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Jul 31 14

Learn About Existing and Proposed Bikeways in Montgomery County

by Bridget Schwiesow

 

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Planning Department’s webpage provides map and resource of information

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has created a new webpage dedicated to bikeways in Montgomery County. The page allows visitors to view all of the existing and proposed bikeways in the County complete with an interactive map.

The bikeways page also features the Silver Spring Bicycle Parking Station Study, which evaluates future demand and potential locations for a bicycle parking station near the Silver Spring Transit Center and the planned connection of the Capital Crescent Trail and Metropolitan Branch Trail. Online visitors can also review “An Assessment of Purple Line Corridor Bicycle and Pedestrian Issues” for the proposed Capital Crescent Trail between Bethesda and Silver Spring and pedestrian issues around the Purple Line.

The page was designed to provide greater accessibility for online views of the Bikeways Master Plan and to highlight the current bicycle planning efforts of the Montgomery County Planning Department.

“Planning for and maintaining quality bicycle infrastructure in our county is vital to the future of creating walkable and pedestrian friendly communities,” said David Anspacher, Transportation Planner Coordinator.

For questions or comments about the bikeways page, contact:
David Anspacher, Functional Planning and Policy
david.anspacher@montgomeryplanning.org
301-495-2191

Jul 29 14

ePlans Record Plat Applicant Training Offered by Planning Department

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Applicants invited to sign up for training on Planning Department and Department of Permitting Service’s ePlans electronic review process

SILVER SPRING, MD The Montgomery County Planning Department part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will hold a series of ePlans training sessions for individuals who will be submitting Record Plat applications for M-NCPPC and the Department of Permitting Services (DPS) through the ePlans electronic review process. The five sessions will be held at the Planning Department Headquarters on the first floor, Room 118, at 8787 Georgia Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20910.

On July 1, 2014, the Planning Department went live with an electronic review process for Record Plat applications using the ePlans system.  All record plats must now be submitted through ePlans, rather than on paper, and will be reviewed electronically.  To educate applicants about the new process and the use of ePlans, the Planning Department has scheduled several training sessions. Individuals are invited to register for the time of their choice by calling 301-495-4550 or emailing sheila.sampson@montgomeryplanning.org.

The training is designed for individuals from the surveying or engineering firms who typically submit record plat applications and will cover the following areas:

-Use of the Application Portal
-IT requirements and steps for downloading the ePlans software
-File types and naming for the required submittal items
-Overview of the steps in the review process and the use of ePlans tools

Learn more about the Planning Department’s ePlans system.

Details:
What: ePlans – Record Plat Applicant Training
Where: Planning Department Headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave. Silver Spring, MD) Room 118
When: Pick only one:
Wednesday, July 30, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Monday, August 4, from 1 – 3 p.m.
Friday, August 8, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Monday, August 11, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 14, from 1 – 3 p.m. 

Register: by calling 301-495-4550 or emailing sheila.sampson@montgomeryplanning.org

Questions: Contact Cathy Conlon:  catherine.conlon@montgomeryplanning.org

Jul 28 14

Aspen Hill Minor Master Plan Amendment Public Hearing Scheduled – Sept. 11

by Bridget Schwiesow

Aspen Hill cover 2014
Public invited to testify on Public Hearing Draft plan at Planning Board meeting

SILVER SPRING, MD The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will hold a public hearing on the Aspen Hill Minor Master Plan Amendment on Thursday, September 11, at 6:00 p.m., at their regularly scheduled Board Meeting which will be held at 8787 Georgia Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20910.

The public is invited to give their views on the Public Hearing Draft which is an amendment to the 1994 Aspen Hill Master Plan and the General Plan (On Wedges and Corridors).

Learn more about the Aspen Hill Minor Master Plan Amendment.

Those wishing to testify in person at the public hearing are requested to call the Planning Department’s Public Information Line at 301-495-4605 or sign up to speak at the hearing using on-line registration.

