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Dec 18 14

Speaker Series Event on January 14 To Examine Corridor Cities in Montgomery County

by Bridget Schwiesow

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

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department is hosting the third session in its Winter Speakers Series on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. at the Planning Department Headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md.). The series is called “A Once and Future County: Lessons on How Planning Politics Shaped Montgomery County and is hosted by Royce Hanson, former chairman of the County’s Planning Board.

The January 14 session, “Trials and Errors of Corridor Cities Planning,” focuses on the planning politics and development in the Rockville-Gaithersburg area; the challenges of a new town in Germantown; and the planning and development of Clarksburg.

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

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

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

Perry Berman is a senior associate at Scheer Partners, a Rockville, Md.-based commercial real estate firm. His past roles include serving as chief of the community planning division at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission where he worked on many of Montgomery County’s planning initiatives. He also served for five years as the in-house planning consultant for the law firm Holland & Knight. Currently, Mr. Berman also runs Elkridge, MD-based Berman Ventures, where he serves as a land-use consultant assisting property owners, developers and public-sector agencies in a variety of development, master planning and transportation issues in Montgomery, Howard and Anne Arundel counties.

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 18 14

Deadline Nears for Participating in Feedback Loop on Bethesda Downtown Plan Concepts

by Bridget Schwiesow

Bethesda logo

Community urged to answer online questionnaire about concepts for buildings, transportation systems, civic spaces and focal areas for environmental best practices through December 19

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is inviting stakeholders and residents to participate in the current online “Feedback Loop” through Friday, December 19 for the ongoing Bethesda Downtown Plan.

This online questionnaire encourages the public to offer their views on a number of concepts, ranging from bike paths to building heights, being proposed for the Plan. From this feedback, planners will be able to confirm their understanding of the community’s priorities for Downtown Bethesda.

The Feedback Loop follows a year of work on the Bethesda Downtown Plan. This effort has included multiple public meetings, outreach events and a visual preferences survey. The Feedback Loop is an opportunity to react to preliminary planning concepts proposed for the Bethesda Downtown Plan.

Particpating isquick and easy and can be done at your own convenience: from your computer, smartphone, tablet or laptop. Participate in the Bethesda Downtown Plan Feedback Loop.

This is an informal way for us to understand where there is where there is the greatest level of agreement in the community regarding the plan concepts that were recently presented to the Planning Board on December 11. View the Bethesda Downtown Plan Concepts: Planning Board Briefing 12.11.14.

In addition, a public meeting will be held on Thursday, January 29, 2015 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814). At that event, planning staff will present the concepts and feedback from the December 11 Planning Board meeting and answer questions from the audience.

The plan concepts open for public comment include:

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

After the results of the Feedback Loop, planners will complete the Staff Draft of the Bethesda Downtown Plan in March or April 2015. There will be a public meeting to present the Staff Draft in the first half of 2015.

Questions, comments?
Email: bethesdadowntownplan@montgomeryplanning.org

Dec 18 14

Planning Department Releases Scope of Work for Montgomery Village Master Plan

by Bridget Schwiesow

Montgomery Village vert  logo

Report specifies boundaries, planning issues, community outreach strategies and schedule for current master planning effort in the Village

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has issued its Scope of Work for the Montgomery Village Master Plan. This plan will build upon the visioning exercises conducted by the Montgomery Village Foundation, which identified several key sites within the 2,435-acre community where redevelopment is anticipated or encouraged. The purpose of the Master Plan is to consider the future of Montgomery Village, consider potential redevelopment scenarios and prepare new zoning classifications to replace the current Town Sector Zone.

Review the Montgomery Village Master Plan Scope of Work and Plan’s major milestones

The Montgomery Village Plan Scope of Work outlines the various elements that will be key to completion of the new Master Plan, including the following:

-Physical boundaries for the Montgomery Village Master Plan:
Montgomery Village is located in the central part of Montgomery County, east of I-270 and north of Gaithersburg. The community is roughly bordered by Great Seneca Park on the west, Warfield Road on the north, Goshen Road on the east and Lost Knife Road on the south, and the planning area is contained within those boundaries.

-Background on Montgomery Village and the Montgomery Village Foundation: Montgomery Village was developed in the 1960s by the Kettler brothers, whose vision was to create attractive and desirable residential neighborhoods with a range of housing choices and plenty of green space and recreational opportunities. In 1966, the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) was created as a nonprofit organization whose mission was to promote the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Montgomery Village.

