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Jan 23 15

Urban Design Experts Discuss Design Guidelines at Public Event on January 27

by Bridget Schwiesow

Urban Design Excellence logo

Public presentation at Silver Spring Civic Center will explore the creation and implementation of quality design guidelines for community development in Montgomery County

Silver Spring, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is consulting with nationally recognized urban design and planning expert Noré Winter to upgrade its design guidelines for master plans and review. This initiative is part of a broader effort to implement design excellence throughout the County.

Winter’s work will include a public presentation and discussion of the creation and implementation of effective design guidelines on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. The event will be held from 7-9 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Center (1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, Md.). The event will consist of a lecture given by Noré Winter and a discussion with urban design experts and the community about how to improve the County’s master plan design guidelines with the goal of achieving greater design excellence.

RSVP for the free community event on Tuesday, January 27 from 7-9 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building.

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

About Noré Winter:
President of Winter & Company in Boulder, Colorado, Noré Winter specializes in developing guidelines for communities with distinctive natural settings and traditional neighborhoods at the urban, suburban and rural levels. He has worked on projects in 48 states for both local governments and federal agencies, and from large cities to small private developments.

Winter is frequently a featured speaker at conferences sponsored by organizations such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Park Service and the American Planning Association. From 1992-1996, he served as Chairman of the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions.

“Noré Winter understands that design guidelines must be tailored to the specifics of place and region,” says Montgomery County Planning Department Director Gwen Wright. “His expertise will help us develop clearer and stronger guidelines that will foster a higher level of design excellence and a better public realm, while at the same time help communities, developers and different public agencies to better understand and implement design goals for our communities.”

About the Panelists:
Joining Winter in the discussion about design guidelines on January 27 will be the following experts:

John Carter is the Division 3 Chief at the Maryland–National Capital Park and Planning Commission where he has worked for more than 25 years. During his career, he has been involved in all phases of planning and urban design in the Planning Department, including work with the Bethesda, Friendship Heights and Silver Spring central business district plans, and recently with the Sandy Spring, Clarksburg and Germantown plans. Prior to joining the M-NCPPC, he was an associate with Perkins and Will Architects and Planners in Washington, DC. John has been a leading force in graphically oriented design guidelines in the Planning Department.

William Kirwan, AIA, LEED AP, is Principal of Muse Architects in Bethesda. In 2009, he was appointed to the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission and currently serves as its chair. Kirwan serves as an adjunct faculty member of the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland, and a member of the Washington Chapter/AIA Board of Directors as Director for Design Issues.

Karen Kumm Morris, RLA, FASLA, is an award-winning landscape architect and urban designer with extensive experience in land use planning, urban design, parks and streetscape designs. She formerly served on the Arlington Planning Commission in Virginia. During her career at the M-NCPPC, she worked on master plans for Bethesda and Shady Grove.

Jan 21 15

Bethesda Downtown Plan Concepts To Be Discussed at January 22 Happy Hour and January 29 Public Meeting

by Bridget Schwiesow

Bethesda logo

Planners seek community feedback on ideas for civic spaces, transportation options, building heights and environmental practices.

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, invites stakeholders and residents to learn more about the ongoing Bethesda Downtown Plan at a happy hour on January 22 and a public meeting on January 29.

Planners will discuss the latest developments in the Bethesda Downtown Plan at the informal happy hour that is being sponsored by SK&I Architectural Design Group (4600 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD) from 5 to 8:00 p.m. Anyone who wants to learn more about the plan and the planning process are welcome to attend. The staff will be happy to answer questions from the audience and look forward to a relaxed conversation about Bethesda’s future.

For more on the ideas being proposed, consult the slide presentation, Bethesda Downtown Plan Concepts: Planning Board Briefing 12.11.14, and watch the video of the presentation to the Planning Board.

A more formal public meeting will be held on Thursday, January 29, 2015 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814). This is a drop-in question and answer session for the community to learn about and weigh in on ideas presented at the Planning Board briefing on December 11, 2014.