The Plan Amendment makes recommendations for land use and zoning within the Aspen Hill Minor Master Plan Amendment area as well as recommendations intended to improve overall circulation, pedestrian connections and the network of bikeways, for approximately 14 acres west of the Aspen Hill Road and Connecticut Avenue intersection.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, written testimony may be submitted to:

Planning Board Chair, Montgomery County Planning Board, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. Testimony may also be submitted by e-mail to mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org.

Learn more about the planning process for the Aspen Hill Minor Master Plan Amendment, including the recap from the three community meetings.

Plan Background:
In the spring of 2013, the County Council programmed the preparation of a minor master plan amendment for approximately 14 acres of land located west of the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Aspen Hill Road, the majority of which was recommended for the office zoning in the 1994 Aspen Hill Master Plan. The minor amendment process provides an opportunity to reassess the subject area and analyze alternative redevelopment and zoning opportunities. The review considers the area’s existing development potential and reevaluates that potential within the context of a changing office market in the County as a whole, the intent and rationale of the 1994 Plan, and any impacts to the surrounding land uses and transportation network.

Jul 25 14

Business Owners Invited to Attend the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan Sunrise Series

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Early morning meetings intended to engage business community on the sector plan

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department will be hosting two meetings as part of their “Sunrise Series” for business owners in the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan area on Thursday, July 31 and Thursday, August 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. to provide an opportunity for the business community to ask questions and give feedback on the sector planning process.

The early morning meetings will offer free breakfast, an opportunity to meet with planners and provide a questionnaire to attendees to gather more information about business owners as it relates to the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan.

The Sunrise Series meetings will be hosted in partnership with the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development and the Silver Spring Regional Center.

As a follow-up to the successful community workshop held on July 15 and the June Monday Matters series which focused on specific subject areas in the plan, the planning team would like to invite business owners to give their feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the plan area and their ideas for the future of Greater Lyttonsville.

Details:
What: Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan Sunrise Series
Who: Business owners in the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan area
When/Where:
Thursday, July 31 – 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.  
Parking lot in front of 2666 Pittman Drive, Silver Spring, MD (John Deere Landscaping Company)

Thursday, August 7 – 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.  
Parking Lot in rear of 2402-2465 Linden Lane, Silver Spring, MD (Technical Service Park)

Info: Learn more about the Sector Plan and fill out the questionnaire: www.montgomeryplanning.org/greaterlp

Social Media: #GreaterLP

Plan Background:
The Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan was initially started in summer 2012 but was placed on hold at the direction of the County Council. Now, planners are looking to re-engage the community from the area west of Silver Spring and east of Rock Creek Park to determine the vision for the area that will guide development for the next twenty years and beyond.

The planning process will include a review of zoning and land use, with a particular focus on the commercial area along Brookville Road and the two proposed Purple Line stations. The Plan will look at potential locations for mixed-use development near stations, examine important employment centers, seek to preserve and enhance the existing single-family neighborhood character, coordinate with the Fort Detrick Forest Glen Annex planning process, address quality of life issues, and strive to maintain affordable housing and support cultural diversity. It will also address connections between the existing residential neighborhoods and employment areas along Brookville Road.

For the recap of the May 6 Relaunch community meeting, view the presentation and the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan Briefing Book which summarizes the existing conditions of the Plan Area.

Jul 22 14

Montgomery Parks Reports Elevated Microcystin Levels at Lake Needwood; Visitors Asked to Use Caution

by Melissa Chotiner

Pet owners urged to keep dogs out of the lake; boating and fishing remain open.

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is asking residents to use caution when recreating on or near Lake Needwood located within Rock Creek Regional Park. Testing has shown there are elevated levels of microcystin, a toxic substance produced by some species of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), in the 75-acre lake. Microcystin, hepatoxin, can cause harm to the liver of humans and pets. Of particular concern are dogs that are off-leash and may swim and/or drink from the lake, despite park regulations. Montgomery Parks urges visitors to take the following precautions:

 

  • Keep dogs on leash (as is regularly required at the park), and do not allow them to drink or go in the water
  • Swimming is prohibited in the lake at all times
  • Wash hands thoroughly if they come in contact with the water
  • Only eat properly cooked muscle meat of fish that are caught in the lake

Boating and fishing will remain open at the lake.

