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May 4 16

Montgomery County Council Unanimously Approves Westbard Sector Plan at May 3 Meeting

by Bridget Schwiesow

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The plan recommends restoring natural features, revitalizing an aging strip shopping center and increasing affordable housing in the Westbard area

Silver Spring, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, participated in the County Council’s work session on the Westbard Sector Plan on Tuesday, May 3 and the Council voted 9 to 0 to approve the Sector Plan.

“This is a great step forward in ensuring a greener, more sustainable Westbard,” says Planning Director Gwen Wright. “The plan provides a blueprint for restoring the Willett Branch stream and providing more affordable housing, parks and a revitalized shopping center in keeping with the scale of the neighborhood.”

The latest version of the plan reflects revisions based on work sessions held with the County’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee and the full Council. These changes include:

– Maintaining the existing zoning and building heights of 35 to 40 feet along River Road.
-Allowing the potential for a floating zone to be requested for River Road properties currently occupied by the American Plant garden center, Roof Center and Talbert’s Ice and Beverage Service to allow future redevelopment of these sites.
-Increasing the affordable housing requirements for new optional method redevelopment projects within the entire planning area, from 12.5 percent moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs) to 15 percent MPDUs.
-Decreasing the floor area ratio (FAR) for proposed commercial development within the Westwood Shopping Center area from 1.25 FAR to .75 FAR.

This summer, the Planning Board will review a Sectional Map Amendment to establish the zoning of properties in the Westbard Sector Plan area.

Background on the Westbard Sector Plan
The Westbard Sector Plan covers an area of approximately 181 acres and was last updated in 1982, making it the oldest master plan in Montgomery County. The Plan builds on the assets of the community by offering ways to improve neighborhood retail and maintain the existing light industrial areas, while expanding housing options and recreational and open spaces over the next 20 years. It allows for redevelopment of the older retail centers and recommends the creation of new parks in the Sector Plan area, which does not have a single County park. Restoration of the Willett Branch stream would both improve water quality and provide a significant amenity for the residents of Westbard and surrounding communities.

Recommendations in the Westbard Sector Plan focus on:

-Encouraging more housing choices.
-Revitalizing older retail areas.
-Emphasizing low-scale development.
-Preserving local light industrial uses.
-Restoring the Willett Branch stream as a public amenity.
-Creating better access to the Capital Crescent Trail.
-Establishing new gathering spaces and parks.
-Enhancing walkability with sidewalks shaded by street trees.

Stay Connected
Sign up for the Westbard Sector Plan eNewsletter.

Apr 29 16

Makeover Montgomery 3 Conference Opens with Keynote Address at University of Maryland’s Architecture School on May 4

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Karen Chapple, a planning professor at University of California, Berkeley, will present strategies for equitable development during first conference event

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will launch the conference, Makeover Montgomery 3: Balancing Change in America’s Suburbs, with a keynote address from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4 at the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning (3835 Campus Drive, College Park, MD).

Speaker Karen Chapple, a professor of city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley, will discuss strategies for equitable smart growth. Professor Chapple specializes in housing, community and economic development. She is the author of the 2014 book Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions: Towards More Equitable Development.

In 2015, Chapple launched the Urban Displacement Project, a research portal examining patterns of residential, commercial and industrial displacement, as well as policy and planning solutions.  Her presentation will touch on the conference themes: Beyond Transit-Oriented Development, the Sharing Economy and Equity and Opportunity.

The Makeover Montgomery 3 conference is being organized through a partnership between the Montgomery County Planning Department and the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland.

On Thursday, May 5 and Friday, May 6 at the Silver Spring Civic Building, attendees will hear presentations focused on innovations and new policy tools and strategies that can help transform the suburbs, making them more exciting, equitable and attractive. Multiple session tracks are offered, showcasing presenters from the DC area and across the nation. Go online to review the complete agenda.

