving farmland and agriculture and the Harvest Festival is great way to celebrate that achievement.”

 

The Harvest Festival provides attendees a chance to learn about what life would have been like on a farm in Montgomery County in the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Some of the activities offered throughout the day include free hay rides, farmhouse tours, working farm animal demonstrations, archaeology digs and access to antique farm equipment.

 

There is a $15 per car fee for admission to the festival. For more information on the festival please visit www.AgHistoryFarmPark.org. Montgomery Parks is seeking volunteers to help with the festival.  Volunteer opportunities are approved for Student Service Learning hours. For more information about volunteering please call 301-495-2464.

 

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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Aug 28 15

Rock Spring Master Plan to Launch on September 1 at Open House Event

by Bridget Schwiesow

Rock Spring Logo rev 2

Community invited to meet with planners, learn about goals for the area and provide feedback about initial ideas for the Master Plan

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is launching the Rock Spring Master Plan on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 7 p.m. at an open house to be held at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD).

Community residents and business owners are invited to discuss the goals of the Master Plan and learn about existing conditions and challenges for reimagining an older suburban office park as a vibrant, mixed-use community. Ideas for discussion include a new street network, public use spaces and amenities, residential and non-residential uses, sustainable environmental measures, and infrastructure needs within this area of North Bethesda.

County planners will explain the planning process and opportunities for public participation. Community feedback on the initial ideas for the Plan will be recorded on a “feedback wall” at the event. RSVPs are encouraged but not required.

RSVP for the September 1 Rock Spring Master Plan Open House.

Background on Rock Spring
The challenges of developing a strategy for the Rock Spring area stem from its single-use status as an office park with high vacancy rates and little in the way of amenities and uses that might attract a new generation of companies. The current office vacancy rate in Rock Spring is 21.6 percent, higher than the County’s vacancy rate of 15 percent.

The 1992 North Bethesda/Garrett Park Sector Plan recommended some mixed-use zoning in the Rock Spring area, but only one residential development of 390 multi-family units has been constructed. A new townhouse project has recently begun development. Most of the property in Rock Spring was converted to the Employment Office (EOF) zone during the recent zoning rewrite effort.

In addition, the 1992 Sector Plan recommended the North Bethesda Transitway to connect the White Flint area with Montgomery Mall via Old Georgetown Road and Rock Spring Drive. The Transitway is included in the approved 2013 Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan (CTCFMP) and provides a framework for re-evaluating Rock Spring.

Challenges confronting the Rock Spring planners include:

  • Reinventing a suburban office park, with its auto-oriented street network and surface parking lots.
  • Identifying opportunities for a new street grid.
  • Examining places for public use spaces and amenities.
  • Introducing residential and retail uses into predominately non-residential development to create a mixed use environment.
  • Planning sustainable environmental measures.
  • Evaluating infrastructure needs for the area.

Learn more about the Rock Spring Master Plan.

For more information about the Rock Spring Master Plan and September 1 open house, contact:
Don Zeigler, tel.301.495.4638, email Don.Zeigler@montgomeryplanning.org.

Stay connected with the latest information about the Rock Spring Master Plan:
www.montgomeryplanning.org/rockspring

Connect on Twitter: #ReImagineRockSpring
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/montgomeryplanning

Aug 27 15

Montgomery Planning Countywide Bicycle Master Plan Meetings Start in September

by Bridget Schwiesow

Bicycle Master Plan

The public is invited to five meetings across the County during September and October 2015 to learn about the details of the Bicycle Master Plan and provide feedback

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is launching its Bicycle Master Plan with community meetings in September so the public can learn more about the goals and methods of this Countywide effort.

The Bicycle Master Plan will consider the newest types of bikeways, such as separated and buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities at transit stations. The network will be developed using an evaluation of the varying levels of stress imposed by traffic on cyclists along each roadway in the County.

The first public meeting will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on September 8 at Paint Branch High School (14121 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD). The second meeting will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Germantown Regional Services Center (Room A, 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown, MD).

Three subsequent meetings will take place during September and October in Silver Spring, Wheaton and Bethesda. The different locations allow County residents to pick the one that is most convenient for them so they can more easily participate in the planning process.