-Town Sector Zone and Development Plan: The development of Montgomery Village was based on “new town” principles intended to establish a level of self-sufficiency for the Village. The Town Sector Zone (T-S Zone) – was created and approved by the County Council in 1965. Land use guidance for Montgomery Village was provided by the Development Plan, which was approved with the original T-S zoning application. This plan identified the locations and densities for residential and commercial uses, road network, sites for public schools and open spaces, trails and bike paths.

-Planning framework: Montgomery Village has not been part of a master plan since 1985 and it has never been the subject of a discrete County master plan until now.

-Purpose and summary of Plan issues: The County Council directed the Planning Department to expedite work on a master plan for Montgomery Village to address potential redevelopment scenarios and to assign new zoning categories to replace the current   Town Sector zoning, which is being phased out per the new Zoning Code.

-Montgomery Village today: Montgomery Village is aging – in 2015 the planned community will be 50 years old – so this is a good time to take a comprehensive look at the future of the Village. The majority of the Village was developed between 1965 and 1980, and there has been relatively little development in recent years.

-Community outreach and Plan schedule. The Montgomery Village Master Plan officially started on October 1, 2014, and the Planning Board Draft of the Master Plan is scheduled to be transmitted to the County Council and County Executive by October 2015. Community meetings will be held on a regular basis through June 2015.

Stay involved with the planning process by attending the MV Matters series. This sequence of outreach events aims to engage the community in the Montgomery Village Master Plan. Planners have received initial feedback from residents on what they view to be essential to the future of the Village and are now prepared to discuss these issues in greater detail. All events will be held at the Watkins Mill High School cafeteria (10301 Apple Ridge Road, Gaithersburg, MD) from 7-9 p.m.  Spanish translators can be provided upon request.

Workshop #2: Monday, January 12
Workshop #3: Monday, January 26
Workshop #4: Monday, February 9

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

Dec 9 14

Montgomery County Planning Department Expands Data Base of Civic and Homeowners Associations to Strengthen Community Ties

by Bridget Schwiesow

Efforts to verify and update information on local civic and homeowners groups aim to keep residents informed about planning issues in their neighborhoods

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is refreshing and revising its roster of community and homeowners associations to improve communications with these groups and the residents they serve.

The associations are being asked to update their email addresses and other contact information through an online form on the Planning Department website.

The collected data is being entered into the Association Explorer, an interactive map tool that allows the public to search for homeowner and civic groups in Montgomery County.

Planners also use the list to publicize topics of interest to specific neighborhoods. Developers access it to let communities know about their application plans. Having the most current email addresses of the civic and homeowners associations cuts costs and ensures a better, more rapid flow of information.

Dec 9 14

Chairs of Planning Boards in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties Urge Maryland’s Governor-Elect to Support Purple Line

by Bridget Schwiesow

Purple Line
Letter to Republican Larry Hogan Outlines Economic Benefits of Light Rail Project

SILVER SPRING, MD – The two Planning Board chairs representing Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission recently sent a letter to Maryland’s Governor-elect Larry Hogan and his transition team explaining the important reasons for keeping the Purple Line on track.

The December 4 letter, sent by Casey Anderson, Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board, and Prince George’s County Planning Board Chair Elizabeth Hewlett also outlines the economic benefits of light rail.

View the letter to Governor-elect Hogan and his transition team supporting the Purple Line

Hogan, the Republican who won November’s election, has indicated that he will announce his decision on the future of the Purple Line once he officially takes office in January.  Construction of the $2.4 billion transit system is set to begin in 2015, although the state has moved a deadline for bids to design and build the project until after Hogan takes office.

“A failure to follow through on the Purple Line after decades of technical analysis and political wrangling that have brought the project to the brink of approval would not only send exactly the wrong signal to enterprises that have made major commitments of resources to the Purple Line,” wrote Anderson and Hewlett, “but would encourage endless delay tactics as a way to block future infrastructure projects.”

Both Planning Board Chairs underscore the three decades of planning and design, and tens of millions of dollars. from the state and local governments that have already been invested in the 16-mile transit project. The federal contribution to the project is $900 million and would be reallocated to another transit project – or lost — should the state cancel the Purple Line. This federal money could not be used to fund road or bridge projects.

In their letter, Anderson and Hewlett emphasize the economic rewards of transit-oriented development. More than 80 percent of new employment growth in the DC suburbs occurs within walking distance of a Metrorail station. Recent studies, they point out, show that consumers are willing to pay more for housing in pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods near transit, and that proximity to transit also raises the value of office and retail space. The Purple Line is especially important to establishing strong ties among major business, housing and education centers by connecting Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park and New Carrollton.

