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Aug 26 15

Montgomery County Planning Department’s First Annual Design Excellence Award Program Celebration to be Held on October 22

by Bridget Schwiesow

revCelebrate Design invite

Developers, architects, landscape architects, designers, property owners and community members  are invited to attend the “Celebrate Design” reception and awards event at the Silver Spring Civic Building

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is inviting everyone with an interest in excellent architecture, landscape architecture and urban design to attend “Celebrate Design” on Thursday, October 22 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The winner of the Planning Department’s first annual Design Excellence Award competition will be announced during the celebration at the Silver Spring Civic Building (1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD). The event will also include the annual awards ceremony of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Valley Chapter. One of the highlights of the evening will be a presentation on the business case for design excellence by land use strategist Christopher Leinberger, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The Planning Department’s Design Excellence Award seeks to recognize exceptional work in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design that has been completed in Montgomery County over the past decade. More than 30 entries to the competition have been submitted by architects, developers and property owners. The goal of the awards program is to promote top-notch design and improve the quality of the built environment throughout the County.

The winner will be selected by an outside jury of accomplished professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design:

Edward Feiner, FAIA | Design Leadership Council Director, Perkins+Will, Washington, D.C.
Dhiru Thadani, FCNU | Architect and urbanist, Washington, D.C.
Michael Vergason, FASLA | Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, Alexandria, Virginia
Amy Weinstein, FAIA | Principal, Esocoff & Associates/Weinstein Studio, Washington, D.C.

Review the bios of the jury.

Celebrate Design Awards Ceremony
Thursday, October 22, 2015
6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Silver Spring Civic Building (1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD)
Ticket price: $35
Purchase tickets

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Opening  reception.
7:30 – 8:45 p.m. Awards presentation by the AIA Potomac Valley and the Montgomery County Planning Department.
Featured Speaker: Christopher Leinberger presenting on the Business Case for Design Excellence
8:45 – 9:30 p.m. Dessert reception.

Purpose of Design Excellence Award

The Planning Department launched its Design Excellence initiative in 2014 to inspire the highest quality of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design in changing areas within the County. In January 2015 as part of this program, the Department invited nationally recognized urban design and planning expert Noré Winter to discuss community design guidelines with the staff, Planning Board and public.

In June 2015, the Department launched its Design Excellence Award program to achieve the following goals:

-To recognize the best examples of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design in the County, and increase public awareness of this world-class design excellence.

-To promote built work that contributes to the creation of pedestrian-oriented, walkable neighborhoods that enrich and contribute to the greater community.

-To show how physical design can lead to greater health, economic opportunity and environmental sustainability.

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

 

Aug 18 15

Planning Department Announces Calendar of September Events

by Bridget Schwiesow

Calendar of Events

Planning Board is back in session with a busy month, including many opportunities for the community to get involved with master planning efforts.

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

The Montgomery Planning Board is back in session starting September 3 with a month full of Board meetings, evening work sessions and community meetings. The agenda of upcoming meetings being held this fall will be posted on the Agendas & Staff Reports page.

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 and Planning Department Events in September 2015:

September 1 – Attend the first community open house for the Rock Spring Master Plan on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD). Community residents and business owners are invited to discuss the goals of the Master Plan and learn about existing conditions and challenges. County planners will explain the planning process and offer opportunities for public participation.  Community feedback on the initial ideas for the Plan will be recorded at the event. RSVPs are encouraged but not required. RSVP for the September 1 Rock Spring Master Plan Open House. Learn more about the Rock Spring Master Plan.

September 3 – 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.

September 8, 9, 15, 21 and October 6 – Learn about the Bicycle Master Plan at meetings held across the County. The meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at five locations so that County residents can pick the one that is most convenient for them to attend. The Bicycle Master Plan will consider the newest types of bikeways, such as separated and buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities at transit stations. The network will be developed using an evaluation of the varying levels of stress imposed by traffic on cyclists along each roadway in the County. Learn more about the Bicycle Master Plan and how to get involved. RSVPS are encouraged but not required.

September 8 – Attend the Bicycle Master Plan Meeting 1 at Paint Branch High School (14121 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD). RSVP for Meeting 1.

September 9 – Attend the Bicycle Master Plan Meeting 2 at the Germantown Regional Services Center (Room A, 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown, MD). RSVP for Meeting 2.

September 10 –Testify at the Montgomery Village Master Plan Public Hearing at the Council Office Building (3rd floor hearing room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD) from 7 to 9 p.m. View the Montgomery Village Master Plan Public Hearing Draft.  Time slots to testify are limited, so the public is encouraged to call 301-495-4605 or to go online http://www.montgomeryapps.org/planning_board/testify.asp to sign up. In order to hear from as many speakers as possible, each person will have up to three minutes to testify.