Each event will consist of a short presentation by County planner and project manager David Anspacher, followed by an opportunity to meet with Planning Department staff and learn about relevant topics, such as how traffic stress affects cycling and the state of bicycling in Montgomery County.

Attendees will also have the chance to contribute comments about bicycling safety and facilities they would like to see on an interactive “feedback map,” created for that part of the County associated with the meeting location. Community comments will be used to guide the planners during their work.

“These five meetings are intended to engage residents throughout the County and give them the opportunity to meet staff, learn about the plan and give feedback,” says Planning Director Gwen Wright. “I’m excited about new technology tools, such as interactive maps, that will help us plan new facilities so we can be one of the first suburban jurisdictions to comprehensively plan for bikes.”

Bicycle Master Plan Meeting Schedule:
All meetings will be held from 7 to 9 pm. Meeting RSVPs are encouraged but not required. Register to attend each of the Bicycle Master Plan Kick-Off meetings listed below.

Tuesday, September 8 – Meeting 1 at Paint Branch High School, 14121 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD. RSVP for Meeting 1.

Wednesday, September 9 – Meeting 2 at the Germantown Regional Services Center, Room A, 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown, MD. RSVP for Meeting 2.

Tuesday, September 15 – Meeting 3 at the Planning Department headquarters, 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD. RSVP for Meeting 3.

Monday, September 21 – Meeting 4 at the Wheaton Library, 11701 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD. RSVP for Meeting 4.

Tuesday, October 6 – Meeting 5 at Walter Johnson High School, 6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD. RSVP for Meeting 5.

Bicycle Master Plan Background:

The official kickoff of the Bicycle Master Plan comes after planners participated in Councilmember Hans Riemer’s Second Great MoCo Bike Summit on Saturday, June 6 at the Silver Spring Civic Center. That event focused on ways of incorporating next-generation bicycle facilities into the County’s transportation network and included participation by Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and the County Department of Transportation.

At the summit, County planner David Anspacher presented an overview of the new Bicycle Master Plan and its focus on developing a high-quality network of cycling routes throughout the County.

In addition to hearing the presentations, the approximately 100 attendees had the opportunity to provide written feedback on a large scale County map affixed to the wall of the Silver Spring Civic Center.  Attendees were asked to give comments on how the bicycle connections in the County could be improved. Those comments have now been included on an online map and will be considered by planners as work begins on the update to the Bicycle Master Plan. View the feedback map from the June 6 Bike Summit.

Questions or Comments?
Contact: David Anspacher, Planner and Project Manager
Email: David.Anspacher@montgomeryplanning.org
Telephone: 301.495.2191

Aug 27 15

Attend the Montgomery Modern Book Launch Party – Oct. 30, 7-9 p.m.

by Bridget Schwiesow

montgomery modern cover
Community invited to The Writer’s Center in Bethesda to hear from author Clare Lise Kelly and learn about the County’s mid-century neighborhoods and landmarks 

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is hosting a book launch party for the new book entitled Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979 on Friday, October 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Writer’s Center (4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD).

The event, sponsored by the Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office, is free. Ms. Kelly will give a presentation and attendees will have an opportunity to purchase a signed book. RSVP’s are encouraged but not required.

Register to attend the Montgomery Modern Book Launch Party.

Details:
Montgomery Modern Book Launch Party
sponsored by the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office
Friday, October 30, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
At The Writer’s Center located in Bethesda, MD (4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD).

The publication of Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979 and the launch party event are part of the Historic Preservation Office’s award-winning Montgomery Modern initiative to educate the public about the architectural heritage of Montgomery County. This preservation program has included a bus tour, bike tour and other outreach events dedicated to the wealth of mid-century modern architecture in the county. Learn more about the Historic Preservation Office’s Montgomery Modern initiative.

Montgomery Modern may be purchased during the Launch Party and will soon be available by accessing Lulu.com, the on-demand publishing service used for this publication.

About the Book:
Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979 by Clare Lise Kelly

This book, written by MNCPPC senior architectural historian Clare Lise Kelly, provides the historic context for modern architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, from its first appearance in the 1930s through the 1970s. Richly illustrated with photographs by Carol Highsmith, period photographs and architectural renderings, the book is organized by building types set within four main time periods.  The work includes biographical sketches of practitioners (architects, landscape architects, developers, planners) and an inventory of key projects including buildings and subdivisions.  Montgomery Modern is intended to raise awareness about the significance of modern architecture and the fragile nature of the built environment from the recent past.

