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Apr 6 16

White Flint Sector Plan Implementation Advisory Committee Will Hold Monthly Meeting in North Bethesda on April 11

by Bridget Schwiesow

white flint image

Group will discuss progress of developments, road improvements, bikeway projects and related White Flint 2 Sector Plan issues 

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is convening the monthly meeting of the White Flint Sector Plan Implementation Advisory Committee on Monday, April 11 at 7 p.m. at the Wall Local Park/Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center (5900 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda, MD 20852). The meeting is open to the public.

The session’s agenda includes a progress report on development activity, updates on road and bikeway projects, and the County’s current Capital Improvements Program budgetary process as it relates to the White Flint Sector Plan area of North Bethesda.

Participants will learn more about the White Flint 2 Sector Plan, launched in 2015 to close the gap between the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan, Twinbrook Sector Plan and the pending City of Rockville plan for Rockville Pike (MD 355). The plan’s land use, zoning and transportation recommendations will apply to properties in a bow-tie-shaped area between the boundaries of these already established Plans. White Flint 2 will link common elements between the Plan areas, including Rockville Pike and a proposed network of bike lanes and public open spaces.

Update on Urban Land Institute Review Panels

Another topic of discussion at the meeting will be the Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) review held by the Planning Department and Washington, DC chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in December 2015 to focus on revitalization strategies for the Executive Boulevard and Rock Spring areas of North Bethesda. This two-day event included site visits, roundtable discussions and a presentation of findings from a multi-disciplinary team of real estate and land use experts.

The panelists suggested ways of making the two office parks in North Bethesda more economically competitive and their findings are documented in a recent report entitled “What’s Next for Office Parks in Montgomery County.” The report recommendations for the Executive Boulevard area are being considered by planners for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.

Meeting participants will also learn about a more recent ULI TAP review, held by the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee on March 29, 2016 at the Strathmore Music Center.  The purpose of this study is to look at ways of re-branding the White Flint area as the Pike District. Panelists offered ideas for signage and streetscape designs to clearly define a new identity for the neighborhood.

About the White Flint Sector Plan Advisory Committee

In 2010, the Planning Department appointed a group of property owners, residents, County officials and interest groups to oversee the implementation and staging of redevelopment in the Sector Plan areas. The 24-member committee monitors the progress of Plan recommendations, including improvements to traffic congestion, transit use and parking; the County’s Capital Improvements Program and Subdivision Staging Policy. Members recommend action by the Planning Board and County Council to address issues that may arise.

Apr 5 16

Taking Stress Management to the Next Level: Montgomery County Planning Department Releases an Online Roadmap for Bicycle Stress

by Bridget Schwiesow

stress map

Planners evaluated 3,500 miles of roads and trails based on their comfort level for bicyclists

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has created a digital map showing the amount of stress that people experience when bicycling in Montgomery County.

View the Montgomery County Planning Department Bicycle Stress Map.

The purpose of the map is to understand impediments to bicycling and to identify and prioritize the changes that are needed to create a low-stress bicycling environment for the 50 percent of people who say they would be interested in bicycling, but do not currently bicycle because they are concerned for their safety.

Planning Department staff evaluated over 3,500 miles of roads and trails in the County to determine the level of stress on each road segment and intersection.

“Montgomery County is working to elevate bicycle planning to the level of analysis that is used for traffic and transit planning by gaining a deeper understanding of what connectivity means for people who bicycle,” says Project Manager David Anspacher.

What is traffic stress?

For most people the decision to bicycle includes consideration of whether road conditions, such as traffic volume and traffic speed, exceed their threshold for stress. Since most adults are uncomfortable bicycling on roads with four or more lanes or a posted speed limit of 30 mph or higher, the opportunities to get from Point A to Point B in Montgomery County are limited unless there is a separated bikeway such as a path, trail, or separated bike lane.

Key Findings

Preliminary analysis has found that:

  • While about 78 percent of road miles are suitable for most adults, only a fraction of actual trips can be completed on a low-stress network, due to the inability to reach destinations with minimal detours.
  • Only 16 percent of people living within a two-mile distance of a Metrorail station can reach that station on a low-stress bicycling network.
  • Connectivity is poor around schools. Elementary, middle, and high schools are connected to only 28 percent, 15 percent and 7 percent of residences, respectively, by a child-appropriate bicycle network.

Bicycle Master Plan Background

The Bicycle Master Plan seeks to develop a low-stress bicycling network that encourages more people to ride a bike in Montgomery County. It will evaluate an array of bikeway types, including separated, buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as how to provide secure bicycle storage facilities at transit stations.

Questions or Comments?