September 15 – Attend the Bicycle Master Plan Meeting 3 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). RSVP for Meeting 3.

September 17 – Learn more about the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan at the second work session for this plan at the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting. A full agenda for the meeting is posted on the Agendas & Staff Reports page. The recommendations in the Bethesda Downtown Plan Public Hearing Draft will be discussed and you can watch or listen live to the work session by visiting the Board’s video webpage.

September 21 – Attend the Bicycle Master Plan Meeting 4 at the Wheaton Library (11701 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). RSVP for Meeting 4.

September 22 – Participate in the “office hours” held at the Gwendolyn Coffield Community Center (2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, MD) from noon to 6 p.m. to discuss the proposed Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan with County planners. The Working Draft of the plan will be presented to the Planning Board on October 8. Learn more about this plan and recommendations for the future of Greater Lyttonsville.

September 24 – Testify at the Westbard Sector Plan Public Hearing at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD) from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and from 6:30 to 9 p.m. when the community is invited to comment on the Plan’s recommendations. Time slots to testify are limited, so the public is encouraged to call 301-495-4605 or to go online http://www.montgomeryapps.org/planning_board/testify.asp to sign up to testify. In order to hear from as many speakers as possible, each person will have up to three minutes to testify. View the Public Hearing Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan.

Aug 14 15

Historic Preservation Commission Approves Tax Credits for 95 Projects

by Bridget Schwiesow

tax-credit-forweb2

Approved repairs, painting, restoration and rehabilitation represent more than $2.6 million of investment in historic structures across Montgomery County

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission, a nine-member group supported by The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has completed its review of 2014 applications from County property owners seeking a financial reward for faithfully restoring the exteriors of their historic structures.

On August 12, 2015, the Preservation Commission recommended approval of tax credits for 95 projects, an increase of eight over the previous year. Its recommendations will be transmitted to the County finance department for final action.

The approved projects represent more than $2.6 million of investment in historic properties, more than $400,000 over last year.  Many of these projects also received state historic preservation tax credits, further increasing the benefit to property owners who undertake significant rehabilitation projects.

Properties in Bethesda, Boyds, Brookeville, Chevy Chase, Clarksburg, Darnestown, Gaithersburg, Garrett Park, Kensington, Poolesville, Potomac, Sandy Spring, Silver Spring and Takoma Park will receive tax credits this year. Owners of those structures will receive a credit on their property taxes equal to 25 percent of eligible project costs.

Eligibility for the Preservation Tax Credit:
To be eligible for the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Tax Credit, the property must be listed in the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation or be located within the boundaries of a County-designated historic district.

To receive this year’s tax credits, property owners filed application and documentation of the repairs with the historic preservation staff of the Planning Department in April 2015. Repairs, restoration or preservation of exterior features of designated structures were considered. Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

-Painting.

-Repairing roofs or replacing them in-kind.

-Repairing windows, architectural trim or ornament.

-Uncovering and repairing original siding.

-Repointing brick or stone foundations or chimneys.

-Restoring a documented feature, such as a dormer or porch that was previously altered or removed.

-Repairing and maintaining outbuildings such as barns and garages.

New additions, construction and interior work are ineligible.

History of County Tax Credit:
To encourage the restoration and preservation of historic properties, the Montgomery County Council passed legislation (Chapter 52, Article VI) in 1984, creating a historic preservation tax credit program for County-designated historic properties. Owners of properties listed in the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation are eligible to receive a credit for documented expenses for exterior maintenance, restoration or preservation work.

On July 16, 2013, the Montgomery County Council passed Bill 14-13, which amended the tax law (Chapter 52, Article VI) related to the percentage of improvement costs on a historic property from 10 percent to 25 percent for eligible work completed after January 1, 2013.

The Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) reviews the tax credit applications, certifies that project work is eligible for tax credits and forwards recommendations to the County Department of Finance for approval. The approved tax credit is applied to a property tax bill.

Any unused portion of this tax credit may be carried forward for as many as five years. A property not listed on the Master Plan for Historic Preservation at the time the work is undertaken will not be considered for the preservation tax credit.

Studies across the country indicate that historic preservation tax credits have a strong multiplier effect, returning to the economy significantly more dollars than are issued as credits.  These studies have also found that historic preservation projects are a strong employment generator, suggesting that historic preservation activities are good for local economies.  More information about tax credits is available here.  The deadline to apply for county historic preservation tax credits for projects completed in 2015 is April 1, 2016.

For more information about filing a tax credit application, please contact Matt Bowling, Senior Preservation Planner at the Montgomery County Department of Planning (telephone: 301-563-3408; email: matt.bowling@montgomeryplanning.org).

