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May 28 15

Montgomery County Planning Department Announces Calendar of June Events

by Bridget Schwiesow

Calendar of Events

Montgomery County Planning Department Announces Calendar of June Events
Residents invited to get involved with special events and community meetings to discuss new plans for the County’s future

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce its calendar for June 2015. These events offer ways to engage with planners and Planning Board members, and help shape the future of communities within Montgomery County. Review the full list of events below and go online to www.montgomeryplanning.org for more details on projects and plans.

Stay connected to us online by following Montgomery Planning Department news and information on Twitter: @montgomeryplans and like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/montgomeryplanning.

Montgomery Planning June 2015 Events:

June 4 – Attend the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting to learn more about the future of specific places in your neighborhood. A full agenda for the meeting is posted on the Agendas & Staff Reports page.

June 6 – Learn about the future of bicycling in the County at the Second Great MoCo Bike Summit. Held from 10 am to noon at the Silver Spring Civic Center (1 Veterans Plaza), this annual event is organized by Councilmember Hans Riemer, with participation from the Washington Area Bicyclist Association,  Planning Department and the County’s Department of Transportation . Presentations include an overview of the new Bicycle Master Plan, aimed at improving bike lanes and facilities throughout the County.

June 7 – Enjoy children’s activities while learning about the latest County plans and projects at the Taste of Wheaton from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Grandview Avenue and Reedie Drive. Planners will be on hand to discuss the future M-NCPPC building and plaza that will be constructed in Wheaton, and other important projects at this annual food festival.

June 11 – Attend in person or tune into the live broadcast of the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting. Agendas, which are posted two weeks in advance, can be viewed on the Agendas & Staff Reports page.

June 12 - Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson will lead Planning and Park Department staff on a bicycle tour of Lyttonsville, Downtown Bethesda and Westbard. The two-wheeler route is intended to highlight current planning areas and bike needs in the County. The public is invited to join the tour, starting at 11 a.m. at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD).

June 17 –Contribute your ideas to White Flint 2, a new Sector Plan that will envision the most desirable land uses, transportation and public facilities for areas to the east, west and north of the previously planned White Flint district along Rockville Pike. This community open house, held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, North Bethesda, MD), will launch the new planning effort.

June 18 – Attend in person or tune into the live broadcast of the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting. Agendas, which are posted two weeks in advance, can be viewed on the Agendas & Staff Reports page.

June 24 – Sign up to testify at the Planning Board’s public hearing about the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD) from 2 to 5:30 p.m. and from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The hearing is taking place in Bethesda to make it more convenient for residents and business owners to participate. Spaces are limited, so the public is encouraged to call 301.495.4605 or register online to testify.

June 25 – Attend in person or tune into the live broadcast of the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting. Agendas, which are posted two weeks in advance, can be viewed on the Agendas & Staff Reports page.

May 27 15

Montgomery Parks Celebrates First Park in the County Certified for Sustainability; Park to be Dedicated to Former Parks Director Mary Bradford

by Melissa Chotiner

Park opening celebration will take place Saturday, June 6, 2015, 10:30 a.m. 
2001 Evans Parkway, Silver Spring, MD 20902

 SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will host a celebration on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park.

WHAT:          Community celebration and ribbon cutting including family-friendly activities and tours of the park

WHEN:          Saturday, June 6, 2015, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

*Rain date: Sunday, June 7, 2015, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. To check status of event in inclement weather please call: 301-765-8787 and listen for Sligo area

WHERE:        Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park, 2001 Evans Parkway, Silver Spring, MD 20902

 WHY:             Celebrate Montgomery Parks’ newest park and first one to be certified for sustainability practices.

Stream-After-5 22- New Bridge & FloodplainPlatground-After

Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park is Montgomery Parks’ newest park and the first pilot project in the county certified by the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™) Rating System and was awarded a three-star rating for sustainable site design, construction and maintenance. Sustainable landscapes significantly enhance the environment by:

  • Reducing water demand,
  • Filtering and reducing stormwater runoff,
  • Providing wildlife habitat,
  • Reducing energy consumption,
  • Improving air quality and human health and
  • Increasing outdoor recreation opportunities.

The park will be dedicated to Mary Bradford, former Director of Montgomery Parks. It was during Director Bradford’s tenure that the park was conceived and developed.

 

“Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park represents a significant achievement for Montgomery Parks, showcasing our mission of environmental stewardship while also fostering a special place for people to relax and recreate,” said Mike Riley, Director of Montgomery Parks. “It is with great pride that we dedicate this new park to former director Mary Bradford.”

The park has many unique features in addition to the environmental components, including interactive public artwork, connections to regional bikeway and public transit systems, an iconic pedestrian bridge and a paved wheel area that serves as an echo center for kids to play and explore their voices.

About Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park
Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park is 7.3 acres located in Silver Spring, Maryland. It features an informal playfield, open lawn areas, a playground, paved wheel area that serves as an echo center, two tennis courts, two half basketball courts, a picnic area and shade structure, loop walking trails, an iconic pedestrian bridge, contemplative seating areas, interactive public artwork, interpretive displays, connections to regional bikeway and public transit systems, natural meadow areas and shady woodland areas.