The online registration fee costs $50 through Tuesday, May 3, and then increases to $60 for registering onsite at the conference, if space is available. To register online, go to www.makeovermontgomery3.com

Plenary Speaker Will Discuss Design Principles of Livable Suburbs

The conference sessions will begin on Thursday, May 5 at the Silver Spring Civic Building (One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD) and continue on Friday, May 6 at the same location. Setting the stage for the sessions will be plenary speaker Stefanos Polyzoides of the Pasadena, California-based firm Moule and Polyzoides. A founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism, this architect and urbanist has been at the forefront of the anti-sprawl movement in advocating for compact, mixed-use and walkable suburbs.

Over the past three decades, Polyzoides and his wife Elizabeth Moule have designed civic buildings, historic preservation and commercial projects, housing and campus and urban plans. As advocates for sustainable development, they have produced a variety of exemplary green buildings for university and institutional clients.

Polyzoides is a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Southern California and has been a visiting professor at several leading architecture schools. He is the author of several books, including Los Angeles Courtyard Housing: A Typological Analysis.

Lunchtime Presentation Will Examine the Future of Driverless Vehicles

On Friday, May 6, the lunchtime presentation, “A Roadmap for the Future: Planning for Driverless Vehicles,” will examine how autonomous vehicles will become a reality within the next few decades to transform the infrastructure of cities and suburbs. The panelists will examine implications of self-driving cars for planning and real estate, and the potential impact of driverless vehicles on car ownership, transit, parking, roads, commuting patterns and development. Lunch will be provided to registrants.

Conference Sessions Organized Around Three Themes

The conference sessions will be held on Thursday, May 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, May 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building (One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD). Conference organizers are pleased to present an exciting lineup of regional and national experts to lead discussions on a variety of topics within the following tracks:

  • Beyond Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)
  • The Sharing Economy
  • Equity and Opportunity in the Suburbs

These themes address the challenges faced by planners and residents as they grapple with how to adapt to demographic shifts, changing housing preferences, and growing infrastructure costs in the suburbs– all while making communities more sustainable and equitable.

Conference sessions will address a variety of topics, including the impact of gentrification on neighborhoods, the role of public art in placemaking, shared housing for seniors, digital tools for civic engagement and others. This event will showcase ideas and opinions from some of the brightest planning minds in the country.

Review the full conference agenda, including speakers and topics.

Please visit www.makeovermontgomery3.com for more information.
Questions? Please contact Jason Sartori at jason@ipcllc.net.

MM3 Conference Details At-A-Glance:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 7 p.m. Keynote Address at the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Auditorium in College Park (3835 Campus Drive, College Park, MD).

Thursday, May 5, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, May 6, 2016, 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. sessions at the Silver Spring Civic Building (One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD).

Apr 28 16

Planning Department Participates in County Bicycle Events in May and June

by Bridget Schwiesow

Bicycle Master Plan

The Bicycle Master Plan team will participate in the Olney community bike ride, Metropolitan Branch Trail review, Bike to Work Day and Third Great MoCo Bicycle Summit

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is participating in several local cycling events this spring as staff continues to develop the Countywide Bicycle Master Plan.

On Saturday, May 7, the Bicycle Master Plan team will join Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and community residents on a bike ride from 1 to 2 p.m. around Olney, Maryland. The bicycle tour, which will depart promptly at 1 p.m. from the Olney Library (3500 Olney Laytonsville Road, Olney, MD), is open to the public, but several on-road segments may be uncomfortable for less experienced riders. Consult the Montgomery County Bicycle Stress Map for details. Following the tour, a discussion about the Bicycle Master Plan will be held at the Olney Bagel Bakery (3490 Olney Laytonsville Road) from 2 to 3 p.m.

On Thursday, May 19, 2016, Planning Department staff will lead the Planning Board in a review of the proposed Metropolitan Branch Trail. The date for this Planning Board discussion is tentative and may be changed. When the date is confirmed, the session will be posted on the Planning Board website at www.montgomeryplanningboard.org/agenda/.

The Montgomery County Planning Board welcomes your participation at this trail review. You may sign up online to testify at the meeting. Written comments must be submitted at least one full business day before a scheduled hearing (by 9 a.m. on the Wednesday morning before a Thursday hearing) and sent to Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson by email at mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org. They can also be sent by mail to the Montgomery County Planning Board (8787 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910) or via fax at (301) 495-1320.

