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Planning

Jun 22 16

Planning Department Launches Campaign to Identify All Bike Racks in County

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Citizen-led survey will help planners to recommend more locations for racks as part of Bicycle Master Plan

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is launching a survey of all bicycle racks in the County as part of the ongoing Bicycle Master Plan. Planners are asking cyclists and residents to identify racks at schools, retail centers, offices, transportation hubs and other locations.

Citizens can sign up online to track bike racks in one or more areas, using an app created by BikeArlington. This data will help the County to recommend more locations for bicycle racks in Montgomery County.

Find out more about the Bicycle Master Plan.

Jun 9 16

Former Planning Board Member Esther Gelman Remembered for Helping to Shape the County

by Bridget Schwiesow

Before serving on the County Council, Gelman served on the Planning Board and influenced its direction

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, sadly announces the death of Esther Gelman, who served on the County Planning Board from 1970 to 1974. Gelman died on June 6, 2016 after a long illness. She would have been 85 on June 14.

Gelman first became acquainted with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) in the 1960s while working as a local newspaper correspondent covering the organization. In 1970, she was named as a member of the Planning Board and forged a close association with Board Chair Royce Hanson.

Gelman was known for her commitment to the master and sector plans that have led to Montgomery County as it looks today. She also worked to secure the appointment of Norman Christeller as Hanson’s successor in 1981 and helping to secure the appointment of attorney Gus Bauman to the chairmanship in 1989.

After leaving the Planning Board in 1974, Gelman was elected to the County Council and served as its president in 1984 while also doing a stint as president of the Maryland Association of Counties. She remained on the Council until 1987.

Throughout her long political career, Gelman was an advocate for citizen rights and helped improve human services for residents of Montgomery County. She sponsored legislation in such areas as comparable pay, religious leave accommodations, smoking prohibitions and the establishment of the Community Crisis Center for abused women.

More details about Gelman’s life and career can be found online.

Jun 7 16

Proposed Revisions to County’s Subdivision Staging Policy Were Focus of Public Hearings on June 2

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Transportation and school elements of the Subdivision Staging Policy were discussed at public hearings held at the Planning Board meeting 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 the Growth Policy) for review and approval by the County Council by November 15, 2016. The intent of the Subdivision Staging Policy is to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and transportation facilities, are adequate to accommodate new development.

As part of this review process, two public hearings – one discussing transportation and another focused on schools – were held on Thursday, June 2, 2016 during the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting in Silver Spring (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). The Public Hearing Draft proposes changes to the current Subdivision Staging Policy, which includes the following updates.

Transportation Policy Updates

Planners recognize that there is not a “one size fits all” set of rules and have revised the transportation policies to recognize current land use patterns, modes of travel other than single occupant vehicles and planning visions for different parts of the County. Policy areas have been reorganized into four groups; Core, Corridor, Wedge and Rural.

A spectrum of policy area-based transportation tests appropriate for each group has been created, with a strong focus on transit accessibility. Some groups, such as the Core and Rural areas, will not require policy area transit accessibility tests. For those areas requiring transportation tests, trip generation rates have been updated to reflect current land use patterns and travel behavior. In addition, trip generation rates can be adjusted based on reduced parking.

A new system for evaluating local area transportation conditions has been proposed. It does not rely solely on critical lane volume to determine traffic flow, but rather focuses on other tools, such as Synchro, vehicle miles traveled and non-auto driver mode share rates.

Transportation impact taxes will be directed to the geographic area where they are being collected for the Core policy areas and may be adjusted to better incentivize reduced parking.

Schools Policy Updates

In revising the Subdivision Staging Policy, planners worked to more thoroughly assess the adequacy of school facilities and more accurately account for the impact of new development.

The Public Hearing Draft of the Subdivision Staging Policy recommends a hybrid annual school test combining cluster utilization tests with new individual school capacity deficit tests to determine adequate school capacity. The tests are used to determine those school clusters with inadequate capacity overall as well as whether individual schools greatly exceed the capacity for which they were built.