About the Historic Preservation Commission:
The Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is responsible for researching and evaluating historic resources and historic districts according to specified criteria, and reviewing proposed exterior changes to sites and districts that have achieved historic status. HPC’s nine members are appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council. Supporting the HPC are architectural historians and architects in M-NCPPC’s Historic Preservation Section. The HPC convenes twice a month and its meetings are always open to the public.

Learn more about the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office.

Aug 12 15

Bicycle Master Plan Will Launch with Fall Community Meetings

by Bridget Schwiesow

Bicycle Master Plan

The public is invited to five meetings across the County during September and October 2015 to learn about the details of the Bicycle Master Plan and provide feedback

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is inviting the community to participate in kick-off meetings during September and October 2015 to learn about the Bicycle Master Plan and how to get involved in planning a bicycle network for Montgomery County. The meetings will be held in five locations so that County residents can pick the one that is most convenient for them to attend.

The Bicycle Master Plan will consider the newest types of bikeways, such as separated and buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities at transit stations. The network will be developed using an evaluation of the varying levels of stress imposed by traffic on cyclists along each roadway in the County.

The first community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Paint Branch High School (14121 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD). RSVPs are encouraged but not required. Register to attend each of the Bicycle Master Plan Kick-Off meetings below.

Each event will consist of a short presentation by County planner and project manager, David Anspacher, followed by an opportunity to meet with Planning Department staff and learn about relevant topics, such as how traffic stress affects cycling and the state of bicycling in Montgomery County.

Attendees will also have the chance to contribute comments about bicycling safety and facilities they would like to see on a large “feedback map,” created for that part of the County associated with the meeting location. Community comments will be used to guide the planners during their work.

Bicycle Master Plan Meeting Schedule:
All meetings will be held from 7 to 9 pm.
Tuesday, September 8 – Meeting 1 at Paint Branch High School, 14121 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD. RSVP for Meeting 1.

Wednesday, September 9 – Meeting 2 at the Germantown Regional Services Center, Room A, 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown, MD. RSVP for Meeting 2.

Tuesday, September 15 – Meeting 3 at the Planning Department headquarters, 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD. RSVP for Meeting 3.

Monday, September 21 – Meeting 4 at the Wheaton Library, 11701 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD. RSVP for Meeting 4.

Tuesday, October 6 – Meeting 5 at Walter Johnson High School, 6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD. RSVP for Meeting 5.

Bicycle Master Plan Background:

The official kickoff of the Bicycle Master Plan comes after planners participated in Councilmember Hans Riemer’s Second Great MoCo Bike Summit on Saturday, June 6 at the Silver Spring Civic Center. That event focused on ways of incorporating next-generation bicycle facilities into the County’s transportation network and included participation by Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and the County Department of Transportation.

At the summit, County planner David Anspacher presented an overview of the new Bicycle Master Plan and its focus on developing a high-quality network of cycling routes throughout the County.

In addition to hearing the presentations, the approximately 100 attendees had the opportunity to provide written feedback on a large scale County map affixed to the wall of the Silver Spring Civic Center. Attendees were asked to give comments on how the bicycle connections in the County could be improved. Those comments have now been included on an online map and will be considered by planners as work begins on the update to the Bicycle Master Plan. View the feedback map from the June 6 Bike Summit.

Questions or Comments?
Contact: David Anspacher, Planner and Project Manager
Email: David.Anspacher@montgomeryplanning.org
Telephone: 301.495.2191

Aug 12 15

MONTGOMERY PARKS ANNOUNCES APPROVAL OF PILOT ARCHERY MANAGED DEER HUNTING PROGRAM

by Bridget Schwiesow

SEASONAL PARK CLOSURES RELEASED FOR OTHER ANNUAL DEER MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS

SILVER SPRING, MD — Montgomery Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) has approved a Pilot Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program for implementation in the Great Seneca Stream Valley Park, Unit 1 in Germantown and the Watts Branch Stream Valley Units 1 & 2 in Potomac.

Approximately four hundred comments were provided by the public offering opinions on the proposal.  Public support was greater than opposition, by a slight margin.  Those in opposition shared concern for potential excessive wounding and suffering by way of archery hunting. The goal of every managed hunting program is to experience no wounding loss.  With that in mind, the Department recognizes that perfection is unlikely.  As such, it is possible that wounding loss will occur at some level. Through selection and training of hunting participants, the Department of Parks is committed to making every effort to reduce the probability of wounding loss. Similar programs, throughout the region have shown varying rates of loss ranging from 3% – 17%.  These rates of unintended injury are consistent with other methods of lethal and non-lethal deer population management, including those of immunocontraception and surgical sterilization programs.  It may also be worth noting that, in every case, deer experience some level of trauma at death; whether by natural causes or by accidents.  The intent of the pilot Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program is to evaluate the method against the presumptions and to demonstrate that archery may be a safe and effective method for deer population management on Montgomery County parklands. The Department of Parks is dedicated to a responsible and humane approach as part of all of its deer population management programs. If at any time the rate of wounding, or unsafe practices are revealed as unacceptable, immediate action will be taken to mitigate for these or to suspend programming.

The Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program will be in place concurrent with the Maryland regulated archery season, September 11 through January 31.  Affected parks will remain open to public use while archery hunting is occurring. Archery hunting, by permit only, will be permitted Monday through Saturday.  Program suspension will occur during the entire month of December and during established State regulated firearms and muzzleloader seasons.

The selected units of Great Seneca and Watts Branch Stream Valley Parks will be posted with signage to aware park users of this activity.  Areas accessible for permitted hunters will be delineated with signage and maps which will be provided to the assigned hunting groups.  Hunting and weapons discharge will be restricted to a distance of at least one-hundred thirty yards from homes, and a maximum of 6 hunters will be permitted at each park location per day.

One qualified, organized group will be assigned to each affected park location.  Groups will consist of no less than 6 qualified hunters.  Each individual, qualified hunter will be required to demonstrate: having completed both a State Hunter Education/Safety Course and a State or National Bowhunter Education Foundation Bowhunter Education/Safety Course, a history of archery hunting experience and record of success, current shooting proficiency under the standards and guidelines set forth by the Department of Parks, and must meet the requirements of a criminal background investigation.

Organized hunting groups will be considered for assignment, by way of an application and review procedure.  One selected group will be assigned to each affected park location for the duration of the 2015 – 2016 Montgomery Parks Archery Managed Deer Hunting Season.

Qualified groups will consist of/demonstrate:

  • Group Name
  • Identified Group Leader(s)/Coordinator(s)
  • At least 6 intended participating hunters (pending qualifications)
  • Possession of, or active pursuit of, group Liability Insurance policy (min $1,000,000 per occurrence with M-NCPPC; Montgomery Parks named “Additional Insured”)
  • Resume’ outlining group experience
  • Written, verifiable references for the group

Interested groups may submit application materials for consideration.  Applications may be obtained by visiting www.parksdeermanagement.org and/or by request to: MCP-Deermanagement@montgomeryparks.org.  The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 3:00PM.  Applications may be submitted by Email or U.S. Mail as follows;

Email- MCP-Deermanagement@montgomeryparks.org or U.S Mail- 12535 Milestone Manor Lane, Germantown, MD  20876

For specific details pertaining to the requirements and expectations for selected/assigned groups, as well as the required qualification standards for individual hunting participants within these groups, please visit parksdeermanagement.org, send an email request to MCP-Deermanagement@montgomeryparks.org or call 301-962-1344.

SEASONAL PARK CLOSURES FOR ANNUAL DEER MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS

Additionally, Montgomery Parks will launch the remainder of its fall 2015/winter 2016 deer management operations season on October 23. Several parks will be closed intermittently during the program which takes place through the end of February. Lottery-based and Cooperative Shotgun Managed Deer Hunts will take place in 10 parks in the Montgomery Parks system to address adverse impacts of burgeoning deer populations on local neighborhoods. (A complete schedule of park closure dates and times is listed at the end of the release.)  Further details pertaining to upcoming Park Police-based Sharpshooting operations, and any proposed new initiatives will be forthcoming later this fall.

Montgomery Parks conducts its deer management program with qualified, pre-screened hunters and specially trained Park Police sharpshooters to ensure the operations are carried out in a safe and humane manner. More details about these programs are available at www.parksdeermanagement.org.

“The safety of residents is our top priority,” said Montgomery Parks Wildlife Ecologist Bill Hamilton, adding that “in nineteen years of operations, and having harvested 15,000 deer, we have not had one occurrence of personal injury of the public as a result of the Department’s deer management operations.”

In advance of the hunts, yellow and black “Park Notice” signs are posted throughout and surrounding affected parks, at all park entrances and in surrounding communities, to aware park visitors of dates of closure.

Dates and Locations of Park Closure
FY2016 M-NCPPC, Department of Parks, Montgomery County
Deer Population Management Programs

Lottery-Based and Cooperative Managed Deer Hunting Programs

[Parks Closed from Sunrise – Sunset]

October

23 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

26 – Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)

28 – Great Seneca SVU1/North Germantown Greenway Parks (Goshen)

30 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

November

4 – Great Seneca SVU1/North Germantown Greenway Parks (Goshen)

7 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

9 – Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)

10 – Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)

13 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

14 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

17 – Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)

18 – Great Seneca SVU1/North Germantown Greenway Parks (Goshen)

21– Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

23 – Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)

24 – Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)

December

4 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

5 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

8-11 Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg)

12 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

15 – Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)

16 – Great Seneca SVU1/North Germantown Greenway Parks (Goshen)

18 – Black Hill Regional Park (10 Mi Creek Seg), Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds) & Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds)