On Friday, May 20, 2016, the Planning Department will participate in this year’s Bike to Work Day.  This regional event is organized by Commuter Connections, a division of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA).

Bicyclists are invited to join convoys led by experienced cyclists and commute to their work places. Pit stops throughout the County will offer refreshments and prizes. Members of the Planning Department will be at pit stops in Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Bethesda to discuss the Bicycle Master Plan.

On Saturday, June 18, the Planning Department’s transportation planner David Anspacher will join County Councilmember Hans Riemer at the Third Great MoCo Bicycle Summit. The morning event starts with a family-friendly group bike ride from 9 to 10 a.m., beginning at the intersection of the Bethesda Trolley Trail and Tuckerman Lane. The route proceeds through Rockville to the Council Office Building (100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD) where the presentations in the third floor hearing room run from 10 a.m. through noon. David Anspacher will speak about the update to the Bicycle Master Plan starting at 11:15 a.m.

About the Bicycle Master Plan

Launched in July 2015, the Bicycle Master Plan is focusing on developing a high-quality, low-stress network throughout Montgomery County that reflects the newest biking practices. Separated bike lanes, buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities, are being studied for specific locations. This current effort will consolidate all bicycle recommendations into a single plan for the first time since 1978.

The 21-member Bicycle Master Plan Community Advisory Group was appointed in 2015 to guide planners in developing the Plan. The group consists of 13 members from cycling and other organizations, and eight community members who applied to be part of the effort.

A draft of the Bicycle Master Plan is expected to be presented to the Planning Board in spring 2017.

Apr 22 16

Planning Department Announces Calendar of May 2016 Events

by Bridget Schwiesow

Calendar of Events

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce its May 2016 calendar of community meetings, work sessions and public events. These events offer opportunities for the Planning Board and Planning Department staff to discuss policies and engage with the public. 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 County Planning Department Events in May 2016

May 4-6 – The conference Makeover Montgomery 3: Balancing Change in the Suburbs will begin with a keynote speech starting at 7 p.m. on May 4 in the Auditorium at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland in College Park. Sessions on May 5 and May 6 will be held at the Silver Spring Civic Building and will address three themes: Beyond Transit-Oriented Development, the Sharing Economy and Equity and Opportunity in the suburbs. To register online and obtain more information, consult the MM3 website.

May 9 – The Planning Board will hold its first work session on the Working Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy at this meeting. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on additional agenda items.

May 12 – The second annual Design Excellence Award competition sponsored by the Montgomery County Planning Department opens with a call for entries. Developers, property owners and their design teams are invited to submit built projects that contribute to improving the quality of physical environments throughout the County. The selection of a winner will be made by an outside jury of accomplished professionals invited by the Planning Department. The winner will be recognized on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at an awards celebration at the Silver Spring Civic Building. Learn more about the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Design Excellence initiative.

May 12 – The Planning Board will hold its second work session on the Working Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy and a work session for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on additional agenda items.

May 16 – Attend a community meeting for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan at Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville, MD) from 7 to 9 p.m. to discuss the results of traffic modeling for the area.

May 18 – Starting at 7 p.m., the Bicycle Master Plan Community Advisory Group will hold a public meeting at the Planning Department (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD).

May 19 – The Planning Board will vote on approving the Public Hearing Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy at its meeting. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on additional agenda items.

May 20 – Commute by bicycle today as Montgomery County and the region recognize Bike to Work Day. Bicyclists are invited to join convoys led by experienced cyclists and participate in activities at designated pit stops throughout the County. Members of the Planning Department’s Bicycle Master Plan team will be at pit stops in Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Bethesda.

May 23 –Participate in the Rock Spring Master Plan community meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD) and learn about transportation-related issues in this area of North Bethesda.

May 25: Attend the public presentation by Rodolfo Machado of the Boston-based architecture firm Machado Silvetti from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Spring Room of the Silver Spring Civic Building. Machado will talk about his firm’s design of the Silver Spring Civic Building, which won the Planning Department’s 2015 Design Excellence Award, and other projects. Seating is limited and RSVPs are required. Learn more about the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Design Excellence program.