Carol Highsmith, has been called “America’s Photographer,” having made a career documenting the nation’s built environment, focusing on its fragile and disappearing architectural heritage. Her photographs are housed in a permanent collection at the Library of Congress.

Questions or comments?
Contact Clare Lise Kelly, Research and Designation Coordinator for the Historic Preservation Office
Clare.Kelly@montgomeryplannig.org

Aug 26 15

Montgomery County Planning Department’s First Annual Design Excellence Award Program Celebration to be Held on October 22

by Bridget Schwiesow

revCelebrate Design invite

Developers, architects, landscape architects, designers, property owners and community members  are invited to attend the “Celebrate Design” reception and awards event at the Silver Spring Civic Building

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is inviting everyone with an interest in excellent architecture, landscape architecture and urban design to attend “Celebrate Design” on Thursday, October 22 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The winner of the Planning Department’s first annual Design Excellence Award competition will be announced during the celebration at the Silver Spring Civic Building (1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD). The event will also include the annual awards ceremony of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Valley Chapter. One of the highlights of the evening will be a presentation on the business case for design excellence by land use strategist Christopher Leinberger, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The Planning Department’s Design Excellence Award seeks to recognize exceptional work in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design that has been completed in Montgomery County over the past decade. More than 30 entries to the competition have been submitted by architects, developers and property owners. The goal of the awards program is to promote top-notch design and improve the quality of the built environment throughout the County.

The winner will be selected by an outside jury of accomplished professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design:

Edward Feiner, FAIA | Design Leadership Council Director, Perkins+Will, Washington, D.C.
Dhiru Thadani, FCNU | Architect and urbanist, Washington, D.C.
Michael Vergason, FASLA | Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, Alexandria, Virginia
Amy Weinstein, FAIA | Principal, Esocoff & Associates/Weinstein Studio, Washington, D.C.

Review the bios of the jury.

Celebrate Design Awards Ceremony
Thursday, October 22, 2015
6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Silver Spring Civic Building (1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD)
Ticket price: $35
Purchase tickets

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Opening  reception.
7:30 – 8:45 p.m. Awards presentation by the AIA Potomac Valley and the Montgomery County Planning Department.
Featured Speaker: Christopher Leinberger presenting on the Business Case for Design Excellence
8:45 – 9:30 p.m. Dessert reception.

Purpose of Design Excellence Award

The Planning Department launched its Design Excellence initiative in 2014 to inspire the highest quality of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design in changing areas within the County. In January 2015 as part of this program, the Department invited nationally recognized urban design and planning expert Noré Winter to discuss community design guidelines with the staff, Planning Board and public.

In June 2015, the Department launched its Design Excellence Award program to achieve the following goals:

-To recognize the best examples of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design in the County, and increase public awareness of this world-class design excellence.

-To promote built work that contributes to the creation of pedestrian-oriented, walkable neighborhoods that enrich and contribute to the greater community.

-To show how physical design can lead to greater health, economic opportunity and environmental sustainability.

Learn more about the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Design Excellence initiative.

 

Aug 26 15

Montgomery Parks Seeks Public Input at September 16 Meeting on Future Updates to the Park Trails

by Melissa Chotiner

Bike, Stroll,Hike, Roll, Run, Ride? …Got Trails? Join Montgomery Parks on September 16 to “Tell us what you think” about our trail system.

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is seeking public comments on a comprehensive amendment to the Countywide Park Trails Plan, which guides future investments in major park trails of countywide significance.  During a public meeting on September 16, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. (see details below on meeting location) park planners will present the staff draft plan amendment, and the public will have an opportunity to learn more about the proposed changes, provide input and ask questions.

 

“Trails are among the most popular facilities in our park system,” said Chuck Kines, Park and Trail Planner Coordinator.  “We are proposing a number of updates to the Countywide Park Trails Plan to enable more people to take advantage of our extensive trail system – whether they want to bike, hike, run, ride horses or walk their dogs.  The new recommendations will make it possible for greater trail use, and will be focused on making future investments in trails more efficient and effective for county taxpayers”

 

The proposed amendment to the plan introduces a concept framework for the plan known as “Loops and Links” which will make it more feasible to complete gaps in the countywide trail network trails, to develop trails that last longer and are more sustainable, and will allow trail users to find trail loop experiences closer to where they live or work.