19 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

21 – Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)

January

2 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

8 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

9 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

15 – Black Hill Regional Park (10 Mi Creek Seg), Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds)       & Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds)

16 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

22 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

29 – Black Hill Regional Park (10 Mi Creek Seg), Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds) & Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds)

30 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

Tenant-Based Managed Deer Hunting Program

[Park Closed to Public Access Year Round]

Goshen Recreation Park (Goshen)

Park Police-Based Sharpshooting Operations

[Parks Closed 6:00PM – 6:00AM daily, January 10 – February 28]

Established Park Police-based Sharpshooting park locations include:

Agricultural History Farm Park (Derwood – including attached segments of Rock Creek Stream Valley Units 15 & 16)
Black Hill Regional Park [Day Use Area] (Boyds)
Cabin John Regional Park (Bethesda)
Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park (Silver Spring)
Needwood Golf Course (Rockville)
North Branch Stream Valley Park Units 2 & 3 (Norbeck)
North Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 4 (Olney)
Northwest Branch Recreation Park (Aspen Hill – including Layhill Local Park in Wheaton)
Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 7 (Norwood)
Northwest Golf Course (Wheaton)
Paint Branch Stream Valley Park Units 5 & 6 (Silver Spring – including Pilgrim Hill Local Park, Valley Mill Special Park, Tamarack Neighborhood Park and Paint Branch Neighborhood Park)
Red Door Store Historical Cultural Park (Sandy Spring)
Rock Creek Regional Park (Rockville)
Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 2 (Chevy Chase)
Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 7 (Aspen Hill)
Sligo Creek Golf Course (Silver Spring)
Wheaton Regional Park (Wheaton)
Woodlawn Cultural Special Park (Sandy Spring)

About Montgomery Parks Deer Management Program

The deer population reduction program began in 1996 following recommendations from the Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group (DMWG), and in response to citizen concerns about the deer population.

For more information on the County’s deer management program see The Montgomery County Deer Management Program Annual Report and Recommendations for Fiscal Year 2016 which contains data on deer impacts and recommendations for the upcoming year. This and other information including a copy of the county’s deer management plan, and information on deer management operations, are available at www.ParksDeerManagement.org.

Contact:
For any media inquiries, contact: Abbigail Irelan, Marketing & Public Affairs Manager, M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks
Abbigail.Irelan@MontgomeryParks.org
O: 301-495-2532

Aug 10 15

Planning Department Releases Public Hearing Draft of Westbard Sector Plan

by Bridget Schwiesow

westbard public hearing draft

Community invited to review latest version of Sector Plan before the public hearing on Thursday, September 24 in Silver Spring

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has posted the Public Hearing Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan on the Department’s web site. This posting follows the Montgomery County Planning Board’s approval of the Working Draft as the Public Hearing Draft on Thursday, July 23.

The Board’s public hearing on the Westbard Sector Plan is scheduled for Thursday, September 24 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD) when the community is invited to comment on the Plan’s recommendations.

View the Public Hearing Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan.

Time slots to testify are limited, so the public is encouraged to call 301-495-4605 or to go online  http://www.montgomeryapps.org/planning_board/testify.asp to sign up to testify. In order to hear from as many speakers as possible, each speaker will have up to three minutes to testify.

The public is also invited to submit comments on the Public Hearing Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan via email to mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org. These comments will become part of the public testimony and public record for the Plan.

Following the public hearing on September 24, the Planning Board will hold several work sessions on the Sector Plan from October through December 2015 to discuss the community testimony as well as issues Board members want to address.

At the conclusion of the work sessions, the Plan will be revised per the Planning Board’s direction and transmitted to the County Council and County Executive as the Planning Board Draft. The County Council will hold a public hearing on the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan in 2016.

Background on Westbard Sector Plan

The new Sector Plan is the first effort since 1982 to develop a unified vision for Bethesda’s Westbard area, which is located near Friendship Heights and the District of Columbia. The Plan builds on the assets of the community by offering ways to improve neighborhood retail, light industrial areas, housing options and recreational and open spaces over the next 20 years.

Recommendations in the Plan focus on:

-Encouraging more housing choices.

-Revitalizing older retail areas.

-Emphasizing low-scale development of five to seven stories.

-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.

Since the PlanWestbard charrette, a weeklong brainstorming session held in November 2014, planners have revised the Sector Plan to address community concerns. Refinements include lower heights for new buildings, more open spaces and bike paths, and placemaking strategies, including signage and public art, which relate to Westbard’s rich history.

Stay Connected:
Sign up for the Westbard Sector Plan eNewsletter.