RSVP for the meeting on Thursday, January 29.

The concepts proposed for the Bethesda Downtown Plan include:

-New civic gathering spaces and green amenities.
-Transportation options, including bike paths and Purple Line access.
-Pedestrian networks and street extensions.
-Proposed allowable building heights.
-Transitional areas next to residential neighborhoods.
-Focal areas of sustainability incorporating best environmental practices.

After the January public events, planners will complete the Staff Draft of the Bethesda Downtown Plan by April 2015. They will present the Staff Draft to the public later in the spring to receive more feedback and fine-tune the plan.

Questions, comments?
Email: bethesdadowntownplan@montgomeryplanning.org

Jan 21 15

New Zoning for Montgomery Village Discussed at January 12 Public Meeting

by Bridget Schwiesow

Montgomery Village vert  logo
Community residents and county planners discuss proposed zoning for residential properties during second session of Montgomery Village Matters series

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, held the second of its MV Matters community meetings to discuss details of the Montgomery Village Master Plan on Monday, January 12, from 7-9 p.m. at the Watkins Mill High School cafeteria (10301 Apple Ridge Road, Gaithersburg, MD). The purpose of the meeting was to explain that the existing Town Sector Zone would not be used in the new plan but that the new zoning categories would closely resemble what is in place now.  Discussion focused only on the zoning being proposed for residential properties.

At the start of the meeting, Montgomery County planning staff explained basic information about what zoning is, why zoning is used, the standards and uses included in zoning districts, and what zoning does or does not do. Participants then proceeded to specific breakout groups to discuss the proposed zoning for single family homes, townhouses and multi-family dwellings in Montgomery Village with staff.  Fact sheets about the zoning details and maps showing the proposed zones were made available. Staff answered questions and noted concerns and items for follow-up.

View the MV Matters PowerPoint presentation from the January 12 meeting.

Discussion about the new zoning in Montgomery Village will continue at the next MV Matters meeting on Monday, January 26 from 7-9 p.m. at the Watkins Mill High School cafeteria (10301 Apple Ridge Road, Gaithersburg, MD). The focus will be on the commercial centers in the Village.  County planning staff will provide an overview of the centers and will ask participants to comment on those areas they would like to see revitalized and to share their concerns and suggestions regarding these properties.

At a community meeting on Monday, February 9, the Montgomery Village property that was formerly used as a golf course will be discussed, as well as strategies for retaining and preserving open spaces in the community.

What is MV Matters All About?
MVMatters is a series of outreach events meant to engage the community in the Montgomery Village Master Plan. Village residents are invited to learn about specific subject topics, such as urban design, land use, parks, environment and transportation at the sessions. Through the meetings, planners have received feedback from residents on what they view as their top priorities for the village. For more information on the Scope of Work for the Montgomery Village Mater Plan, go to www.montgomeryplanningboard.org/meetings_archive/

Stay Connected:
Sign up: for the Montgomery Village Master Plan eNewsletter
Call:
the MVPlan Hotline for updates on upcoming planning events: 301-495-4723
Learn More: www.montgomeryplanning.org/mvp
Use: #MVPlan

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 properties to be rezoned 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 12 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.

Jan 20 15

Community Meeting on January 21 Provides Opportunity for Feedback on Concepts for Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan

by Bridget Schwiesow

Brand Only

Planners seek suggestions from local residents and business owners on proposed land use, design, connections s and potential economic development for Lyttonsville

Silver Spring, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is inviting interested residents and business owners to a meeting on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at the Gwendolyn Coffield Community Center (2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, MD) from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

At this event, county planners will present the newest concepts for the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan and the results of a recent economic development study of the area. This meeting is an opportunity for the public to comment on the concept framework recommendations to see if any changes should be made before the Montgomery County Planning Board is briefed in April 2015.

To learn more about the progress on the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan, view these videos below:

– The on-demand video recording of the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan Visioning Workshop from September 29.
-The GreaterLP recap video from the July 15 community workshop.
-Check out this video segment with planners Erin Banks and Melissa Williams and learn how to get involved with the future of shaping the #greaterLP area.
-Watch the “GreaterLP Needs You” short promotional video.