Apr 22 16

April 28 Work Session on Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan Will Address Affordable Housing Recommendations

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Planning Board will discuss recommended affordable housing, updated transportation analyses and property owner requests submitted after the public hearing process

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will hold a work session for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan on Thursday, April 28 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD). Discussion will focus on affordable housing recommendations for Downtown Bethesda, followed by property owner zoning requests that were submitted after the public hearing  was held last year. The goal of the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan is to preserve existing, market-rate affordable housing, provide a mix of housing options and increase the number of moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs) in exchange for development incentives. The Plan identifies sites where density can be transferred in exchange for a rental agreement to retain 30 percent of housing units as affordable for 20 years. Renters eligible for affordable housing must earn 65 percent or less of area median income or about $70,000 for a four-person household.

Currently, the average rent in the Bethesda Downtown Plan area is $1,916, about 20 percent more than the average rent in the County. Newly built apartments typically rent for $2,750, which is 40 percent more than the average rent in the County.

At the April 28 work session, staff will also discuss the transportation analysis related to density increases throughout the plan area as a result of previous Planning Board work sessions. For details about the April work session, consult the Planning Board Agenda.

Another work session is scheduled for Thursday, May 12. Public participation at the work sessions is at the discretion of the Planning Board Chair. Prospective speakers must send a written description of their discussion topics at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting date to mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org.

Following the work sessions, the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan will be revised at the direction of the Planning Board and reviewed by the Board before being sent to the County Council later this year.

Learn more about the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan.

Background on the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan

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 along part of the 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.

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

Apr 14 16

Community Meeting Held on April 12 Focused on Transportation-related Changes to the County’s Subdivision Staging Policy

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Proposed revisions to the transportation elements of the Subdivision Staging Policy were discussed at a public meeting held at the Planning Department in Silver Spring

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 by November 15, 2016. The intent of the Subdivision Staging Policy is to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and transportation facilities, are adequate to accommodate new development.

A community meeting, attended by about 20 County residents, was held on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Montgomery County Planning Board auditorium (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD) to discuss key transportation elements of the policy update.

This event follows a similar public forum held on March 15, 2016 and, like that meeting, presented the opportunity for the community to learn more about the Subdivision Staging Policy and share thoughts about proposed changes to the policy.

The meeting summarized recent discussions at Planning Board briefings that have focused on changes to the current transportation adequacy tests known as Local Area Transportation Review and Transportation Policy Area Review. These tests are intended to ensure that development in Montgomery County is accompanied by appropriate and sufficient transportation facilities. They are used to estimate the impact of development on the transportation network and determine effective ways to mitigate that impact when transportation facilities are inadequate.

Planning Board work sessions to refine the Subdivision Staging Policy will continue in April, May and June. A public hearing about the policy will be held in June before the Planning Board draft of the policy is transmitted to the County Council at the end of July. The Council will hold its own work sessions in the fall, before voting to adopt the revised policy in November.

Background on Subdivision Staging Policy
Planning staff is proposing new ideas in transportation and school capacity planning as part of revising the Subdivision Staging Policy, which is updated every four years. This quadrennial policy (formerly known as the Growth Policy) includes criteria and guidance for the administration of the County’s Adequate Public Facility Ordinance (APFO), which matches the timing of private development with the availability of public services.

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 new development. Where 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 occurring through infill development and redevelopment, including the resale of homes 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 development may not adequately access these changing growth patterns and are being examined for their effectiveness.

Apr 12 16

Rodolfo Machado of Boston Firm Honored with 2015 Design Excellence Award Will Present Work at Silver Spring Civic Building on May 25

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Renowned Argentina-born architect will talk about the award-winning design of the Silver Spring Civic Building and projects undertaken by his firm Machado Silvetti

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, held its first annual Design Excellence Award competition in 2015 and honored the top winner, the Silver Spring Civic Building, at a design celebration last October.

The architect who designed the building is now scheduled to talk about his work on this and other projects on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. The public presentation by Rodolfo Machado, FAIA, of the Boston-based architecture firm Machado Silvetti will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Spring Room of the award-winning Silver Spring Civic Building.