Jul 31 15

Celebrate National Night Out with the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan Team

by Bridget Schwiesow

NNOgreaterLP collageBrand Only
Photo collage from 2014 National Night Out event at the Coffield Center

Meet Planning Department staff at the Coffield Center on Tuesday, August 4 from 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. and learn more about the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is inviting anyone who lives, works or has an interest in the Greater Lyttonsville community to meet with Planning Department staff at Lyttonsville’s annual National Night Out event on Tuesday, August 4 to learn more about the planning process for the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan.

Planners will be back for the second year in a row to host a booth at the community event which is scheduled from 6:15 to 8 p.m. at the Gwendowlyn E. Coffield Center (2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, MD). National Night Out is designed to encourage neighbors to get to know one another and this is an ideal opportunity for youth and families to get to learn more about the sector plan process. There will be interactive planning activities, and staff will be on hand to answer questions about the planning process.

Save the Dates:
The Greater Lyttonsivlle community is also invited to drop by the Coffield Center on Tuesday, September 22 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday, October 20 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. These “Office Hours” are designed to give community members an opportunity to meet with Planning Department staff and get an update on the proposed Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan.

Planners have been writing the Working Draft of the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan which is scheduled to be presented Planning Board on Thursday, October 8. Attend, watch or listen live to all Montgomery Planning Board meetings. Learn more: http://mncppc.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2

Sector Plan Background:
The last community meeting was held on April 29, 2015. Staff then presented concepts to the Planning Board on May 7, 2015 which reflected community feedback about specific areas. Changes to the Sector Plan include:

  • Providing pedestrian and bicycle paths and connections across the proposed Purple Line light rail tracks and around the Rosemary Hills-Lyttonsville Local Park;
  • Preserving and enhancing many of the industrial areas;
  • Preserving single-family residential areas;
  • Proposing zoning changes primarily around the future Purple Line stations and close to the Silver Spring central business district.

Learn more about the latest developments in the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan.

Stay Connected:
Sign up: for the GreaterLp e-newsletter
Follow: @lyttonsville #greaterLP
Visit: www.montgomeryplanning.org/greaterLP

Jul 31 15

Planning Department Releases Public Hearing Draft of Montgomery Village Master Plan

by Bridget Schwiesow

MVP public hearing draft cover

Community invited to review latest version of Master Plan before the public hearing on Thursday, September 10 in Rockville

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has posted the Public Hearing Draft of the Montgomery Village Master Plan on the Department’s web site. This posting follows the Montgomery County Planning Board’s approval of the Working Draft of the Montgomery Village Master Plan on Thursday, July 23.

The online document allows Montgomery Village residents and business owners to review the latest draft of the Montgomery Village Master Plan before the public hearing for the Plan. The hearing will be held on Thursday, September 10 in the third floor hearing room of the Council Office Building located at 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland.

View the Montgomery Village Master Plan Public Hearing Draft

View the Appendices that accompany the Public Hearing Draft

Only a limited number of time slots for testimony are available, so the public is encouraged to call 301-495-4605 or go online to sign up http://www.montgomeryapps.org/planning_board/testify.asp.

The public is also invited to submit comments on the Public Hearing Draft Montgomery Village Master Plan via email to mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org. These comments will become part of the public testimony and public record for the Plan.

Following the public hearing on September 10, the Planning Board will hold several work sessions on the Master Plan during October to discuss the community testimony as well as issues Board members wish to address.

At the conclusion of the work sessions, the Plan will be revised per the Planning Board’s direction and transmitted to the County Council and County Executive. The County Council will then hold a public hearing on the Planning Board Draft of the Montgomery Village Master Plan, possibly in January 2016.

Background on Montgomery Village Master Plan
The new Master Plan builds on the assets of Montgomery Village through four major recommendations:

-Preserve the Village’s character: Built in the 1960s by Kettler Brothers, Montgomery Village was purposefully planned with a vast range of housing types.  From the apartment communities clustered in the lower Village to the grand colonials of Whetstone, the homes appeal to different lifestyles with a wide selection of designs and prices for residents. The Master Plan recommends preserving this variety and expanding housing choices in the future.

-Maintain the public recreation and open spaces: The Village’s sylvan environment is one of its greatest assets. The Master Plan strongly recommends that its recreation and open spaces be maintained and preserved. When new development or redevelopment occurs, developers should emulate the Kettlers’ town planning principles to provide ample green spaces, vistas and recreational opportunities.  Additional trail connections, with natural or hard surfaces, should be provided to enhance community connectivity.

-Encourage reinvestment: Small town autonomy includes conveniently located retail centers throughout the community. The Village’s six centers serve the everyday retail needs of residents; however, over several decades, as retail competition has grown in the mid-County area, consumer preferences have shifted, as has the tenant mix in the Village’s centers. Limited redevelopment opportunities exist in the Village and the Master Plan strongly recommends a sustainable and competitive Village Center.  Short blocks with identifiable edges to reinforce the mixed uses and the introduction of new housing units can potentially transform the suburban blocks into walkable, connected and inviting areas, reinvigorating a sense of community and creating attractive centers for community life.