Contact: David Anspacher, Bicycle Master Plan Project Manager
Telephone: 301.495.2191

Connect With Us
Follow: @MCBikePlan
Sign up: for the Bicycle Master Plan eletter
Attend: monthly Advisory Committee Meetings

Apr 1 16

Free Trees Are Available for Qualifying Property Owners in County’s Urban Districts

by Bridget Schwiesow


Planning Department expands Shades of Green program to provide free trees to eligible property owners in Montgomery County

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is offering free trees to qualifying property owners in Montgomery County’s urban districts. The Shades of Green program, which was launched in 2012 as a pilot program, is now expanding to all urban road code areas of the County in an effort to enhance the tree canopy cover within the most impervious areas of the county.

The Shades of Green program is financed through the Forest Conservation Fund, made up of contributions paid during the development process as compensation for tree loss. These fees are paid by developers when tree planting on their development sites is impractical.

The expanded Shades of Green program is available to property owners who live within the qualifying boundaries of the urban centers identified below. Residents in these area are invited to participate in the program and receive free trees by filling out a form at To determine if a property is located within the eligible locations, click on this link:

The Shades of Green program is now offering free trees in the following urban road code areas:

  1. Silver Spring Central Business District
  2. Montgomery Hills
  3. Wheaton Central Business District
  4. Flower/Piney Urban District
  5. Bethesda Central Business District
  6. Friendship Heights Urban District
  7. Westbard Urban District
  8. Germantown Center
  9. Shady Grove
  10. Olney
  11. Friendship Heights Urban District
  12. Westbard Urban District
  13. Germantown Center
  14. Shady Grove
  15. Olney Center
  16. Glenmont
  17. Grosvenor
  18. Clarksburg Town Center
  19. Gloverleaf Center
  20. Damascus Town Center
  21. Great Seneca Science Center
  22. North Bethesda Community / MU Center
  23. North Bethesda
  24. Twinbrook
  25. White Flint
  26. White Oak Science Gateway
  27. Burtonsville Crossroads
  28. Sandy Spring Village

Tree Canopy Benefits for the Environment

To better understand Montgomery County’s existing tree canopy cover, County planners analyzed the layer of leaves and branches that cover the ground when viewed from above. High-resolution aerial imagery revealed much lower tree canopy levels in urban areas than in more suburban neighborhoods

The Shades of Green program aims to improve the overall tree canopy cover in these urban districts to provide benefits, such as:

-Beautify urban districts.
-Reduce street temperatures.
-Cool buildings, thereby reducing energy demand.
-Support the local economy.
-Improve street ambiance and quality of place.
-Enhance water, air and habitat quality.
-Reduce greenhouse gases.
-Reduce urban heat island effect.


Apr 1 16

Montgomery Modern Book Wins Award from County Preservation Group

by Bridget Schwiesow

Montgomery Modern Cover

Montgomery Preservation Inc. honors book that documents County’s mid-20th-century architecture and neighborhoods for demonstrating excellence in heritage education

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce that its book, Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979, has been honored with a 2015 Montgomery County Award for Historic Preservation.  The award was presented by Montgomery Preservation Inc. for demonstrating excellence in heritage education at a ceremony at the Sandy Spring Museum on March 25, 2016.

The 250-page, well-illustrated book is written by Clare Lise Kelly, a preservation planner and an architectural historian with the Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office. The book includes an inventory of key buildings and communities, and biographical sketches of architects and developers.

Montgomery Modern is surely destined to become an invaluable reference guide to modernist design, planning, construction and – hopefully – preservation of Montgomery County’s mid-century heritage,” said Jerry McCoy, president of the Silver Spring Historical Society, at the award ceremony. “One hopes this book will rekindle popular appreciation for modernism and help raise awareness of the value of modern resources, and to ensure that this significant part of our architectural heritage will remain for the benefit of generations to come.”

About Montgomery Modern

The publication of Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979 is part of the Historic Preservation Office’s award-winning Montgomery Modern initiative to educate the public about the architectural heritage of Montgomery County. This preservation program has included a bus tour, bike tour and other outreach events dedicated to the wealth of mid-century modern architecture in the County. Learn more about the Historic Preservation Office’s Montgomery Modern initiative.
Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979, written by M-NCPPC senior architectural historian Clare Lise Kelly, provides the historic context for modern architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, from its first appearance in the 1930s through the 1970s. Richly illustrated with images by DC photographer Carol Highsmith, period photographs and architectural renderings, the book is organized by building types set within four main time periods.

Biographical sketches of practitioners (architects, landscape architects, developers, planners) are included, as well as an inventory of key projects, including buildings and subdivisions. Montgomery Modern is intended to raise awareness about the significance of modern architecture and the fragile nature of the built environment from the recent past.