Learn about the progress of the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan and how to get involved with shaping the future of this community.

Jan 20 15

Update: Montgomery Council to Hold Public Hearing on Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22

by Bridget Schwiesow

The Public Hearing Was Originally Scheduled for Tuesday, January 20; Sign Ups to Testify to be Taken Until 10 a.m. on Hearing Day

The Montgomery County Council at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in Rockville will hold a public hearing on the proposed Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan. The plan contains recommendations that expand in greater detail the 1998 plan concept for Sandy Spring as a rural village center and covers the Sandy Spring Village sections of the 1998 plan.

The hearing, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 20, will be held in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.

The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM-Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed here.

Residents who want to testify at the hearing must sign up by 10 a.m. on the day of the hearing. To sign up, call 240-777-7803.

The proposed revised plan provides recommendations for land use, zoning, environment, and design while considering its rural village character, mix of land uses, connections, street character, and open space.

The Montgomery County Planning Board’s Draft Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan can be viewed here.

The Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee is tentatively scheduled to review the Sandy Spring Plan on Feb. 2.

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

Learn more about the Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan and how to get involved:

Jan 16 15

County Councilmember Hans Riemer Presents Outcomes of Silver Spring Placemaking Workshops to Planning Board

by Bridget Schwiesow

Silver Spring and Placemaking logo without Partnership tag

Creative strategies discussed for improving Transit Center civic space, Ripley District and Metro Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring

Silver Spring, MD – At its latest meeting, the Montgomery County  Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission  (M-NCPPC), learned about the ideas generated at three Silver Spring Placemaking Workshops held in October and November 2014. County Councilmember Hans Riemer, who led the public placemaking effort, opened the presentation to the Board along with Parks and Planning staff and representatives of the Silver Spring Urban District on Thursday, January 15. The purpose of the workshops was to enhance the identity of the Downtown Silver Spring area and improve opportunities in key locations, while building on the 2000 Silver Spring Sector Plan.

“The whole process was fantastic and we had such a positive reaction from the community,” said Riemer. “Now we want to make sure the workshops contribute to meaningful change in Downtown Silver Spring.”

Councilmember Tom Hucker, whose Council district includes Silver Spring, said “I was very excited to participate in the Placemaking series. We identified some great ideas to enhance Silver Spring and I look forward to seeing them realized.”

Learn more about the Silver Spring Placemaking project.

What is placemaking?
This approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces involves listening to the people who live, work and play in a particular area about their needs and aspirations. The information from the community is then used to create a common vision for a specific place.

The Silver Spring Placemaking Workshops were initiated by Councilmember Riemer in collaboration with the Montgomery County Planning and Parks Departments, and the Silver Spring Urban District. County planners joined Riemer, community residents and other participants to explore the brainstorming sessions and brought in creative ways of enhancing three downtown locations.

Three workshops for three places
The first workshop, held at the Planning Department’s headquarters on October 15, explored the creation of civic space in the vicinity of the Transit Center.  Enhancements to Gene Lynch Urban Park and ways to improve the pedestrian experience from the Transit Center to Downtown Silver Spring via Wayne Avenue were examined, along with looking for temporary green spaces and bike service facilities in this location.

The second workshop, held at the Denizens Brewing Company on October 29, focused on the urban character of the Ripley District and enhancing pedestrian experiences in the area to heighten community identity.

The third workshop at the Silver Spring Civic Building on November 5 examined the areas immediately surrounding the proposed Purple Line station in Downtown Silver Spring that are slated for high-density development. Participants weighed design options, including pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, surrounding the Metro Plaza site (located on the northeast corner of East-West Highway and Colesville Road), a prominent gateway to Downtown Silver Spring from the District of Columbia. Ways to improve  the pedestrian connectivity from the Transit Center to South Silver Spring and the Blairs was also studied.