-Enhance connectivity: The Master Plan encourages increased options for mobility and connectivity by all modes — transit, walking, biking and private motor vehicles. The Village’s private street network, coupled with many trails and pedestrian connections, offers unique opportunities to enhance multimodal links. Montgomery Village can improve connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists by providing missing links to open spaces, parks, the Village Center and other destinations around the community and beyond.

In order to help achieve these goals, the Master Plan recommends an overlay zone as an implementation measure, since the Town Sector zone will not be used going forward, which means all the properties in the village must be rezoned. A large-scale rezoning of this kind is rare, and concerns have been raised about its implementation and potential consequences.  The Montgomery Village Overlay Zone is intended to preserve the unique Village character; protect existing open space and conservation areas; and ensure a compatible relationship between new and existing development.

Past PowerPoint presentations and other materials from the Montgomery Village Master Plan process are posted on the Montgomery Village Master Plan webpage.

Stay Connected:
Sign up: for the Montgomery Village Master Plan eNewsletter
Call: the MVPlan Hotline for updates on upcoming planning events: tel. 301-495-4723
Follow: updates on Twitter using #MVPlan and learn more by visiting www.montgomeryplanning.org/mvp

Master Plan Background:
Montgomery Village has not been part of a Master Plan review since the 1985 Gaithersburg Vicinity Master Plan, nor has it been the subject of a discrete County master plan in the past. Although Montgomery Village was within the boundaries of both the 1971 Gaithersburg Vicinity Master Plan and the 1985 Master Plan, neither plan contains recommendations or guidance for this community because the Village fell within the Town Sector Zone, which did not allow the rezoning of properties for a 50-year period that comes to a close in 2015. When the Planning Department initiated an update to the Gaithersburg Master Plan in 2007, Montgomery Village was originally included within its boundaries. However, with large swaths of land on both sides of I-270 presenting different planning issues and challenges, the Planning Department realized the area was too big to be analyzed effectively.

In 2008, the Planning Department divided the large Gaithersburg Master Plan area into two planning efforts – one for the west side of I-270, which became the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan (GSSC) – and one for the east side of I-270 – Gaithersburg East. In 2014, the County Council asked the Planning Department to 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 very efficiently on the Montgomery Village Plan, with the goal of having a draft plan transmitted to the Council within 14 months of the plan start date. The Council wanted the zoning to be reassessed holistically before the prohibition on piecemeal rezoning of Town Sector property expired in 2015.

Jul 27 15

Montgomery County Planning Department Seeks Submissions to its First Annual Design Excellence Award Program by August 21

by Bridget Schwiesow

DesignAward-PosterSmallEmail
Planning Department urges developers, architects, landscape architects, designers and property owners to submit top-quality, completed projects in the County to new award competition

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, seeks to recognize exceptional work in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design through its first annual Design Excellence Award. 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 deadline for submission is Friday, August 21, 2015. The selection of a winner will be made by an outside jury of accomplished professionals, including architects, urbanists and a landscape architect, invited by the Planning Department.

Submit to the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Design Excellence Award.

The winner will be announced on Thursday, October 22, 2015 during an awards celebration at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The event will also include the annual awards ceremony of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Valley Chapter.

Project Eligibility for Award

Projects eligible for the award include public, institutional, multi-family residential and commercial buildings; landscapes; urban designs and developments located within Montgomery County that were built within the past 10 years and are currently occupied and in use. The submitted projects should express the essential qualities of outstanding walkable, sustainable places at the scale of the neighborhood, block and building. They should illustrate how great design contributes to the community in terms of character, identity and economic value.

Purpose of Design Excellence Award

The Planning Department launched its Design Excellence initiative in 2014 to inspire the highest quality of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design in redeveloping areas within the County. In January 2015, as part of this program, the Department invited nationally recognized urban design and planning expert Noré Winter to discuss community design guidelines with the staff, Planning Board and public.

In June 2015, the Department launched its Design Excellence Award program to achieve the following goals:

-To recognize the best examples of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design in the County, and increase the public’s awareness of this world-class design excellence.

-To promote built work that contributes to the creation of pedestrian-oriented, walkable neighborhoods that enrich and contribute to the greater community.

-To show how physical design can lead to greater health, economic opportunity and environmental sustainability.

October Awards Ceremony

The winner of the first annual Design Excellence Award will be announced at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Chapter annual awards celebration on October 22, 2015. One of the highlights of the evening will be a presentation on the business case for design excellence by land use strategist Christopher Leinberger, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The winning project will be celebrated by the Montgomery Planning Department as a premier example of Design Excellence in Montgomery County through a promotional campaign to be launched in spring 2016.