 

Countywide Park Trails Plan Amendment Public Meeting:

WHEN:
        Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:     Shady Grove Maintenance Yard Training Room
16641 Crabbs Branch Way, Rockville, MD 20855
(enter under the green awning)

WHY:          Provide input on where future trails will be built and help Montgomery Parks prioritize which trails are built during what timeframe.

Public input may also be submitted online at ParkPlanning.org, or by email or mail via:

 

Chuck Kines, Project Coordinator
c/o M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks
9500 Brunett Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20901
Charles.Kines@MontgomeryParks.org
(301) 495-2184

 

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
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission encourages the involvement and participation of all individuals in the community, including those with disabilities, in the planning and review processes.  In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M?NCPPC) will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs or activities.  M?NCPPC works to make its facilities and materials accessible and to hold public meetings in locations that are, likewise, accessible. M?NCPPC will generally provide, upon request, appropriate aids and services and make reasonable modifications to policies and programs for qualified persons with disabilities (e.g., large print materials, listening devices, sign language interpretation, etc.).  For assistance with such requests, please contact the M-NCPPC Montgomery County Commissioners’ Office, at least a week in advance, at (301) 495-4600 or at mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org .  Maryland residents can also use the free Maryland Relay Service for assistance with calls to or from hearing or speech-impaired persons; for information, go to www.mdrelay.org/ or call (866) 269-9006.

 

Aug 20 15

Montgomery Parks 2015 Labor Day Weekend Activities and Operating Schedule

by Melissa Chotiner

Enjoy summer’s last hurrah this Labor Day Weekend, September 5 – 7, 2015 at Montgomery Parks splash pads, campgrounds, historic sites, nature centers and more!

SILVER SPRING, MD—Looking for something to do this Labor Day weekend? Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has you covered with a variety of facilities and programs to enjoy. A sampling of events and programs is listed below; visit www.MontgomeryParks.org/guide for a complete listing and www.ActiveMontgomery.org for additional details and registration information.

 

MONTGOMERY PARKS LABOR DAY WEEKEND ACTIVITIES

 

  •  The Splash Playground at South Germantown Recreational Park: open all weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The park is also home to an 18-hole miniature golf course and a Driving Range, also open all weekend.

 

  • Camping at Little Bennett Regional Park: Advanced reservations are recommended to ensure campsite availability, and there is a 2-day minimum stay over the holiday weekend. Check-in time is 12 p.m.; check-out time is 11 a.m.

 

 

  • The Olney Manor Skate Park featuring a 10-foot deep bowl, Hubba ledge, steps with handrail, quarter pipes, Fun Box and flat rails, manual pad and Pyramid Ledge: open all weekend from sunrise until 10 p.m.

 

Special programs offered Labor Day weekend include:

  •  An Outdoor Classroom Explore-a-Thon at Black Hill Visitor Center on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Children ages 5 – 12 will explore the outdoors searching for spineless wonders, digging in the dirt and jumping like frogs at this free event. Dress for outdoor weather, and bring water.

 

  • Free walking tours of Brookside Gardens Saturday from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.; the tours are for adults 18 and up, and registration is required.

 

 

  • Sneak one last, seasonal peak at the birds, frogs and turtles at Brookside Nature Center on Saturday from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., before they head in (or South!) for the winter. Pre-registration is required; the hike is for ages 4 and up; all children must be accompanied by registered adults.

 

  • Raptor enrichment at Meadowside Nature Center. Meet the resident raptors on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Feeding time takes place 12:00 – 12:20 p.m. The program is rain or shine. Meet at the Raptor Walkway behind the nature center.

 

 

  • Free guided tours of the Underground Railroad Experience Trail at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Join talented volunteer conductors on a simulated two-mile hike on the Underground Railroad Experience trail and learn about various techniques freedom seekers used to elude trackers, find food and navigate their way north to freedom. (In the event of severe weather, call 301-650-4373 on Saturday morning to find out status of tours.)

 

  • Guided tours of the restored Kingsley Schoolhouse in Little Bennett Regional Park on Sunday from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Tours are free and held rain or shine, but in the event of severe weather, please call ahead to confirm the park will be open before traveling to the site. Call 301-650-4373 for a recorded message of the most current park event hours.