Plan to implement workshop concepts
As part of the January 15 presentation to the Planning Board, the Silver Spring Placemaking team recommended specific improvements to the three areas as a result of the workshops. These action items range from enhanced crosswalks, clearer signage and new bike lanes to outdoor movies, public art and food trucks. For each recommendation, the team suggested a “champion” was needed including public agencies and corporate sponsors, to implement the change.

“One of the reasons we held the workshops was to enhance the Silver Spring Master Plan so we have a head start when that master planning effort comes back around for updating,” says Robert Kronenberg, the Planning Department’s Chief of Area 1, who helped organize the events. “The Silver Spring Placemaking Workshops are the first of many we will be doing in the County. They set the stage of what is to come.”

Jan 15 15

Proposed Changes to Subdivision Regulations Will Be Discussed at January 21 Public Meeting

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Community invited to give feedback on first draft of comprehensive rewrite of Chapter 50 of the Montgomery County code

Silver Spring, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, invites community members and developers to discuss the initial draft of the newly revised Subdivision Regulations at a meeting on Wednesday, January 21 from 7-9 p.m. at the Planning Department Headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Md.). The proposed changes to Chapter 50 of the current Montgomery County Code which governs the subdivision of land in the county were released to the public in December 2014.

View the draft of the Subdivision Regulations Amendment.

This draft represents the most comprehensive rewrite of the Subdivision Regulations in 50 years and was undertaken at the direction of the Montgomery County Council. It responds to the county’s newly released Zoning Ordinance and seeks to clarify and streamline the review and approvals process for new subdivisions.

The Subdivision Regulations include the application requirements for subdividing property, as well as requirements for adequate public facilities and improvements to lots based on the impact of subdivision.

Highlights of the rewrite include:
-A more organized, user-friendly document.
-A simplified process for the review of certain types of subdivision plans that do not have to be presented to the Planning Board.
-Review times for subdivision applications that conform to the Zoning Ordinance time frame of 120 days.
-A 90-day time limit for the review of a record plat application.

These key changes will be discussed at the January 21 meeting and additional feedback from the public will be solicited throughout the comment period.  In April, the draft of the Subdivision Regulations will be presented to the Planning Board, followed by a public hearing and work sessions on further revisions. In May, the regulations will be submitted to the Montgomery County Council and additional public hearings and work sessions will be scheduled as needed before the Council votes on the new document.

Give feedback on the draft of the Subdivision Regulations Amendment. Email at: subdivisionregs@montgomeryplanning.org

Learn more about the Subdivision Regulations Rewrite on the Planning Department website.

For questions or more information, contact Cathy Conlon, Supervisor of Development Applications and Regulatory Coordination (DARC) Catherine.conlon@montgomeryplanning.org
phone: 301.495.4542
fax: 301.495.1306

Purpose of Chapter 50 (Subdivision Regulations) of the Montgomery County Code:
Chapter 50 provides for the legal division and subsequent transfer of land. It requires the coordination of new transportation facilities with other existing and planned facilities, a determination of adequate public facilities, and land for public use. The intent of this Chapter is to protect natural resources and sensitive environmental features; promote the health, safety, and welfare of the present and future inhabitants of the Maryland-Washington Regional District within Montgomery County under the General Plan; and any other purpose enumerated in the Land Use Article.

Jan 14 15

February 11 Speakers Event Examines Evolution of Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Panelists to discuss current challenges to working farms and landscapes in preserved rural area

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is hosting the fourth session in its Winter Speakers Series on Wednesday, February 11 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Planning Department Headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md.). The series is called “A Once and Future County: Lessons on How Planning Politics Shaped Montgomery County and is hosted by Royce Hanson, former chairman of the County’s Planning Board.

The February 11 session, “Creating and Sustaining the County’s Agricultural Reserve,” traces the 35-year effort to protect the rural area and the working farms of upper Montgomery County. The discussion will focus on the technical planning, legal and political challenges that had to be overcome to establish the Agricultural Reserve in 1980. Current efforts to sustain the Reserve’s working farms and preserve the integrity of the landscape will also be examined.