Continuing education credits are pending for AIA, AICP and ASLA. Seating is limited and RSVPs are required. Learn more about the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Design Excellence program.

RSVP for the event here (spots are limited).

About Rodolfo Machado

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, architect Rodolfo Machado is a citizen of the United States, where he has resided since 1968. Machado received his Diploma in Architecture from the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1967 before studying urban design at the Centre de Recherche d’Urbanisme in Paris. In 1971, he received a master of architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley where he continued doctoral studies in architectural theory.

Machado practiced architecture in San Francisco and Pittsburgh before forming a practice with Jorge Silvetti in 1974. Since 1986, he has been a faculty member of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where he chaired its Department of Urban Planning and Design from 2004 to 2009. Machado has been a visiting critic at many schools of architecture in this country and abroad, and has served as a juror for many national and international competitions and prizes. His drawings and projects have been extensively published and exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. For more information, go to http://www.machado-silvetti.com/OFFICE/office-people.php.

About the Design Excellence Award

The Planning Department’s annual Design Excellence Award was launched in 2015 to recognize the best examples of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design in the County, and increase awareness of the importance of design excellence. More than 35 entries to the competition were submitted in August 2015 by architects, developers and property owners. The winning entry and citations were chosen by an outside jury of accomplished professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design, and presented at a design celebration in October 2015 co-sponsored with the Potomac Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Apr 12 16

Landscape Architects Now Able to Earn Continuing Education Credits by Attending Planning Department Programs

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Credits available for attendance at the Planning Department’s Makeover Montgomery 3 conference from May 4-6

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is now an approved provider under the Landscape Architects Continuing Education System (LA CES). Continuing education is required in 37 states for landscape architects seeking to renew their professional licenses.

Landscape architects can now attend programs organized by the Planning Department and earn professional development hours (PHDs). Their first opportunity is to attend the conference, Makeover Montgomery 3: Balancing Change in America’s Suburbs, to be held from Wednesday, May 4 through Friday, May 6, 2016 in College Park and Silver Spring, Md.

The Makeover Montgomery 3 conference is being organized through a partnership between the Montgomery County Planning Department and the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland.  Attendees will learn about planning tools and strategies that can help transform our county and region into more exciting, equitable and attractive places.

Multiple sessions provide continuing education credits for landscape architects and these presentations will showcase planning and design concepts offered by experts from the DC area and across the nation.

Conference Sessions Organized Around Three Themes

The MM3 conference will kick off with a keynote speaker Wednesday evening, May 4, at the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture and Planning and LA CES credits can be earned for attending this presentation.

The conference sessions will be held on Thursday, May 5, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Friday, May 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building (One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD).

Conference organizers are pleased to present an exciting lineup of regional and national experts to lead discussions on a variety of topics within the following tracks:

  • Beyond Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)
  • The Sharing Economy
  • Equity and Opportunity in the Suburbs

These themes address the challenges faced by planners, landscape architects and residents as they grapple with how to adapt to demographic shifts, changing housing preferences and growing infrastructure costs in the suburbs– all while making communities more sustainable and equitable.

Conference sessions will address a variety of topics, including the impact of gentrification on neighborhoods, the role of public art in placemaking, shared housing for seniors, digital tools for civic engagement, driverless cars and more. This event will showcase ideas and opinions from some of the brightest minds in the country.

Review the full conference agenda, including speakers and topics, and registration information.

Apr 12 16

Last Day to Get Lowest Makeover Montgomery Conference Registration Fee is Friday, April 15

by Bridget Schwiesow

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The online registration fee for the three-day conference increases from $40 to $50 after April 15 and to $60 at the conference, being held from May 4 through May 6

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, encourages the public to register for its conference, Makeover Montgomery 3: Balancing Change in America’s Suburbs, to be held from Wednesday, May 4 through Friday, May 6, 2016 in College Park and Silver Spring, Md.