“We know that money for the DC suburbs is a hard sell in some other parts of the state,” the two wrote. “But as appointed officials responsible for strengthening the key assets in our counties — particularly those assets needed to be competitive within the DC metro areas for jobs and residents in the future — we urge you to support the Purple Line as beneficial to the economic health of our region and state.”

Dec 5 14

Montgomery County Planning Department Studies Cycle Track for Connecticut Avenue to Serve Purple Line Station

by Bridget Schwiesow

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photo: example of a cycle track 

Design options for bicycle-only route developed along Connecticut Avenue between Manor Road and Chevy Chase Lake Drive

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, recently commissioned Toole Design Group of Silver Spring, MD, nationally recognized experts in bicycle planning and design, to develop conceptual designs for a “cycle track” on Connecticut Avenue between Manor Road and Chevy Chase Lake Drive. These concepts incorporate the latest research and best practices to facilitate bicycle access to the future Capital Crescent Trail, Connecticut Avenue Purple Line station and future development around the station.

Review the Connecticut Avenue Cycle Track Concepts Study.

The 2013 Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan recommends a shared-use path on the east side of Connecticut Avenue that transitions to a separate sidewalk and bike-only route in the vicinity of the Purple Line station. Separating bicycles and pedestrians in this area is important due to the substantial pedestrian activity anticipated around the Purple Line station.

What is a cycle track?
A cycle track (also known as a “separated bike lane”) is a bike facility that is physically separated and distinct from both vehicular travel lanes and sidewalks. This separation greatly increases the comfort and safety for bicyclists by separating them from both vehicular traffic and pedestrians. Cycle tracks can operate in one or two directions, and can be located at street level, sidewalk level or an area in between.

Montgomery County opened its first cycle track in November 2014 along the west side of Woodglen Drive between Nicholson and Edson Lanes in the White Flint Sector Plan area.

Learn more about bicycling planning efforts in Montgomery County on the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Bicycle webpage.

Dec 4 14

Community Invited to Participate in Feedback Loop on Bethesda Downtown Plan Concepts

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Online questionnaire asks public to evaluate concepts for buildings, transportation systems, civic spaces and focal areas for environmental best practices.

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is inviting stakeholders and residents to participate in the online “Feedback Loop” from December 8 through December 19 for the ongoing Bethesda Downtown Plan.

This online questionnaire encourages the public to offer views on a number of concepts, ranging from bike paths to building heights, proposed for the Plan. From this feedback, planners will be able to confirm their understanding of the community’s priorities for Downtown Bethesda.

The Bethesda Downtown Plan Feedback Loop will be available starting Monday, December 8 at www.bethesdadowntownplan.org

What is a Feedback Loop? A Feedback Loop is an opportunity for community members to engage in a productive dialogue with planners about the future being envisioned in a new plan. It provides an online venue for the planners to take the temperature of the community on concepts before they become final.

The Feedback Loop is coming after a year of work on the Bethesda Downtown Plan. This effort has included multiple public meetings, outreach events and a visual preferences survey. The Feedback Loop is an opportunity to react to preliminary planning concepts proposed for the Bethesda Downtown Plan. To learn even more about these proposed plan concepts, the public can watch the staff briefing to the Planning Board on December 11, either live or recorded.

In addition, a public meeting will be held on Thursday, January 28, 2015 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814). At that event, planning staff will present the concepts and feedback from the December 11 Planning Board meeting and answer questions from the audience.

The plan concepts open for public comment include:

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

After the results of the Feedback Loop, planners will complete the Staff Draft of the Bethesda Downtown Plan in March or April 2015.  There will be a public meeting to present the Staff Draft in 2015.

Feedback Loop Schedule:

  • Weigh in online at www.bethesdadowntownplan.org using the Feedback Loop online from 12/8 until 12/19.
  • Watch the staff brief the Planning Board on the Plan Concepts on 12/11
  • Attend the Drop-In session on Thursday, January 28, 2015 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814).

Check out all the details on the Bethesda Downtown Plan: www.bethesdadowntownplan.org

Watch the video recording Bethesda Downtown Plan Online Property Owners Forum held on October 29, 2014. Review a map of “Properties Under Discussion” to understand the ideas for the longer term future of Bethesda as the sector plan update proceeds. Also, review a map of “Pending and Recent Project Approvals in/and around Bethesda.” This “Development Finder” map shows projects that are recently completed or are already moving forward through our Development Review process under the current 1994 Bethesda Central Business District Plan or the 2006 Woodmont Triangle Amendment to that plan.