Apr 1 16

Montgomery County Planning Department Announces its Second Annual Design Excellence Award Program

by Bridget Schwiesow

2016 design award logo formal
Planning Department urges developers, architects, landscape architects, designers and property owners to submit top-quality, completed projects in the County to annual 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 second 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 call for entries opens on Thursday, May 12, 2016 and closes at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, 2016.  The selection of a winner will be made by an outside jury of accomplished professionals invited by the Planning Department.

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

The winner will be recognized on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 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 both private and public structures and spaces 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. Review the 2015 winner and citations.

Purpose of Design Excellence Award

Montgomery County is one of the country’s most successful and well run counties, and its stature should be reflected in the excellent architecture, urban design and landscape architecture of its buildings and spaces. Design excellence is becoming increasingly important as the amount of available land for development in the County is shrinking and building density is increasing. The highest quality design is important to sustain a thriving and attractive County with buildings, public spaces and neighborhoods that are worthy of its deserving residents and workers.

The Planning Department’s annual Design Excellence Award, launched in 2015, is intended to inspire architecture, landscape architecture and urban design of the best possible quality in Montgomery County, and increase the public awareness of this world-class design excellence.

October 2016 Awards Ceremony

The winner of the annual Design Excellence Award will be recognized at an awards celebration co-hosted by the Planning Department and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Chapter on October 20, 2016.

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 and will be presented by Department leadership at conferences and public events.

2016 Design Excellence Award Jury

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

Elinor Bacon has more than 35 years of experience in housing and community development in the public and private sectors. In 2002, she established Washington DC-based E.R. Bacon Development to focus on urban infill, mixed-use development, affordable housing and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. Prior to starting her firm, Bacon led the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC), a quasi-public entity established to spur economic development throughout the District, particularly in neighborhoods of need, and administered the federal Hope 6 Program under HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo. She was the co-recipient, with Ray Gindroz, of the Seaside Prize from the Seaside (Florida) Institute in 2004.

Shalom Baranes is the founding principal of a Washington, DC-based architecture firm recognized for its design excellence. Shalom Baranes Associates has won more than 120 awards for projects involving both new construction and renovation. Baranes is the recipient of the 2015 Centennial Award, the highest honor given to a practicing architect by the Washington chapter of the AIA. His current work includes some of Washington, DC’s largest residential and mixed-use projects, including The Yards at Southeast Federal Center, Burnham Place at Union Station and the new headquarters for the US Department of Homeland Security.

Stephanie Bothwell, a Washington, DC-based city and town planner, and a landscape architect, focuses on sustainable landscapes that support the creation of community. Bothwell founded and directed the American Institute of Architects’ Center for Livable Communities and worked for Boston’s neighborhood open space, housing and transportation redevelopment programs. She served on the Board of the Congress for the New Urbanism and is the co-founder of its DC chapter.

Yolanda Cole is senior principal and owner of Hickok Cole Architects in Washington, DC. She has more than 30 years of experience in projects ranging from large-scale, mixed-use developments to small commercial interiors. Cole is widely recognized for spearheading research and innovation in the profession through the cultivation of a collaborative practice. She is a past president of AIA | DC and is currently on the Advisory Board and Governance Committee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) District Council and is Chair of Mission Advancement.

Mar 24 16

Changes to Westbard Sector Plan Recommended at County Council Meeting on March 22

by Bridget Schwiesow

Westbard Logo

The plan is being revised to maintain most of the existing commercial zoning along River Road and increase affordable housing in the Westbard area

Silver Spring, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, presented the Westbard Sector Plan to the County Council on Tuesday, March 22. This meeting followed a work session held with the County’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee on Monday, March 14.

The Council recommended changes to the plan based on the PHED work session, including:

– Maintaining the existing commercial and industrial zoning, and building heights of 35 to 40 feet along River Road.

-Allowing a floating zone to be applied to River Road properties currently occupied by the American Plant garden center, Roof Center and Talbert’s Ice and Beverage Service, and allow future redevelopment of these sites.

-Increasing the affordable housing requirements for new residential construction 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.

These changes will be reflected in the Westbard Sector Plan Draft Plan, which also reflects recommendations from Planning Board work sessions. The County Council will vote on approval of the Sector Plan in April 2016.

View the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan.

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 of not more than 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.

Stay Connected
Sign up for the Westbard Sector Plan eNewsletter.

Mar 24 16

Planning Department Announces Calendar of April 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 April 2016 calendar of community meetings, work session 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 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:

Montgomery County Planning Department Events in April 2016

April 7: The Planning Board will hold another work session for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on additional agenda items.