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org

 

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May 22 15

Planning Board Schedules June 24 Public Hearing for Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan

by Bridget Schwiesow

Bethesda Public Hearing Draft Cover

Public invited to testify on Public Hearing Draft at B-CC Regional Services Center from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, approved the Staff Draft as the Public Hearing Draft for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan at its meeting on Thursday, May 21. The Board’s public hearing about the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan is scheduled for Wednesday, June 24 at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, when the community is invited to comment on the Plan’s recommendations.

The community is invited to sign up to testify on the Bethesda Downtown Plan at the Public Hearing on Wednesday, June 24 from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m. and from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center located at 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814. Spaces are limited, so the public is encouraged to call 301.495.4605 or sign up to testify online http://www.montgomeryapps.org/planning_board/testify.asp

The public is also invited to submit online comments about the Bethesda Downtown Plan via email to bethesdadowntownplan@montgomeryplanning.org. These comments will become part of the public testimony and public record for the Plan.

In order to accommodate enough time for testimony, the Board approved the change in the normal Thursday Board meeting schedule for Wednesday, June 24, as well as for the public hearing to be held at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.

View the Bethesda Downtown Plan Public Hearing Draft.

View the May 21 Bethesda Downtown Plan Board presentation.

The new Plan builds on the success of Downtown Bethesda by offering ways to strengthen its centers of activity – Bethesda Row, Wisconsin Avenue corridor, Woodmont Triangle and other established and emerging districts – over the next 20 years. Among its recommendations are a high performance area that incentivizes more energy-efficient buildings, new parks, tree-lined streets and innovative storm water management. The priority of the plan is to make Bethesda into a truly sustainable downtown – economically, socially, and environmentally. Other goals of the plan focus on:

-A mix of housing options, including preservation of market-rate affordable apartments and new moderately priced dwelling units in exchange for development incentives.

-New and/or expanded civic greens at Veteran’s Park, Bethesda Farm Women’s Cooperative Market and Capital Crescent Trail.

-Economic competitiveness within the region based on new development, public amenities and proximity to transit, including Metrorail and proposed Purple Line light rail.

-Density averaging (a planning tool that allows square footage to be sent from one mixed-use site to another mixed-use site) to create or enlarge parks, protect significant community landmarks and retain affordable housing.

Work on the Staff Draft of the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan began in January 2014. Community participation was encouraged through public meetings and workshops, online surveys and happy hour events, which were intended to reach residents who don’t typically participate in the planning process.

The Plan serves as an amendment to the approved and adopted 1994 Bethesda Central Business District Sector Plan and the 2006 Woodmont Triangle Amendment to that Sector Plan.

After the Board’s public hearing in June, the plan will be revised through work sessions with the Planning Board during the summer and early Fall 2015 before being sent to the Council for additional worksessions and approval. Final Council action is anticipated in the spring of 2016.

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

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

May 20 15

Montgomery Parks 2015 Memorial Day Operating Schedule

by Melissa Chotiner

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

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

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

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

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

Closed Saturday, May 23 – Monday, May 25:

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

Closed Monday, May 25:

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

 

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About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org.

 

May 18 15

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

by Melissa Chotiner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org

 

 

Accessibility

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

 

 

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May 15 15

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

by Melissa Chotiner

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

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

Kensington Historic Buildings Community Meeting

DATE:             Wednesday, May 27, 2015

TIME:              7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org

 

 

 

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May 15 15

Planning Department Releases Staff Draft of Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan

by Bridget Schwiesow

bethesda cover

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

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

View the Bethesda Downtown Plan Staff Draft.

The new plan builds on the success of Downtown Bethesda by offering ways to strengthen its centers of activity – Bethesda Row, Wisconsin Avenue corridor, Woodmont Triangle and other established and emerging districts – over the next 20 years. Among its recommendations is a high performance area that incentivizes more energy-efficient buildings, new parks, tree-lined streets and innovative storm water management. The priority of the plan is to create a truly sustainable downtown. Other goals of the plan focus on:

-A mix of housing options, including preservation of market-rate affordable apartments and new moderately priced dwelling units in exchange for development incentives.

-New and/or expanded civic greens at Veteran’s Park, Bethesda Farm Women’s Cooperative Market and Capital Crescent Trail.

-Economic competitiveness within the region based on new development, public amenities and proximity to transit, including Metrorail and proposed Purple Line light rail.

-Density averaging (a planning tool that allows square footage to be sent from one mixed-use site to another mixed-use site) to create or enlarge parks, protect significant community landmarks and retain affordable housing.

Work on the Staff Draft of the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan began in January 2014. Community participation was encouraged through public meetings and workshops, online surveys and happy hour events, which were intended to reach residents who don’t typically participate in the planning process.

The Plan serves as an amendment to the approved and adopted 1994 Bethesda Central Business District Sector Plan and the 2006 Woodmont Triangle Amendment to that Sector Plan.

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

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

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

May 14 15

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

by Bridget Schwiesow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about the Bicycle Master Plan, contact:

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

Learn more about Bicycle Planning in Montgomery County.

May 14 15

Planning Department Launches New Security Improvements at Headquarters

by Bridget Schwiesow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 12 15

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

by Bridget Schwiesow

PreservationMonthProc15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grant guidelines and applications are available online. 

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

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

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

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