Questions, comments?
Email: bethesdadowntownplan@montgomeryplanning.org

Dec 3 14

Speaker Series Event on December 10 To Examine Evolution of Suburbs in Montgomery County

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Planners and developers reveal how politics and policies influenced transformation of car-centric areas into walkable, mixed-use communities

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department is hosting the second session in its Winter Speakers Series on Wednesday, December 10 at the Planning Department Headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md.) from 5:30 – 7 p.m. The series is called “A Once and Future County: Lessons on How Planning Politics Shaped Montgomery County” and  is hosted by Royce Hanson, former chairman of the County’s Planning Board.

The December 10 session, “Retrofitting the Suburbs: From Friendship Heights to White Flint,” will trace the evolution of strategic land use decisions in key areas of Montgomery County. Discussion among the invited speakers will focus on the influence of residential and commercial interests, the County Planning Board and its staff, County Council and County Executive, and changing approaches to planning.

“The speed and scale of the growth and change in Montgomery County over the past few decades made land development the most important component of our suburban political agenda,” says Hanson. “The next session will address the redevelopment of obsolete commercial centers and strips in the county as a result of master plans and engagement by developers and citizens.”

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

Julie Davis is a retired partner of Caplin & Drysdale, a Washington law firm specializing in national and international tax issues.  For more than 40 years, Davis represented Montgomery County communities and civic associations on a pro bono basis in planning and zoning matters. She served on the Citizens Advisory Committee appointed by the Montgomery County Planning Board for the Friendship Heights Sector Plan, on the Planning Board’s Transportation Policy Review (“TPR”) group and, most recently, the Zoning Advisory Panel. In addition, Davis has been a member of the Montgomery County Charter Review Commission, Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board and Friendship Heights Transportation Management District Advisory Committee.

Evan Goldman is Vice President of Development for Federal Realty Investment Trust. He is responsible for managing the transformation of Rockville’s Mid-Pike Plaza Shopping Center into the mixed-use district called Pike & Rose, and is an active participant in the White Flint Partnership, an advocacy organization of commercial property owners. Goldman led the grassroots community campaign to secure the passage of the White Flint Sector Plan by the Montgomery County Council in 2010. Prior to joining Federal Realty in 2008, he was a partner at the Holladay Corporation, a development company in Washington, D.C., where he began his involvement with the White Flint Partnership.

John Robinson is an attorney who has practiced real estate, finance, employment and railway law. He served on the Montgomery County Planning Board from 2001 through 2009. A citizen activist for many years, Robinson has served as president of organizations as varied as the Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association, Noyes Children’s Library Foundation and Kensington Historical Society. In addition, he has co-chaired the Silver Spring Redevelopment Advisory Board and the Montgomery County Infrastructure Finance Working Group. He also served on the board of the Washington Area Housing Partnership.

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

The next session, “Trials and Errors of Corridor Cities Planning,” will be held on January 14 at the same time and place. It will examine the planning politics and development in the Rockville-Gaithersburg area; the challenges of a new town in Germantown; and the planning and development of Clarksburg.

Learn more about the Once and Future County Speakers Series.

Learn more: http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/department/onceandfuture/
Use hashtag: #onceandfuturecounty

Dec 2 14

Attend the Montgomery Village Matters Series – Monday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.

by Bridget Schwiesow

Montgomery Village logo blk
Community invited to meet with Montgomery County planners, learn about next steps and give feedback on the Montgomery Village Master Plan

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will hold the first MV Matters community meeting to discuss the Montgomery Village Master Plan on Monday, December 8, from 7-9 p.m. at the Watkins Mill High School cafeteria (10301 Apple Ridge Rd, Gaithersburg, MD). Anyone who lives, works or has an interest in the future of the Montgomery Village community is invited to attend the MVMatters meeting where planners will provide information on the next steps of the planning process and explain how “what matters to MV” will be used in the master plan.

As a follow-up to the successful Montgomery Village Plan Kickoff meeting in October, the planning team is inviting residents to learn about specific subject areas, such as urban design, land use, parks, environment and transportation and more, through the MV Matters Series.

What is MV Matters All About?
MVMatters is a series of outreach events meant to engage the community in the Montgomery Village Master Plan. Planners have received initial feedback from residents on what they view as the most valuable places in the village and are now prepared to discuss these issues in greater detail.