Depending on the level of adequacy, school facility payments may be required for each new housing unit built, or a development moratorium could be enacted.  The draft policy also proposes a system to regularly update the school facility payment formulas to better keep up with the latest student generation rates and school construction costs.

The new policy would limit the impact that school placeholder projects have on calculating school capacity for the annual school tests. Such placeholders currently allow development to move forward and school facility payments to be collected by adding just enough unplanned capacity to prevent a cluster from entering a moratorium. The Public Hearing Draft proposes limiting the use of placeholder capacity to two years to ensure that real capacity improvements are actually being built, not just appearing in a budget document.

The new policy proposes to calculate school impact taxes to reflect the latest student generation rates and school construction costs. Data from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) containing student addresses and grade-level information (stripped of any confidential information) are combined with Planning Department parcel data on the type of residential structure associated with every address in the County. The results are generation rates that reflect the actual location and housing structure of virtually every MCPS student.

The Public Hearing Draft also recommends reintroducing school facility payments and school impact taxes in former Enterprise Zones. The proposed policy would ease the transition by phasing in the collection of the impact taxes and facility payments.  It also recommends conducting further research to develop a new process for determining when an area of the County can be exempted from the impact taxes and facility payments.

Schedule of Subdivision Staging Policy Review

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

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

In the past, the APFO was designed to ensure that road and school capacity – as well as water and sewer and other infrastructure – kept pace with new development. Where new areas of the County were developed, infrastructure to support new homes and businesses was needed.

Today, much of the County has been developed. Growth is occurring through infill development and redevelopment, including the resale of homes in many of the County’s established neighborhoods. This type of growth creates pressure on transportation systems and school facilities; however, the current tools used to evaluate the impact of development may not adequately access these changing growth patterns and are being examined for their effectiveness and relevancy.

Jun 1 16

Update on County’s Bicycle Master Plan Will Be Part of Third Great MoCo Bike Summit on June 18

by Bridget Schwiesow

Bicycle Master Plan

Planners will explain the latest strategies for improving the County’s bicycling network at event

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will participate in the Third Great MoCo Bike Summit on Saturday, June 18, to be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Council Office Building (Third Floor Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD). The event starts with a family-friendly group bike ride at 9 a.m., beginning at the intersection of the Bethesda Trolley Trail and Tuckerman Lane, and will proceed through Rockville to the Council Office Building.

The summit will focus on ways of incorporating next-generation bicycle facilities into the County’s transportation network. It is being organized by County Councilmember Hans Riemer with the participation of the Planning Department, County Department of Transportation and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

Beginning at 11 a.m., County planner David Anspacher will present an overview of the new Bicycle Master Plan and its focus on developing a high-quality network of cycling routes throughout the County. The Plan is considering 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 is being developed using an evaluation of the varying levels of stress imposed by traffic on cyclists along each roadway in the County. This information is being gathered through a digital, interactive bike stress map.

Find out more about the Bicycle Master Plan.

May 26 16

Rodolfo Machado of Boston Firm Honored with 2015 Design Excellence Award Gave Urban Design Presentation on May 25

by Bridget Schwiesow

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

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

The architect who designed the award-winning civic building, Rodolfo Machado, FAIA, talked about the logic of its spaces and the design process employed in other projects undertaken by his firm Machado Silvetti at a public presentation on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. The Planning Department-sponsored event was attended by about 60 people and held in the Silver Spring Civic Building.

View the video recap here.

During his lecture, Machado explained how architecture can relate to its surroundings to strengthen a neighborhood, a campus or a city. He presented past and recent designs, including a new mixed-use complex in Cairo, Egypt and the Center for Asian Art at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida.

Second Annual Design Excellence Award

The second annual Design Excellence Award competition has been launched and submissions are due by July 21, 2016 at 5 p.m. The selection of a winner will be made by an outside jury of accomplished professionals invited by the Planning Department.

Submit to the second annual Design Excellence Award here.

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.