 

“We have posted signs around Lake Needwood and urge visitors to please pay attention to these precautions to avoid any harm from microcystin,” said Jai Cole, Natural Resources Manager for Montgomery Parks. “Portions of the lake may be contaminated for the rest of the season. We will continue to monitor and update signs when the warning is lifted.”

For updates or more information, visit 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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Jul 21 14

Approved and Adopted Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan Available

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Amendment to the Master Plan of Highways available online 

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department has made the approved and adopted Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan available on its website. The plan recommends a bus rapid transit (BRT) network throughout Montgomery County that will improve accessibility and mobility on county roads. The plan was adopted on December 18, 2013 by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, as modified by the County Council on November 25, 2013.

View the Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan along with the timeline of the planning process.

This Plan provides enhanced opportunities for travel by transit to support Montgomery County’s economic development and mobility goals in an environmentally sustainable way, and in a way that preserves our existing communities. As a Functional Master Plan, it makes no changes to current planned land use or zoning, but recommends changes and additions to the transportation network that are needed to serve the County’s most densely developed areas, areas planned for redevelopment, and areas planned for new dense development.

The Countywide Transit Corridor Functional Master Plan’s recommendations include:

  • Transit facilities along eleven corridors to facilitate Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service that will move more people to and from jobs, homes, shopping, and entertainment areas in urbanizing parts of the County, while making more efficient use of our public rights-of-way and existing pavement.
  • Pedestrian facilities that meet ADA Best Practices and provide safe and adequate accommodation along and across the recommended transit corridors, ensuring that transit patrons can safely cross to and from transit stops and that the general public can safely cross these roadways at all intersections.
  • Accommodating all master plan bikeways within the recommended rights-of-way and accommodating additional on-road bike facilities where possible.
  • Designating more than two dozen Bicycle-Pedestrian Priority Areas around major transit stations.
  • Adding 25 feet of right-of-way for a third track on the MARC Brunswick Line between the Frederick County line and the Metropolitan Grove station to reduce conflicts with freight service and enable the expansion of commuter service.
Jul 15 14

Montgomery County Council Appoints Casey Anderson Planning Board Chair

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Current Board Member and Commissioner designated as Chair 

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Board, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), announced today the appointment of Casey Anderson by the Montgomery County Council to the position of Planning Board Chair. In this role, Mr. Anderson will lead the five-member Montgomery County Planning Board which oversees the Montgomery County Planning Department and the Montgomery Department of Parks. The Planning Board advises the Council on land use planning and community planning in Montgomery County.

Mr. Anderson is scheduled to begin his term in August pending the approval of the Council’s Resolution by the County Executive.

“I am honored to be appointed by the County Council for the role of Planning Board Chair,” said Anderson. “I look forward to serving with my colleagues on the Board and working collaboratively with the Council, Executive Branch and county residents to preserve and maintain our natural resources, plan for high quality communities and keep Montgomery County moving forward.”

Chosen from a final field of five candidates, Mr. Anderson brings his experience as a Planning Board Member and Commissioner to the position, serving since 2011. He is a Silver Spring resident, attorney and community activist. Previously, Mr. Anderson served on the boards of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, the Citizens League of Montgomery County, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and the Committee for Montgomery. He is also a former vice president of the Woodside Civic Association and executive vice chairman of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board. Mr. Anderson holds undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University and a graduate degree in journalism from Columbia University.

The Chair is a full-time position responsible for leading the Montgomery County Planning Board. Mr. Anderson fills the expiring term of Françoise M. Carrier who has served as Chair since 2010. Planning Board members also serve as Commissioners of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, a bicounty agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The County Council also acted to increase the salary of the Planning Board Chair at their July 15 session from $168,450 to $200,000.

The Chair will serve with four Board members. Currently Norman Dreyfuss, Marye Wells-Harley and Amy Presley sit on the Board. The now vacant position held by Casey Anderson on the Planning Board will be advertised by the County Council.

As part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the Montgomery County Planning Board works to:

-manage physical growth
-plan communities
-protect and steward natural, cultural and historical resources
-provide leisure and recreational experiences

Learn more about the Montgomery County Planning Board.

About the Montgomery County Planning Department:
The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, aims to improve quality of life by conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment for current and future generations. The Planning Department creates great communities by developing master plans, reviewing applications for development and analyzing various types of information to help public officials plan for Montgomery County’s future. Gwen Wright is the Director of the Planning Department. The Department is comprised of 140 staff members and provides recommendations, information, analysis and services to the Montgomery County Planning Board, the County Council, the County Executive, other government agencies and the general public. Visit www.montgomeryplanning.org

About Montgomery County Department of Parks:
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks, with a staff of 700 people. Michael Riley is the Director of Montgomery Parks, which occupies 10 percent of the land in Montgomery County. The Department is part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), which 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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Jul 11 14

Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan Staff Draft Scheduled for Planning Board Presentation

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Planners will present recommendations for the future of Sandy Spring to Planning Board on Thursday, July 17  

SILVER SPRING, MD – Recommendations for the Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan will be presented to the Montgomery County Planning Board, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, at the Thursday, July 17 Planning Board meeting (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). The recommendations are the result of the work of the Montgomery County Planning Department based on extensive engagement and feedback from the community.

View the Staff Draft for the Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan.

Planning Department staff is recommending approval of the Staff Draft as a Planning Board Public Hearing Draft with the Public Hearing for the plan scheduled for September 4, 2014.

The recommendations seek to bring about the vision and address any concerns that were voiced by the community at the four-day community design workshop held in February and the community meetings held in March and May. After gathering the input from the community, planners have come up with recommendations for zoning, land use, and connectivity that will help maintain the rural feel of the area while developing a more pedestrian-friendly, sustainable community.

Details:
What: Sandy Spring Rural Village Staff Draft Presentation
When: Thursday, July 17 at 3:30 p.m.
Where: Montgomery County Planning Department Headquarters, 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD
More info: Learn about the Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan process

Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan Highlights:
The 1998 Sandy Spring/Ashton Master Plan recognized that the details of a new village center concept were beyond its scope and recommended more detailed study and analysis to develop the concept. This new Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan will follow the guidance in the 1998 Master Plan and determine how to best connect the new fire station into a village center concept using the following three goals:

-Preserve the rich cultural history of the area
-Design a civic space and village center
-Connect the community to the village center and examine right-of-way issues

The Staff Draft examines land use, transportation, and zoning changes. A Planning Board public hearing date has been requested for September 4, 2014.

Learn more about the Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan and how to get involved: http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/sandyspring

Jul 10 14

Montgomery Parks Josiah Henson Park Will Be Profiled on National Broadcast of PBS Series Time Team America on August 19; Program Uncovers New Evidence Related to the Site’s History

by Melissa Chotiner

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Montgomery Parks Foundation announce the premiere of “TIME TEAM AMERICA, The Search for Josiah Henson,” on Tuesday, August 19 at 8 p.m. TIME TEAM AMERICA is a PBS series that combines archaeological discovery with good story telling. “The Search for Josiah Henson,” one of four new episodes of the second season, explores Josiah Henson Park, a significant historical resource located in Montgomery County, Maryland within the Montgomery Parks’ system. The park is located on the former Isaac Riley plantation where Reverend Josiah Henson was enslaved for many years before his escape to freedom. Henson’s autobiography is the inspiration behind Harriet Tubman’s landmark novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 

Time Team America filming at Josiah Henson site in August 2012.

Time Team America filming at Josiah Henson site in August 2012.

Filming of the program took place in August 2012. The TIME TEAM AMERICA production crew and on-air talent—comprised of scientists Joe Watkins, Allan Maca, Meg Watters, Jeff Brown and Chelsea Rose and host Justine Shapiro—spent three days on site working alongside Parks’ archaeologists and their many volunteers, searching for evidence of Henson-era structures and related artifacts long lost to suburban development. The archaeological exploration unearthed three layers of compacted earth flooring in the kitchen under the existing floor, which indicates the strong likelihood that the existing log kitchen sits on the exact footprint of the one described in Henson’s memoirs.

It was upon his return to Isaac Riley’s plantation in 1828 that Josiah Henson recalls sleeping on the dirt floor of the kitchen in the main house.

“After putting my horse in the stable I retired to the kitchen, where my master told me I was to sleep for
the night … that crowded room, with its earth floor, its filth and stench – The negroes present were strangers
to me. Full of gloomy reflections at my loneliness, and poverty stricken aspect of the whole farm, I sat
down…thinking how I could escape from the accursed spot.”

—Josiah Henson, The Life of Josiah Henson Formerly a Slave, Boston: 1849

The Montgomery Parks Foundation will conduct a major campaign to raise $2 million dollars to support the educational and interpretive aspects for Josiah Henson Park. These funds will be matched by $4.85 million approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board and the County Council for the park’s development.
The TIME TEAM AMERICA episode on Josiah Henson Park can be previewed at: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365243972/

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

About the Montgomery Parks Foundation
The Montgomery Parks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that champions Montgomery County Parks cultivating financial support and public engagement of county residents and businesses as member, donors, sponsors and advocates. Visit www.MontgomeryParksFoundation.org to learn more.

 

Jul 9 14

Come Out for Little Bennett’s Great Outdoors Fest Featuring Free Hayrides, Nature Hikes, Pitch-a-Tent Contest and More on July 19, 10 A.M. – 2 P.M.

by Melissa Chotiner

GreatOutdoorsFest_smSILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, announces that Little Bennett Campground will host the Great Outdoors Festival on July 19, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. This free family event will feature live music, hayrides, hikes, contests and giveaways, as well as information and demonstrations from various outdoor activity, nature and conservation groups.

 

“Little Bennett is a tucked-away treasure in the midst of this busy metropolitan region. A lot of people don’t even know it’s here! The Great Outdoors Festival is a great way for us to show off the campground and give folks a fun day of things to do, see and discover in the great outdoors,” said Andy Simmons, Little Bennett Campground Technician.

 

Activities planned for the event include:

 

  • Free Hayrides
  • Nature Exploration Hike
  • Mountain Biking Skills Mini-Clinic and Bike Inspection with the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (M.O.R.E.)
  • Beginning Orienteering Course Run with Quantico Orienteering
  • Campfire Building Demonstrations (and s’mores)
  • Pitch-a-Tent Contest
  • Mid-Atlantic D.O.G.S Search and Rescue Demonstration
  • Bluebird Box Building Demo with Maryland Bluebird Society
  • Fly Fishing Demo with Seneca Valley Trout Unlimited

 

Regional organizations participating in the Great Outdoors Festival include: The American Chestnut Foundation- Maryland Chapter, Clarksburg Historical Society, Conservation Montgomery, The Flower Hill String Band, Friends of Black Hill Nature Programs, Go Ape (Rock Creek Regional Park), Maryland Bluebird Society, Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (M.O.R.E.), Mid-Atlantic D.O.G.S Search and Rescue, MonarchWatch, Montgomery County Animal Response Team, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Quantico Orienteering Club, River and Trail Outfitters and Seneca Valley Trout Unlimited.

 

Little Bennett Campground is located inside Little Bennett Regional Park and features 91 wooded campsites and 20 miles of trails. The campground is situated just 30 miles north of Washington, D.C. and 50 miles west of Baltimore, MD.

 

For complete information on the event and a Little Bennett map, visit www.MontgomeryParks.org/GreatOutdoors or www.LittleBennettCampground.com.

 

The Great Outdoors Festival will take place at Little Bennett Campground at 23701 Frederick Road, Clarksburg, MD 20871.

 

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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