April 11: The White Flint Sector Plan Implementation Advisory Committee will meet at 7 p.m. in Wall Local Park/Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center (5900 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852).

April 12: The Great Seneca Science Corridor Plan Implementation Advisory Committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. in room 3156 of the Camille Kendall Academic Center (Building 3) at the Universities at Shady Grove (9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850).

April 12: Attend the public meeting focusing on key transportation elements of the Subdivision Staging Policy update, to be held from 7 to 9 pm in the Planning Board auditorium (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). This event presents the opportunity for the community to share thoughts about proposed changes to the policy.

April 14: The Planning Board will hold the second work session for the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan at its meeting and review transportation recommendations for the Subdivision Staging Policy. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on additional agenda items.

April 21: Planning Board members will tour the King Farm and the new Crown Farm community in Gaithersburg. Consult the Planning Board Agenda for details about the session.

April 28: The Planning Board will hold a work session on the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. Consult the Planning Board Agenda for details about the session.

Mar 24 16

MARC Rail Communities Design Workshops Held from March 14-16

by Bridget Schwiesow

jpg of bus shelter ad

Attendees offered feedback on plans to improve MARC station areas in Boyds and Germantown

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, concluded the second phase of its design workshops, held from March 14 through March 16, for the MARC Rail Communities Plan at the Upcounty Regional Services Center (12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown, MD 20874). The purpose of the workshops was to identify community concerns and gather ideas for the MARC station areas in Boyds and Germantown, and enable all stakeholders to participate and to have a voice in the ultimate vision.

Design Workshop on March 7

The most recent sessions followed an all-day workshop held on March 7 when residents and stakeholders dropped in to meet with Planning Department staff and County and state officials, and learn about various aspects of the rail station areas. Discussion topics included land use policy, historic preservation, schools, environmental issues and transportation connections. An open house and community visioning exercise followed in the evening, when the public brainstormed ideas and asked questions.

Design Workshops from March 14 to March 16

During the second phase of the MARC Rail Communities Plan Design Workshops, held from March 14 through March 16, planners synthesized ideas from the March 7 event and explored additional ideas in order to determine the priorities for the Boyds and Germantown station areas. Discussions centered on road access, parking, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, historic preservation, environmental issues and other topics.

On March 14, the planners focused on Boyds and on March 15, they turned their attention to Germantown.

Staff used a smart screen to demonstrate interactive maps and invited workshop participants to draw and write their comments about the station areas in Boyds and Germantown. Suggestions from the communities included more bike and bus connections, more MARC parking, new gathering places, increased pedestrian safety and preserving the historic districts in each community.

On March 16, the final day of the Design Workshops, participants were provided the opportunity to learn about the proposed concepts developed during the previous two days. They gave feedback about concepts to planners through comments and drawings. This important interaction will serve as a basis for refinement to the initial concepts that will be presented at a series of future community meetings.

Online Map Available for Registering Comments about Boyds and Germantown Station Areas
Residents and stakeholders who didn’t attend the workshops or want to add more comments based on the workshop discussions can offer suggestions for the Boyds and Germantown station areas from their phones or computers. View the feedback map to record online comments about the future of MARC stations in Boyds and Germantown.

Through this interactive map, participants are asked to comment on connections, placemaking and other topics relevant to the Boyds and Germantown MARC stations. The comments will be posted in real time on the map for the public to view and will be considered by planners as work continues on the MARC Rail Communities plan.

About the MARC Rail Communities Master Plan

The MARC Rail Communities Plan is focused on improving the transit station areas in Boyds and Germantown in ways that are sensitive to the character and scale of these historic communities. Planners are considering opportunities for physical and operational improvements that could enhance commuter rail stations in this area of Montgomery County.

Recommended land uses and existing zoning will be evaluated for consistency with the desired scale and character for the area. Access and connections in the vicinity of the stations will be evaluated and enhancements recommended where needed. In coordination with MARC Rail and County and state agencies, the Plan will consider land uses and alternative arrangements for existing surface parking and access.

Master Plan recommendations will be presented to the Planning Board in fall 2016 and a public hearing about the Plan will be held towards the end of 2016. Learn more about this plan:

Stay connected

  • Stay informed and join the MARC Rail Communities email list at
  • Email us at
  • Meet with us in our offices in Silver Spring or attend a public meeting in Boyds or Germantown.