 

MONTGOMERY PARKS LABOR DAY OPERATING HOURS:

The following facilities will be closed during the Labor Day weekend holiday:

  •  Locust Grove Nature Center
  • Wheaton Ice Arena
  • *Wheaton Indoor Tennis
  • Cabin John Ice
  • Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center at Cabin John Regional Park
  • Park Permits Office

*Wheaton Indoor Tennis will be open Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6 and closed on Labor Day

All other parks and facilities are operating on standard schedules listed on www.MontgomeryParks.org.

 

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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Aug 18 15

Planning Department Announces Calendar of September Events

by Bridget Schwiesow

Calendar of Events

Planning Board is back in session with a busy month, including many opportunities for the community to get involved with master planning efforts.

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce its calendar for September 2015. These events offer opportunities for the Board and Planning Department staff to engage with 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.

The Montgomery Planning Board is back in session starting September 3 with a month full of Board meetings, evening work sessions and community meetings. The agenda of upcoming meetings being held this fall will be posted on the Agendas & Staff Reports page.

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 and Planning Department Events in September 2015:

September 1 – Attend the first community open house for the Rock Spring Master Plan on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD). Community residents and business owners are invited to discuss the goals of the Master Plan and learn about existing conditions and challenges. County planners will explain the planning process and offer opportunities for public participation.  Community feedback on the initial ideas for the Plan will be recorded at the event. RSVPs are encouraged but not required. RSVP for the September 1 Rock Spring Master Plan Open House. Learn more about the Rock Spring Master Plan.

September 3 – Attend the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting to learn more about the future of specific places in your neighborhood. A full agenda for the meeting is posted on the Agendas & Staff Reports page.

September 8, 9, 15, 21 and October 6 – Learn about the Bicycle Master Plan at meetings held across the County. The meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at five locations so that County residents can pick the one that is most convenient for them to attend. The Bicycle Master Plan will consider the newest types of bikeways, such as separated and buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities at transit stations. The network will be developed using an evaluation of the varying levels of stress imposed by traffic on cyclists along each roadway in the County. Learn more about the Bicycle Master Plan and how to get involved. RSVPS are encouraged but not required.

September 8 – Attend the Bicycle Master Plan Meeting 1 at Paint Branch High School (14121 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD). RSVP for Meeting 1.

September 9 – Attend the Bicycle Master Plan Meeting 2 at the Germantown Regional Services Center (Room A, 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown, MD). RSVP for Meeting 2.

September 10 –Testify at the Montgomery Village Master Plan Public Hearing at the Council Office Building (3rd floor hearing room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD) from 7 to 9 p.m. View the Montgomery Village Master Plan Public Hearing Draft.  Time slots to testify are limited, so the public is encouraged to call 301-495-4605 or to go online http://www.montgomeryapps.org/planning_board/testify.asp to sign up. In order to hear from as many speakers as possible, each person will have up to three minutes to testify.

September 15 – Attend the Bicycle Master Plan Meeting 3 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). RSVP for Meeting 3.

September 17 – Learn more about the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan at the second work session for this plan at the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting. A full agenda for the meeting is posted on the Agendas & Staff Reports page. The recommendations in the Bethesda Downtown Plan Public Hearing Draft will be discussed and you can watch or listen live to the work session by visiting the Board’s video webpage.

September 21 – Attend the Bicycle Master Plan Meeting 4 at the Wheaton Library (11701 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). RSVP for Meeting 4.

September 22 – Participate in the “office hours” held at the Gwendolyn Coffield Community Center (2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, MD) from noon to 6 p.m. to discuss the proposed Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan with County planners. The Working Draft of the plan will be presented to the Planning Board on October 8. Learn more about this plan and recommendations for the future of Greater Lyttonsville.

September 24 – Testify at the Westbard Sector Plan Public Hearing at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD) from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and from 6:30 to 9 p.m. when the community is invited to comment on the Plan’s recommendations. Time slots to testify are limited, so the public is encouraged to call 301-495-4605 or to go online http://www.montgomeryapps.org/planning_board/testify.asp to sign up to testify. In order to hear from as many speakers as possible, each person will have up to three minutes to testify. View the Public Hearing Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan.