The ULI Washington Technical Assistance Panel will help shape plans for Rock Spring and White Flint 2 areas by suggesting ways of revitalizing their office parks
Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is partnering with the Washington, DC chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to hold a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) from Tuesday, December 1 through Wednesday, December 2, 2015. The invitation-only event, titled “What’s Next for the Rock Spring Office Park and the Executive Boulevard Area in White Flint,” will be held at 6110 Executive Boulevard in Rockville.
The workshop will include site visits, roundtable discussions and presentations from a team of ULI experts, who will suggest ways of making two office parks in North Bethesda more economically competitive and vibrant.
The North Bethesda office districts are located less than two miles apart in the Rock Spring and Executive Boulevard areas. They are now being studied by the Planning Department as part of ongoing master planning efforts. The Rock Spring Master Plan and White Flint 2 Sector Plan will recommend new land uses and zoning, along with concepts for public facilities, open spaces and transportation.
The challenge set before the ULI experts is the high vacancy rate in these County office parks. The Rock Spring office park has a vacancy rate of nearly 22 percent and the Executive Boulevard office park within the White Flint 2 area has a vacancy rate of almost 33 percent. Each office park contains three completely empty buildings. A major tenant in Rock Spring, Marriott International, has announced tentative plans to relocate to a more walkable, transit-served and mixed-use setting.
The Planning Department submitted an application to ULI in October 2015 to hold the Technical Assistance Panel. The panel will be run by the local ULI chapter to address land use issues that require local knowledge to resolve.
The two-day workshop will end with a presentation of findings that will be posted to the White Flint 2 and Rock Spring plan webpages. A final report will be produced by ULI within three months of concluding the TAP and made available to the public.
The new Rock Spring Master Plan and White Flint 2 Sector Plan will guide and encourage the transformation of the office parks, and recommend facilities and policies needed to support this change.
For more information about the Rock Spring Master Plan, go to: http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/rockspring
For more information about the White Flint 2 Sector Plan, go to: http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/wf2
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. The Department comprises 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 the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Founded in 1936, the institute now has more than 38,000 members worldwide representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines, working in private enterprise and public service. ULI Washington works to advance the mission of ULI in the greater Washington metropolitan area. With just under 2,000 members, ULI Washington is one of the largest district councils in the world.
During this Thanksgiving season, the Montgomery County Planning Department is grateful for:
-Continued support of the Purple Line light rail system in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.
-Applying the new Zoning Ordinance, enacted in 2014, to new development across the County.
-The newly launched Countywide Bicycle Master Plan effort to create safer, more up-to-date cycling paths and facilities.
-Updating the Subdivision Staging Policy to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and roads, are adequate for County growth.
-Our first Planning Department Design Excellence Award competition to encourage high quality architecture in the County by honoring projects like the Silver Spring Civic Building, which won our top award.
-Seeking to preserve affordable housing in the County.
-Approval of funding for a geothermal heating and cooling system in our future Wheaton headquarters to help ensure it is the first LEED-Platinum-certified public building in the County.
-Our successful 2015 Winter Speakers Series, “A Once and Future County: Lessons on How Planning Politics Shaped Montgomery County,” that was hosted by Royce Hanson, former chairman of the Planning Board.
-The continuing dedication of Montgomery County residents, businesses, consultants and developers in working to keep our neighborhoods vibrant.
Community open house will focus on goals of Damascus Master Plan and pending applications for new development in the area
Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is co-hosting a community meeting on Monday, November 30, 2015 with the Up-County Regional Services Center to discuss pending development applications in Damascus and their relationship to the Damascus Master Plan. The event will be held at the Baker Middle School cafeteria (25400 Oak Drive, Damascus, MD) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. RSVPs are not required.
Before the meeting, planning staff will be available to answer questions from 6 to 7 p.m. The first presentation will provide an overview of the Damascus Master Plan, followed by details of pending development applications for the Woodfield Commons apartment complex and the townhouses and detached homes of the Armstrong property. The event will conclude with a question-and-answer session.
Learn more about the highlights of the Damascus Master Plan.
Review the Damascus Master Plan web page.
Background on the Damascus Master Plan
Approved and adopted in 2006, the Damascus Master Plan aims to enhance the Town Center as the heart of the community. Major recommendations of this Plan focus on:
Land Use and Zoning
This Plan supports a moderate level of residential growth, strengthening the potential for multi-family residential and mixed-use development in the Town Center. Mixed-use and residential developments are encouraged in the Town Center, and closely spaced, cluster development is preferred in the transitional areas immediately beyond the Town Center. In addition, this Plan supports the continuing viability of major institutional uses, such as churches and schools.
The recommended mixed-use zoning emphasizes proportion, design and architectural context. Commercial uses concentrated along Main Street and at major downtown intersections will create opportunities for residential development that will support retail and service businesses in the core. Transfer of development rights from the Agricultural Reserve may allow some added residential density. Guidelines for future development and redevelopment are designed to improve mobility and connectivity along Main Street and enhance community open space.
Cluster designs, such as townhouses, are encouraged on properties immediately adjacent to the Town Center. These designs allow for additional growth and will establish a strong edge between the town and rural areas. Most growth potential is tied to receiving areas for transferable development rights. The Plan recommends the potential to transfer development from the rural area to the Rural Neighborhood Cluster (RNC) zone.
The Plan supports the existing Agricultural Reserve (AR) zone with adjustments for rural village centers. Guidelines are provided for development in the AR zone for protecting rural vistas and guiding subdivision design. The Plan recommends the Rural Village Center Overlay Zone to protect and maintain the existing scale of development through appropriate types of uses and limited levels of intensity.
For more information about the Damascus Master Plan, go to: http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/community/damascus/master_plans/2006/
Connect with the Montgomery Planning Department:
Fred Boyd at tel. 301-495-4654 or Fred.Boyd@montgomeryplanning.org
Richard Weaver at tel. 301-495.4544 or Richard.Weaver@montgomeryplanning.org
New digital tool allows residents and businesses to learn about new development projects and promote their communities in the County
Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has helped the Office of the County Executive launch a new online tool in partnership with the Montgomery Business Development Corporation for tracking the progress of development in the County. Called the Development Database, this digital resource builds on existing digital information about planned and projects under construction. Its introduction was announced at a press conference held on Monday, November 23 in the County’s Executive’s Conference Room in Rockville.
“Montgomery County has made tremendous investments in making our community more attractive, walkable and vibrant, even during the worst economic downturn,” said County Executive Ike Leggett, “because quality of place is essential to attracting businesses and talent.”
The web-based portal allows users to visually explore proposed, approved, under construction and recently completed development projects in Montgomery County. The Database lets residents see what is planned in their communities and enables businesses to easily gather information about development in the pipeline to help with investment decisions.
“This tool represents a collaborative effort to promote development in the County and draw attention to the new, sustainable designs being built in our communities,” said Casey Anderson, Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board. “It provides an easy, accessible way to understand the quality of growth in the County.”
County officials can use the tool to promote the diversity and robustness of Montgomery’s real estate market. This mapping tool consolidates information from multiple County data sources and provides user-friendly descriptions, as well as photographs of the projects. As a “living” resource, the database will be continuously updated as new projects are proposed, approved and built.
“Supporting economic development efforts in the County is a priority for the Planning Department,” said Planning Director Gwen Wright. “This Development Database tool is an example of our commitment to make doing business in the County as user-friendly and transparent as possible. It is exciting that we were able to collaborate with our County partners to further this goal.”
“The Development Database is an innovative tool that our business community can utilize to gather current, relevant and data-driven information concerning significant real estate development projects in Montgomery County. Additionally, the Database is a great marketing tool to attract prospective developers and corporations considering investment in our community,” said Robby Brewer, Chair of the Montgomery Business Development Corporation.
The new database can be accessed at montgomerybusiness.org/developmentdatabase. It complements the Planning Department’s digital Development Activity Information Center (DAIC), launched in 2005. DAIC, already an indispensable tool, provides the public a reivew timeline and document access related to the latest development projects. Now, with the enhanced Development Database, the public will have access to project narratives and photos, providing a more user-friendly experience.
The new Development Database enhances DAIC by providing more descriptive information about future projects. The database makes it easier to track construction projects in the pipeline and understand the extent of development throughout the County.
Revisions will affect the Transportation Policy Area Review and Local Area Transportation Review governing traffic congestion
Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is updating the Subdivision Staging Policy (formerly called Growth Policy) for review and approval by the County Council in fall 2016. The intent of the Subdivision Staging Policy is to ensure that public facilities, particularly schools and roads, are adequate to meet the needs of new development.
A public forum addressing the policy update was held on Monday, October 19, 2015 at the Montgomery County Planning Department. Planners provided an overview of the Subdivision Staging Policy and answered questions about infrastructure and growth, particularly about school capacity.
Next Steps in Updating Subdivision Staging Policy
Planners will make a presentation to the Planning Board on December 3, 2015 about updates related to the Transportation Policy Area Review (TPAR) process and trip generation rates used in support of Local Area Transportation Review (LATR). TPAR is used to determine adequacy of roadways and transit from a policy area-wide perspective. LATR is used to determine the adequacy of roadway intersections located in the vicinity of proposed new development.
In addition, the potential for the development of additional “pro-rata share” districts in the County (such as already exists in White Flint and is being developed in White Oak) will be discussed. In “pro-rata share” districts, TPAR and LATR are replaced by a district-wide traffic mitigation payment system.
In January 2016, planners will hold an evening community meeting focused on the effect of growth on public schools. The event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. in the auditorium of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring). The date will be announced in December.
Background on Subdivision Staging Policy
Planning staff is researching new ideas in transportation and school capacity planning in preparation for revising the Subdivision Staging Policy, which will first be presented to the Planning Board in May 2016 for comment. This policy, which is reexamined every four years, includes criteria and guidance for the administration of the County’s Adequate Public Facility Ordinance (APFO), which seeks to ensure that the timing of private development is linked to the availability of public infrastructure.
In the past, the APFO was designed to ensure that road and school capacity – as well as water and sewer and other infrastructure –kept pace with growth. As new areas of the County were developed, infrastructure to support new homes and businesses was needed.
Today, much of the County has been developed. Growth is primarily occurring through infill development and redevelopment. In addition, homes are turning over in many of the County’s established neighborhoods. This type of growth creates pressure on transportation systems and school facilities; however, the current tools used to evaluate the impact of such growth may not be adequate to assess these changing growth patterns and are being examined for their effectiveness.
Sign up to receive the Subdivision Staging Policy e-newsletter.
Planners explained zoning classifications, proposed housing’s effect on schools and transportation, community character and other issues related to Sector Plan
Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, held a meeting on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at the Gwendolyn Coffield Community Center (2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, MD) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to explain key concepts for the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan.
About 50 attendees listened to the planners’ presentation about topics of concern, including the following:
-Urban Road Code clarifications.
-Total number of residential units and their effect on local schools and transportation.
-Zoning classifications: Commercial Residential Neighborhood versus Commercial Residential Town zones.
-Community benefits of land swaps with the Montgomery County Parks Department.
-Preserving community character.
-Language used in the Draft Plan to explain goals.
For more details, consult the presentation online.
Planners will present the Working Draft of the Plan to the Planning Board on December 17, 2015. A public hearing for the Plan will be scheduled in February 2016. Learn about the progress of the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan and how to get involved with shaping the future of this community.
Recent progress of master plan follows community meetings held in September and October 2015
SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is making progress on the Bicycle Master Plan for the County through several initiatives.
On Thursday, November 19, the Planning Board approved the 21-member Bicycle Master Plan Community Advisory Group, which will advise Planning staff as the Master Plan develops. The group consists of 13 members from cycling and other organizations, and eight community members who applied to be part of the effort. These County residents were chosen from 60 applicants. The 21 members of the group are listed on the Bicycle Master Plan website.
On Thursday, December 3, the Planning Board will review a proposal for the White Flint Separated Bike Lane Network. Due to the pace of development in White Flint, the Planning Department is advancing work in this area of the County so that meaningful opportunities to construct segments of an enhanced bicycling network can be pursued before the actual Bicycle Master Plan is approved in 2017. Separated bike lanes (also known as cycle tracks or protected bike lanes) encourage more people to bicycle because they provide separation from motor vehicles and pedestrians.
The public is invited to attend the Planning Board meeting (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD) on December 3 and submit comments to the Planning Board about issues related to the White Flint Separated Bike Lane Network.
Bicycle Master Plan Background
The Bicycle Master Plan will develop a low-stress bicycling network that encourages more people to ride a bike in Montgomery County. It will evaluate an array of bikeway types, including separated, buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as how to provide 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.
Community meetings held in five locations throughout the County during September and October 2015 allowed participants to record comments on how the bicycle connections in the County could be improved. Those comments were recorded on a digital feedback map and will be taken into account as work continues on the new Bicycle Master Plan. View the feedback map.
Planning Board wraps up 2015 agenda with work sessions devoted to plans for Bethesda, Westbard and Lyttonsville
SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce its calendar for December 2015. These events offer opportunities for the Planning Board members 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.
Montgomery County and Planning Department Events in December 2015
December 1 – Sign up to testify at the County Council’s public hearing for the Montgomery Village Master Plan. The hearing will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Hearing Room at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. Residents and property owners are invited to comment on the Master Plan’s draft recommendations for land use and zoning, transportation networks, parks and open spaces.
To testify, community members can sign up online at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council/calendar.html or call 240-777-7803. The deadline to sign up is 10 a.m. on December 1. Past PowerPoint presentations of the Plan goals and other materials from MV Matters meetings are posted on the Montgomery Village Master Plan webpage.
December 3 – Attend the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting to learn about separated bike lanes proposed for the White Flint area. Also on the agenda is a work session for the Westbard Sector Plan with discussion focused on the future of the Willett Branch stream and open spaces in the area. Planners will also make a presentation to the Planning Board about updates related to the Transportation Policy Area Review (TPAR) process and trip generation rates used in support of Local Area Transportation Review (LATR). TPAR is used to determine adequacy of roadways and transit from a policy area-wide perspective. LATR is used to determine the adequacy of roadway intersections located in the vicinity of proposed new development.
December 9 – Attend the community meeting for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan to discuss parks and open spaces in the area. The session will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville). RSVP to attend the meeting.
December 14 – Attend the community meeting for the Rock Spring Master Plan to learn about future development of this office park in Bethesda. The planner-led event will be held at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda) from 7 to 9 p.m. RSVP to attend the meeting.
December 15 – This Tuesday meeting of the Planning Board will be devoted to a work session on the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan.
December 15 – Attend a community meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus, (Academic and Research Building 9601 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD) to learn about the latest bicycle and pedestrian planning activities in the Life Sciences Center area. Staff will provide an update on the Life Sciences Center separated bike lane network related to the Bicycle Master Plan, as well as the Life Sciences Center Loop Trail design guidelines. RSVPs to attend the session are encouraged, but not required. RSVP for the December 15 meeting.
December 17 – The Planning Board’s last meeting of 2015 will include work sessions on the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan and Westbard Sector Plan. A full agenda for the meeting is posted on the Agendas & Staff Reports page.
Residents and property owners invited to sign up to comment on Plan
Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will present an overview of the Planning Board Draft of the Montgomery Village Master Plan to the County Council during the day on Tuesday, December 1, 2015. Following this brief presentation, the Council’s public hearing on the Plan will start at 7:30 p.m. on December 1 in the Council Hearing Room at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville.
At the hearing, residents and property owners are invited to comment on the Master Plan’s draft recommendations for land use and zoning, transportation networks, parks and open spaces.
To testify at the December 1 hearing, community members can sign up online or call 240-777-7803. The deadline to sign up is 10 a.m. on December 1.
Speakers should bring 15 copies of their testimony to the hearing and provide a written copy at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing; email to email@example.com.
Past PowerPoint presentations of the Plan goals and other materials from MV Matters meetings are posted on the Montgomery Village Master Plan webpage.
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 directed the Planning Department to further 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 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, because it wanted the zoning to be reassessed holistically before the prohibition on piecemeal rezoning of Town Sector property expired in 2015.
SILVER SPRING, MD—Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is seeking input from the public on an update to the Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan. The 1987 plan is being updated to accommodate the changing needs of the area and communities. People will have many opportunities throughout the process to share their ideas at in-person meetings, online and through hard copy mail.
Planners are exploring many aspects of the park for potential updates including:
- Improvements to the park entrances and connections within the park and to trail systems outside the park
- Possible expansion of the park to add more features such as rectangular athletic fields
- Incorporating ways to share the story of the park’s history and natural resources
- Improvements to natural resources
“We are excited to begin the process to update this master plan for one of our most popular parks,” said Rachel Newhouse, Park Planner for Montgomery Parks Park Planning and Stewardship Division. “We look forward to hearing from the public to create a plan that balances park recreation and stewardship, providing visitors a variety of recreational and educational opportunities.”
Planners are available to attend community meetings to share more information about the process. The public may also submit suggestions and questions via email, online and hard copy mail. Please see below contact information:
Rachel Newhouse: Rachel.Newhouse@montgomeryparks.org, 301-650-4368
Dominic Quattrocchi: Dominic.Quattrocchi@montgomeryparks.org 301-650-4361
Attention: Rachel Newhouse or Dominic Quattrocchi
9500 Brunett Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20901
For more information please visit www.ParkPlanning.org
About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 37,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 417 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.