About Rodolfo Machado

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

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

About the Design Excellence Award

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

 

May 25 16

Planning Department Announces Calendar of June 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 June 2016 calendar of community meetings, work sessions and public events. These events offer opportunities for the Planning Board and Planning Department staff to discuss policies and engage with the public. Review the full list of events below and go online to www.montgomeryplanning.org for more details on projects and plans.

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

Montgomery County Planning Department Events in June 2016

June 1 – The Bicycle Master Plan Advisory Group will meet in the Planning Department auditorium (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD) from 7 to 9 p.m. to discuss the plan methodology.

June 2 – The Montgomery County Planning Board will hold a public hearing for the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy at Planning Department Headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD). The public hearing will be held in two sessions. Board members will hear testimony related to transportation in the afternoon session. They will hear testimony on schools and other public infrastructure recommendations during the evening.

June 6 – The Rock Spring Master Plan and White Flint 2 Sector Plan teams will hold a joint meeting with Montgomery County Public Schools from 7 to 9 p.m. at Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville, MD). The purpose of this forum is to give the community an update on the progress of the two Master Plans since the first joint schools meeting held in September 2015 at Walter Johnson High School.

June 9 – The Planning Board will hold its first work session for the Public Hearing Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy and will hold its fourth work session for the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on additional agenda items.

June 16 – The Planning Board will hold its second work session for the Public Hearing Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on additional agenda items.

June 18 – The Third Great MoCo Bicycle Summit will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, starting with a family-friendly group bike ride beginning at the intersection of the Bethesda Trolley Trail and Tuckerman Lane. The route proceeds through Rockville to the Council Office Building (Third Floor Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD) where bike-related presentations, including an update on the County’s Bicycle Master Plan, will run from 10 a.m. to noon.

June 23 – The Planning Board will hold work sessions for the Public Hearing Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy and Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on additional agenda items.

June 30 – The Planning Board will hold work sessions for the Public Hearing Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy and Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on additional agenda items.

May 20 16

Planning Department Releases Public Hearing Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Community invited to review latest version of 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy before the public hearing on Thursday, June 2, 2016 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 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy (formerly called Growth Policy) on the Department’s web site. This posting follows the Montgomery County Planning Board’s review of the Working Draft during several work sessions in the month of May. The intent of the Subdivision Staging Policy is to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and transportation facilities, are adequate to accommodate new development.

Review the Public Hearing Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy.

View the recordings from the May 9 worksession and the May 12 worksession.

Public Invited to Testify at Public Hearing
The Board’s public hearing on the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy is scheduled for Thursday, June 2, 2016 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). The public hearing will be held in two parts.  In the afternoon, testimony will be taken on the transportation related content.  In the evening, testimony will be heard related to schools and other public infrastructure recommendations.

Consult the Planning Board Agenda for details about the public hearing.

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 people as possible, each speaker will only have up to three minutes to comment.

The public is also invited to submit comments on the Public Hearing Draft of the 2016 Subdivision Staging Policy via email to mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org. These comments will become part of the public testimony and public record for the Policy.

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

In the past, the APFO was designed to ensure that road and school capacity – as well as water and sewer and other infrastructure — kept pace with new development. As new areas of the County were being developed, infrastructure to support new homes and businesses was needed.

Today, much of the County has been developed. Growth is now 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 existing transportation systems and school facilities; however, the current tools used to evaluate the impact of development may not adequately assess these changing growth patterns and are being examined for their effectiveness.

The County Council must approve a revised policy by November 15, 2016.

May 18 16

Planning Department Celebrates May as Preservation Month

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Online map and Montgomery Modern initiative represent County’s strong commitment to historic preservation

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, joins the County Council in celebrating historic preservation following the County Council’s recognition of May as Preservation Month in Montgomery County. On May 17, 2016, Councilmember Hans Riemer introduced the proclamation by praising the efforts of the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission.

The Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Section supports the Planning Board and the Historic Preservation Commission by assisting with the identification, designation, and regulation of historic sites in Montgomery County, and through the administration of a number of preservation initiatives.