The online registration fee is $40 through Friday, April 15, and then increases to $50. Registering onsite at the conference will cost $60. To register online, go to www.makeovermontgomery3.com

The Makeover Montgomery 3 conference is being organized through a partnership between the Montgomery County Planning Department and the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland. Attendees will hear presentations focused on innovations and new policy tools and strategies that can help transform our county, making it more exciting, equitable and attractive. Multiple session tracks are offered, showcasing presenters from the DC area and across the nation.

Keynote Speaker Will Address Equitable Development

The conference will kick off on Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. at the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning (3835 Campus Drive, College Park, MD) with a keynote address delivered by Karen Chapple. A professor of city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley, Chapple specializes in housing, community and economic development. She is the author of the 2014 book Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions: Towards More Equitable Development. In 2015, Chapple launched the Urban Displacement Project, a research portal examining patterns of residential, commercial and industrial displacement, as well as policy and planning solutions.

Plenary Speaker Will Discuss Design Principles of Livable Suburbs

The conference sessions will begin on Thursday, May 5 at the Silver Spring Civic Building (One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD) and continue on Friday, May 6 at the same location. Setting the stage for the sessions will be plenary speaker Stefanos Polyzoides of the Pasadena, California-based firm Moule and Polyzoides. A founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism, this architect and urbanist has been at the forefront of the anti-sprawl movement in advocating for compact, mixed-use and walkable suburbs.

Over the past three decades, Polyzoides and his wife Elizabeth Moule have designed civic buildings, historic preservation and commercial projects, housing and campus and urban plans. As advocates for sustainable development, they have produced a variety of exemplary green buildings for university and institutional clients.

Polyzoides is a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Southern California and has been a visiting professor at several leading architecture schools. He is the author of several books, including Los Angeles Courtyard Housing: A Typological Analysis.

Lunchtime Presentation Will Examine the Future of Driverless Vehicles

On Friday, May 6, the lunchtime presentation, “A Roadmap for the Future: Planning for Driverless Vehicles,” will examine how autonomous vehicles will become a reality within the next few decades to transform the infrastructure of cities and suburbs. The panelists will examine implications of self-driving cars for planning and real estate, and the potential impact of driverless vehicles on car ownership, transit, parking, roads, commuting patterns and development. Lunch will be provided to registrants.

Conference Sessions Organized Around Three Themes

The conference sessions will be held on Thursday, May 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, May 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building (One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD). Conference organizers are pleased to present an exciting lineup of regional and national experts to lead discussions on a variety of topics within the following tracks:

  • Beyond Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)
  • The Sharing Economy
  • Equity and Opportunity in the Suburbs

These themes address the challenges faced by planners and residents as they grapple with how to adapt to demographic shifts, changing housing preferences, and growing infrastructure costs in the suburbs– all while making communities more sustainable and equitable.

Conference sessions will address a variety of topics, including the impact of gentrification on neighborhoods, the role of public art in placemaking, shared housing for seniors, digital tools for civic engagement and others. This event will showcase ideas and opinions from some of the brightest planning minds in the country.

Review the full conference agenda, including speakers and topics.

Please visit www.makeovermontgomery3.com for more information.
Questions? Please contact Jason Sartori at jason@ipcllc.net.

MM3 Conference Details At-A-Glance:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 7 p.m. Keynote Address at the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Auditorium in College Park (3835 Campus Drive, College Park, MD).

Thursday, May 5, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, May 6, 2016, 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. sessions at the Silver Spring Civic Building (One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD).

Apr 12 16

Planning Department’s Information Counter Will Close on Friday, April 15 and Resume Full Operations on Tuesday, April 19

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Counter operations will be limited to receipt and pick-up of documents, and staff queries

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Information Counter of The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will have greatly limited  operations due to building maintenance work starting Friday, April 15, 2016  at noon and continuing through Monday, April 18.  Normal operations will resume on Tuesday, April 19.

While the maintenance work is underway, information staff will not be able to provide hard copies of documents or print any document, such as a record plat, a zoning map or master plans. However, staff will still be available to answer questions both on the phone and at the counter, and applicants may drop off or pick up documents.

Questions?  Call 301-495-4610 for answers.

Find out more about the Planning Department’s information counter.