The jury of accomplished and highly regarded practitioners in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, planning and urban design is:

Edward Feiner, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects | Design Leadership Council Director, Perkins+Will, Washington, DC.
Dhiru Thadani, Fellow of the Congress for the New Urbanism | Architect and urbanist, Washington, DC.
Michael Vergason, Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects| Principal, Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, Alexandria, Virginia.
Amy Weinstein, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects | Principal, Esocoff & Associates/Weinstein Studio, Washington, DC.

Review the bios of the jury.

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

Jul 23 15

Planning Board Approves New Plans for Clarksburg Town Center at July 23 Meeting

by Bridget Schwiesow

 

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Revised design of commercial core, new community facilities and upgrades to local parks part of proposal to complete east and west sides of Town Center

SILVER SPRING, MD  The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), has approved new plans for the Clarksburg Town Center submitted by Third Try, LLC of McLean, VA. These project, preliminary and site plan amendments are limited to the unbuilt portions of the 270-acre Town Center, on both the east and west sides of the development. They include a revised design of the commercial core, new community and civic buildings, and upgrades to two local parks.

When implemented, the plans will complete the Clarksburg Town Center after years of delay, due to numerous violations associated with the build-out of the community. An agreement reached by a citizen-led group known as the Clarksburg Town Center Advisory Committee and developer NNPII Clarksburg LLC (Newlands) led to a new site plan in 2009, calling for significant improvements to the Town Center.  However, Newlands did not move forward with these plans, eventually selling the unfinished portions of the property to Third Try.

The Town Center currently includes approximately 840 occupied residential units, a new elementary school, landscaping along major roads and other improvements. The plans reviewed at the July 23 Planning Board meeting call for a total of 1,120 residential units, along with 206,185 square feet of commercial space and numerous community enhancements.

Mixed-use, neo-traditional core

The commercial core on the west side of the Greenway will include office and medical buildings, retail, restaurants and a grocery store. The buildings are oriented toward General Store Drive (a private street segment) and Clarksburg Square Road with surface parking located in the rear so the core is compatible with existing development.

Amenities in the commercial core include a plaza with a splash fountain and seating. A civic building and a town green are proposed to the north, across Clarksburg Square Road. The town green is envisioned to include a stage with amphitheater seating for community-wide events. The neo-traditional design of the mixed-use Town Center is meant to complement existing structures and the Clarksburg Historic District at its heart.

Community buildings and open spaces

The Planning Board also approved plans for a new, 3,200-square-foot community building adjacent to the Residents’ Club to host large, indoor gatherings. A much-needed parking area located in nearby Sinequa Square will serve the club pool and both community buildings.

Also approved are improvements to Piedmont Woods and Kings Pond Local Parks. A basketball court, tennis courts, a playground, a dog park, picnic shelters and hiking trails are proposed for Piedmont Woods Local Park. A pond with a fishing pier, a tot lot, a hiking trail and picnic shelters will be added to Kings Pond Local Park.

A land bridge across the Greenway will connect the east and west sides of the Town Center. The Greenway will be enhanced to support stormwater management and reforestation. The Planning Board recommended that a natural surface walking trail be provided within the Greenway. A shared-use path will also connect Clarksburg and Stringtown Roads.

At the Planning Board meeting, Deputy Director of the Planning Department, Rose Krasnow, who has been involved with this development since the first violations were alleged, expressed the sentiments of many when she said, “It has taken a long time to get to this point, but with the approval of these plans today, we believe that the ultimate vision of Clarksburg Town Center as a walkable, mixed-use hub with a small-town feel and numerous amenities for residents can finally be realized.”

Background on Clarksburg Town Center

In 1994, the Montgomery County Council approved the Clarksburg Master Plan and Hyattstown Special Study Area, calling for the creation of a Town Center. This Center focused on the Clarksburg Historic District and would include a mix of uses. Two years later, plans were approved for a neo-traditional community to be constructed in phases with residential units, offices and retail. By 2006, about 725 units of the approved 1,300 dwelling units had been built or were under construction. The retail phase was never approved.

In 2005, the Clarksburg Town Center Advisory Committee alleged numerous violations associated with the build-out of the community and the Planning Board held several hearings on the allegations. Mediation between the advisory committee and developer led to an amended site plan, which became known as the Compliance Plan and was approved by the Planning Board in 2006.

In 2009, the Planning Board approved planning applications for commercial spaces, more than 1,200 dwelling units, a waiver to reduce the number of parking spaces and reconfirmation of building setbacks from residentially zoned properties. Although many of these elements were recommended in the Compliance Plan, the Board did not require that all elements of that Plan be realized, such as parking structures in the retail core. Subsequent plan amendments approved by the Board in 2010 and 2013 have resulted in the completion of some additional dwellings and community improvements.