“Assessing the extent to which the Agricultural Reserve serves the public interest requires a critical examination of its role and consequences,” says Hanson. “The Reserve has sustained a working landscape for more than three decades, substantially slowing but not fully stopping conversion of farmland to residential subdivisions. It facilitated–some might say, imposed–a more compact pattern of growth and development in Montgomery County compared to other areas in the Washington metropolitan region.”

Joining Hanson at the February 11 event to discuss the Agricultural Reserve will be the following experts:

Tom Hartsock taught and conducted applied agricultural research from 1979 to 2007 at the University of Maryland, where he oversaw the operation of several university livestock facilities and served as the director of the Institute of Applied Agriculture. Hartsock helped revitalize the university’s equine program and serves as an advisor for the ongoing Campus Farm renewal project. He serves on the board of directors of the Maryland Pork Producers Association, Montgomery County Farm Bureau and served on the Maryland Agricultural Commission for six years, two of them as Chair. Tom currently owns and operates Porky Pines Farm in Clarksburg, Maryland.

Chuck Schuster is the University of Maryland’s Commercial Horticulture Extension Educator in Montgomery County. He works with various agricultural operations in the county and region, including pick-your-own fruit and vegetable farmers, greenhouses, nurseries, arborists and landscapers.  Prior to his current work, Schuster taught high school vocational agriculture in Westminster, Maryland, and farmed for 20 years, raising cattle, field crops and vegetables.

Caroline Taylor is the Executive Director of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance (MCA) and has worked on environmental and agricultural issues for most of her professional career. After gaining experience in environmental litigation at the law firm of Covington and Burling, she worked at the National Wildlife Federation before joining the MCA in 2009. Under her leadership, the nonprofit has garnered accolades for its successful efforts in assisting farmers and connecting the various stakeholders of the region’s food system.

Details:
- The 90-minute event is free to the public and will be streamed online live. It will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Planning Department headquarters at 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Md.

– The next and final session on March 11, 2015, “Hunting the Snark: Growth Policy and the Public Interest,” will be held at the same place and time. Speakers will evaluate the 40-year evolution of county growth policy on development patterns. They will discuss the institutional structure of planning in Montgomery County for effective and democratically accountable land use policy.

– Watch the video from the previous Winter Speakers Series event on January 14 that focused on “Trials and Errors of Corridor Cities Planning.”

– Learn more about the Once and Future County Speakers Series.

– Use hashtag: #onceandfuturecounty

Jan 12 15

Evolution of Montgomery County Corridor Cities Will Be Examined at Speaker Series Event on January 14

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Planners will discuss the challenges associated with the growth of communities near Interstate 270, including Rockville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, and Clarksburg.

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department is hosting the third session in its Winter Speakers Series on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. at the Planning Department Headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md.). This panel discussion, “Trials and Errors of Corridor Cities Planning,” focuses on the planning politics and development in the Rockville-Gaithersburg area; the challenges of a new town in Germantown; and the planning and development of Clarksburg.

The January 14 event is part of the speaker series called “A Once and Future County: Lessons on How Planning Politics Shaped Montgomery County and is hosted by Royce Hanson, former chairman of the County’s Planning Board.

“Planning policy in Montgomery County directed growth to occur in four new cities built along the Interstate-270/MD 355 transportation corridor in order to preserve ‘wedges’ of low-density housing and open space,” says Hanson. “The next session will examine the past challenges of developing those new towns as well as current policies aimed at finishing the task of turning them into livable and pleasant communities.”

View the video from the December 10 Session 2 event focused on “Retrofitting the Suburbs.”

A question-and-answer session will conclude the panel discussion among the following experts:

Robert Brewer is a land use and zoning attorney at Lerch Early & Brewer in Bethesda. He specializes in orchestrating major development projects through applications, rezoning, special exceptions, site plans and subdivisions. Mr. Brewer has been heavily involved in key master planning projects within Montgomery County, representing developers working in White Flint, downtown Silver Spring, Germantown and other areas. He is an active leader in many of the county’s community and cultural organizations, including the Montgomery Business Development Corporation, Strathmore Hall Foundation and Bethesda Kiwanis Club.