“I want to thank Councilmember Riemer and the rest of the County Council for this proclamation,” said Historic Preservation Commission Chairman William Kirwan. “It is important that County residents are reminded of the significance of preserving our cultural heritage here in Montgomery County, and I believe that no Preservation Month theme could send a clearer, stronger message: This Place Matters.”

The theme of “This Place Matters” has been echoed by the Planning Department’s Historic Preservation office’s efforts in continuing to administer the county’s tax credit program for historically designated properties and through recent initiatives such as Montgomery Modern and the development of an interactive map of historic African American places in the County.

About the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office
The Historic Preservation Office supports the Planning Board and the Historic Preservation Commission by providing for the identification, designation, and regulation of historic sites in Montgomery County. Historic Preservation staff also maintains an archive and library of documentation on historic resources in Montgomery County and provides preservation outreach and guidance on preservation best practices to the public.

If you are specifically interested in historic buildings, sites, and programs in Montgomery County Parks, please visit Montgomery Parks.

Review the Places from the Past book produced by the Montgomery County Planning Department Historic Preservation Office which inventories designated historic sites and districts in the County.

Learn more about research and designation by the Historic Preservation Office.

May 13 16

Makeover Montgomery 3 Conference at Silver Spring Civic Building Concludes After Three Days of Cutting-Edge Content

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Three-day conference exploring planning and design topics related to the sharing economy, equity and opportunity, and transforming communities without transit generated exciting new ideas.

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, closed out the Makeover Montgomery 3: Balancing Change in America’s Suburbs Conference on Friday, May 6, 2016. The three-day conference was host to more than 300 attendees who heard from more than 90 speakers across three topics: the sharing economy, beyond transit-oriented development, and equity and opportunity in the suburbs. Attendees heard presentations focused on innovations and new policy tools and strategies that can help enhance the suburbs, making them more exciting, equitable and attractive.

The video recap of the conference can be seen here.

The conference, in partnership with the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland, began on Wednesday, May 4 at the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning with a keynote address from Karen Chapple. Chapple, a professor of city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley, discussed strategies for equitable smart growth.

“I am a big believer in University and community partnerships, and this is what our public universities should be doing. We’re land-grant universities and we ought to be providing technical support for our city and county governments,” said Chapple. “This is the third Makeover Montgomery conference, and I think it’s going to become more and more important every year to do events like this because the issues we are facing aren’t going away any time soon.”

Following the keynote address, Makeover Montgomery 3 moved to the Silver Spring Civic Building on Thursday, May 5 where attendees were welcomed with opening remarks from Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen, Montgomery Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and National Center for Smart Growth Executive Director Gerrit Knaap. Attendees also heard a plenary presentation from Stefanos Polyzoides, of the Pasadena, California-based firm Moule and Polyzoides. Polyzoides spoke about design principles of livable suburbs, specifically the missing middle densities in American architecture and urbanism.

On Friday, May 6 conference attendees enjoyed a lunchtime presentation from Wes Guckert, of The Traffic Group, and Adam Ducker, of RCLCO, titled “A Roadmap for the Future: Planning for Driverless Vehicles.” The presentation examined how autonomous vehicles will become a reality within the next few decades to transform the infrastructure of cities and suburbs. The panelists examined the implications of self-driving cars for planning and real estate, and the potential impact of driverless vehicles on car ownership, transit, parking, roads, commuting patterns and development.

“This agency and our county have had a reputation over the decades for forward-thinking planning, and I know that Gwen Wright and I both feel a sense of responsibility to make sure that we live up to that reputation,” Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson said. “This conference is part of our efforts to make sure that people in the planning profession and people in related disciplines are not only looking to Montgomery County, but working with us collaboratively to develop the next generation of ideas for the profession.”

To view the conference agenda and to learn more about the presenters, visit the Makeover Montgomery 3 website. Recorded sessions will be available online.

 

May 12 16

Montgomery County Planning Department Launches 2016 Design Excellence Award Competition with Call for Entries from May 12 through July 21

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 competition. 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 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.

Submit to the second annual Design Excellence Award here.

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.