Our team

  • Roberto Duke, Planner Coordinator, 301.495.2168
  • Leslie Saville, Planner Coordinator, 301.495.2194
Mar 23 16

Winter Speaker Series Held from January to March 2016 Presented Transportation Alternatives to Inform Planning Department Initiatives

by Bridget Schwiesow


Talks on transit planning, separated bike lanes and traffic metrics focused on concepts considered for new Subdivision Staging Policy and Bicycle Master Plan

Silver Spring, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, concluded its three-part Winter Speaker Series in March 2016. Titled Smart Moves: New Ideas about Bikes, Cars and Transit, the series was free to the public and addressed new approaches to cycling, transit, trails and other alternatives to cars. The ideas generated from the series are helping to inform the Department’s current plans and policies, including the Bicycle Master Plan and Subdivision Staging Policy update.

Session on January 20 Focused on Big Data for Transit Planning

The first session of the Winter Speaker Series featured a presentation by transportation planner Nat Bottigheimer, DC Region Market Lead of Fehr & Peers. The session drew about 40 people, including Montgomery County Councilmembers Hans Riemer and Roger Berliner.

Bottigheimer titled his talk “Putting the Transition back in Transit” to emphasize the importance of the upfront planning required of surface transit projects – light rail, streetcars, bus rapid transit –so they can succeed. He revealed how data from cell phones, GPS systems and bus travel can be used to determine the potential ridership and viability of these transit projects.

Watch the recap.

Session on February 16 Focused Separated Bike Lanes

At the second event, Jennifer Toole, president of the Silver Spring-based Toole Design Group, discussed bike lanes in the Netherlands where separated bike lanes are commonplace in both suburban and rural areas, not just in cities. “Some designers throw up their hands when it comes to making suburban roads more bike-friendly, but it can be done successfully as shown in other countries,” she said.

Toole showed how suburban bicycling can be improved with lanes separated from vehicular traffic so residents feel safe and comfortable riding for transportation and recreation. Currently, the Montgomery County Planning Department is developing the Bicycle Master Plan to achieve that goal.

Watch the recap.

Session on March 16 Focused on New Transportation Metrics to Reduce Traffic 

The final session featured transportation planner Jeffrey Tumlin, principal and director of strategy for San Francisco-based Nelson/Nygaard. Tumlin discussed new ways of measuring transportation performance to reduce traffic congestion and make it easier to walk, bike or take transit. He is currently working in Oakland, San Jose and Mountain View, California, to adopt new metrics for evaluating the impact of transportation on these communities.

Tumlin showed how tools such as vehicle miles traveled, a measure of miles driven within a specified region or for a specified time period, can help to ensure the environmental effects of traffic are fully addressed so cities and counties can reach their goals for economic development, public health and ecological balance.

Watch the recap.

For more information about the Winter Speakers Series, go to

Use #smartmoves

Speaker Bios

Nat Bottingheimer of DC-based Fehr & Peers is a transportation planner with a background in public policy and real estate economics. Until 2012, Nat was an assistant general manager at Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), where he promoted bike and pedestrian access, sustainability and bus priority investment. He has expertise in planning for rail station access, transit and land use, and is a recognized expert in transit-oriented development.

Jennifer Toole, president of Toole Design Group in Silver Spring, has a keen understanding of how to design streets that work for all users. She has been involved in numerous projects of national significance for the Federal Highway Administration, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2008, Jennifer was honored with the Professional of the Year award from the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals.

Jeffery Tumlin of San Francisco-based Nelson/Nygaard has led award-winning plans in cities from Seattle and Vancouver to Moscow and Abu Dhabi. He helps balance all modes of transportation in densely developed places to achieve a community’s goals and best utilize limited resources. He has developed plans throughout the world that accommodate millions of square feet of growth with no net increase in motor vehicle traffic. Jeff is the author of the book Sustainable Transportation Planning: Tools for Creating Healthy, Vibrant and Resilient Communities.

Mar 22 16

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

by Bridget Schwiesow

Proposed revisions to the transportation elements of the Subdivision Staging Policy will be 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 meet the needs of new development and growth.

A community meeting focusing on key transportation elements of the policy update will be held on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Montgomery County Planning Board auditorium in Silver Spring (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD).

This April event follows a similar public forum held on March 15, 2016 and, like that meeting, presents the opportunity for the community to learn more about the Subdivision Staging Policy and share thoughts about proposed changes to the policy. Staff representing the Montgomery County Department of Transportation will be available to participate in the discussions. RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

RSVP for the Subdivision Staging Policy Community Open House.

Background on Subdivision Staging Policy:
Revisions to the Subdivision Staging Policy are currently underway. Planning staff is researching new ideas in transportation and school capacity planning in preparation for the revised regulations, which will first be presented to the Planning Board in May 2016 for comment. This quadrennial 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 growth. 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.