Marlene Michaelson is a Senior Legislative Analyst with the Montgomery County Council, responsible for advising the Council on various land use plans and policies. She also oversees the work program and budget for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and its parks issues.  For 26 years, Ms. Michaelson has been the lead staff person advising the Council on master plans, including those involving corridor cities.  She has also represented the Council on a number of state and regional task forces and committees.  Prior to working for the Council Ms. Michaelson managed a consulting practice related to the financing of alternative energy projects for a Washington D.C., law firm.

Jennifer Russel is a principal and a team leader of the Planning Studio for Rodgers Consulting, Inc. a planning and engineering firm in Germantown Maryland. With more than 30 years of experience in the public sector, Ms. Russel has overseen land use and development review and approvals, and master planning activities in Montgomery County. She is well versed in ordinance revision, plan review, Smart Growth policies and New Urbanism. As Director of Planning and Code Administration for the City of Gaithersburg for 26 years, she was instrumental in the review, development and approval of Kentlands, one of the nation’s first neo-traditional neighborhoods, as well as its neighboring community Lakelands.

The 90-minute “Trials and Errors of Corridor Cities Planning” event is free to the public and will be streamed online live. It will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Planning Department headquarters at 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Md.

The next session, “Creating and Sustaining the County’s Agricultural Reserve,” will trace the 30-year effort to protect the rural landscape and the working farms of upper Montgomery County. It will be held on February 11 at the same time and place as the January event.

Learn more about the Once and Future County Speakers Series.
Use hashtag: #onceandfuturecounty

Jan 7 15

Urban Design and Planning Expert Noré Winter To Consult with Montgomery County Planning Department on Improving Master Plan Design Guidelines

by Bridget Schwiesow

Urban Design Excellence logo

Planners seek national perspective on creating higher and clearer standards for next generation of Montgomery County development

Silver Spring, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is consulting with nationally recognized urban design and planning expert Noré Winter to upgrade its design guidelines for master plans. This initiative is part of a broader effort to implement design excellence throughout our County. Winter’s work will culminate January 27 to 29 with a series of presentations about the guidelines to the Montgomery Planning Board, Planning staff and the public.

The community is invited to attend the public presentation and discussion on the creation and implementation of effective Design Guidelines at an evening event on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Center (1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, Md.). The event will consist of a lecture given by Noré Winter and a discussion with developers, planners, architects and the community about how to improve the County’s master plan design guidelines.

RSVP for the lecture and discussion on Tuesday, January 27 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Winter specializes in developing guidelines for communities with distinctive natural settings and traditional neighborhoods at the urban, suburban and rural levels. He is president of Winter & Company in Boulder, Colorado, and has worked on projects in 48 states for both local governments and federal agencies, and from large cities to small private developments.

Winter is frequently a featured speaker at conferences sponsored by organizations such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Park Service and American Planning Association. From 1992-1996, he served as Chairman of the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions.

“Noré Winter understands that design guidelines must be tailored to the specifics of place and region,” says Planning Department Director Gwen Wright. “His expertise will help us develop clearer and stronger guidelines that will foster a higher level of design excellence and a better public realm, while at the same time help communities, developers and different public agencies to better understand and implement design goals for our communities.”

The Planning Department is currently working to emphasize design excellence in all aspects of the planning being done throughout the County so as to assure that Montgomery County can be a showcase for the best in urban, suburban, and rural communities. The Department’s design excellence initiative includes efforts to incentivize and promote great design through a variety of new programs – including outreach and awards to the design community, education and discussion with stakeholders, and a refinement of some regulatory tools.

Improving the Planning Department’s design guidelines, which are developed with each new master plan, will help achieve this design excellence objective. Design guidelines that are a part of future area, sector and master plans for the County are a key component of communicating community vision and goals for implementation.