The meeting will consist of a presentation of the existing conditions and the draft scope of work, a discussion of next steps and a preview of the next round of MVMatters sessions scheduled for January and February 2015. Staff planners will present their recommended Scope of Work to the Montgomery County Planning Board for action on December 11. The staff report will be available on or about December 5, 2014 at www.montgomeryplanningboard.org/meetings_archive/

Details:
Montgomery Village Master Plan MVMatters Workshop #1
Monday, December 8, 7 – 9 p.m.
Watkins Mill High School Cafeteria (10301 Apple Ridge Rd, Gaithersburg, MD)
RSVP for the event

Workshop #2: Monday, January 12
Workshop #3: Monday, January 26
Workshop #4: Monday, February 9

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

Master Plan Background:
Montgomery Village has not been part of a Master Plan review since the 1985 Gaithersburg Vicinity Master Plan, nor has it been the subject of a discrete County master plan in the past. Although Montgomery Village was within the boundaries of both the 1971 Gaithersburg Vicinity Master Plan and the 1985 Master Plan, neither plan contains recommendations or guidance for this community because the Village fell within the Town Sector Zone, which did not allow 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 Department realized the area was too big to be analyzed effectively.

In 2008, the Department divided the large Gaithersburg Master Plan area into two planning efforts – one for the west side of I-270, which became the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan (GSSC) – and one for the east side of I-270 – Gaithersburg East. In 2014, the County Council directed the Planning Department to refine the Gaithersburg East plan further to have one plan for Montgomery Village and one plan for the remainder of Gaithersburg East. The Council also directed the Planning Director to work efficiently on the Montgomery Village Plan, with the goal of having a draft plan transmitted to the Council within 12 months of the plan start date, because it wanted the zoning to be reassessed holistically before the prohibition on piecemeal rezoning of the Town Sector property expired the next year.

Nov 19 14

Speaker Series Event on December 10 To Examine Recent Suburban Retrofits and Transformations in Montgomery County

by Bridget Schwiesow

 

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Planners and developers reveal how politics and policies influenced recent retrofits in areas from Friendship Heights to White Flint

SILVER SPRING, MD – On Wednesday, December 10, the Montgomery County Planning Department is hosting the second session in its Winter Speakers Series titled “A Once and Future County: Lessons on How Planning Politics Shaped Montgomery County.”  The evening event will feature a presentation by Royce Hanson, former chairman of the County’s Planning Board; panel discussions among regional planning experts; and question-and-answer sessions with attendees. The free event will be held at the Planning Department Headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD) from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and will be streamed live online.

The December 10 session, “Retrofitting the Suburbs: From Friendship Heights to White Flint,” will trace the evolution of strategic land use decisions in key areas of Montgomery County. Discussion will focus on the influence of residential and commercial interests, the County Planning Board and its staff, County Council and County Executive, and changing approaches to planning.

Panelists include the following experts:

Julie Davis is a retired partner of Caplin & Drysdale, a Washington law firm specializing in national and international tax issues.  For more than 40 years, Davis represented Montgomery County communities and civic associations on a pro bono basis in planning and zoning matters. She served on the Citizens Advisory Committee appointed by the Montgomery County Planning Board for the Friendship Heights Sector Plan, on the Planning Board’s Transportation Policy Review (“TPR”) group, its Centers and Boulevards study group, and most recently its Zoning Advisory Panel. In addition, Davis has been a member of the Montgomery County Charter Review Commission, the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board, and the Friendship Heights Transportation Management District Advisory Committee.

Evan Goldman is Vice President of Development for Federal Realty Investment Trust. He is responsible for managing the transformation of Rockville’s Mid-Pike Plaza Shopping Center into a mixed-use project and is an active participant in the White Flint Partnership, an advocacy organization of commercial property owners. Goldman led the grassroots community campaign to secure the passage of the White Flint Sector Plan by the Montgomery County Council in 2010. Prior to joining Federal Realty in 2008, he was a partner at the Holladay Corporation, a development company in Washington, D.C., where he began his involvement with the White Flint Partnership.

John Robinson is an attorney who has practiced real estate, finance, employment and railway law. He served on the Montgomery County Planning Board from 2001 through 2009. A citizen activist for many years, Robinson has served as president of organizations as varied as the Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association, Noyes Children’s Library Foundation and Kensington Historical Society. In addition, he has co-chaired the Silver Spring Redevelopment Advisory Board and the Montgomery County Infrastructure Finance Working Group. He also served on the board of the Washington Area Housing Partnership.

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

-The next session, “Trials and Errors of Corridor Cities Planning,” will be held on January 14 at the same time and place. It will examine the planning politics and development in the Rockville-Gaithersburg area; the challenges of a new town in Germantown; and the planning and development of Clarksburg.

Watch the video first Winter Speakers Series event from November 12 “Planners, Politicians and How Montgomery County Got This Way” featuring Royce Hanson, Harry Lerch, Lucille Harrigan and Gus Bauman.

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