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community planning

Aug 5 14

Sandy Spring Rural Village Public Hearing Scheduled – Sept. 4

by Bridget Schwiesow


Public invited to testify on Public Hearing Draft plan at Planning Board meeting

SILVER SPRING, MD The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will hold a public hearing on the Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan on Thursday, Sept. 4, at their regularly scheduled Board Meeting which will be held at 8787 Georgia Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20910.

The public is invited to give their views on land use, transportation, and zoning changes in the Public Hearing Draft which details the concept of a new village center from the 1998 Sandy Spring/Ashton Master Plan.

View the Public Hearing Draft for the Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan.

The recommendations seek to bring about the vision and address any concerns that were voiced by the community at the four-day community design workshop held in February and the community meetings held in March and May. After gathering the input from the community, planners have come up with recommendations for zoning, land use, and connectivity that will help maintain the rural feel of the area while developing a more pedestrian-friendly, sustainable community.

Those wishing to testify in person at the public hearing are requested to call the Planning Department’s Public Information Line at 301-495-4605 or sign up to speak at the hearing using on-line registration.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, written testimony may be submitted to:

Planning Board Chair, Montgomery County Planning Board, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. Testimony may also be submitted by e-mail to

Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan Highlights:
The 1998 Sandy Spring/Ashton Master Plan recognized that the details of a new village center concept were beyond its scope and recommended more detailed study and analysis to develop the concept. This new Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan will follow the guidance in the 1998 Master Plan and determine how to best connect the new fire station into a village center concept using the following three goals:

-Preserve the rich cultural history of the area
-Design a civic space and village center
-Connect the community to the village center and examine right-of-way issues

Learn more about the Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan and how to get involved:

Aug 4 14

Get Involved with the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan This Week

by Bridget Schwiesow

Brand Only

Meet Planning Department staff at two community events – National Night Out and Sunrise Series meeting 

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is inviting anyone who lives, works or has an interest in the Greater Lyttonsville community to meet with Planning Department staff at two community events this week to learn more about the planning process for the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan.

Planners will host a booth at the Greater Lyttonsville community’s participation in the annual National Night Out event Tuesday, August 5 scheduled from 6:15 to 8 p.m. at the Gwendowlyn E. Coffield Center (2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, MD). The participation in the annual neighborhood event is meant to encourage youth and families to get involved with the sector plan process. There will be interactive planning activities and staff on hand to answer questions about the planning process.

Business owners and employees are invited to attend the final “Sunrise Series” meeting Thursday, August 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. in the Parking Lot in rear of 2402-2465 Linden Lane, Silver Spring, MD (Technical Service Park). The early morning meeting will offer free breakfast to attendees, an opportunity to meet with planners and provide feedback through a questionnaire to gather more information from area employees and business owners as it relates to the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan.

The Sunrise Series meetings will be hosted in partnership with the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development and the Silver Spring Regional Center.

Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan Weekly Events Details:
National Night Out – Lyttonsville Community
Tuesday, August 5
National Night Out is scheduled for 6:15 – 8 p.m.
Coffield Center 2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, MD

Sunrise Series Meeting for Area Businesses  
Thursday, August 7, 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.
Parking Lot in rear of 2402-2465 Linden Lane, Silver Spring, MD (Technical Service Park)

Info: Learn more about the Sector Plan and fill out the questionnaire:

Dec 10 12

Planners Recommend Mixed Uses, Pedestrian Safety Measures in Long Branch Sector Plan

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING – After World War II, veterans and government workers flooding into the region transformed the East Silver Spring community of Long Branch into a populous gateway suburb.

Today, the multi-ethnic, bustling community is poised for change again. Planners have drafted a blueprint for Long Branch that envisions a mix of development within a pedestrian-friendly community anchored by two Purple Line stations. On Thursday, they will present a draft plan to the Planning Board they hope will set the stage for positive change in Long Branch while protecting its diverse businesses and community character.

Reflecting input from members of the community collected over three years, the draft recommends new mixed-use zoning, varied housing options to serve residents at different life stages, and a safe, connected pedestrian and bicycle network. Overall, planners expect the transit stations – at Arliss Street and University Boulevard – to catalyze redevelopment and reinvestment.

After reviewing the draft, the Planning Board will set a public hearing this winter to invite testimony from residents, business owners and anyone interested in the future of Long Branch. After the hearing, the Board will refine the plan in work sessions and send a draft to the County Council for consideration and eventual approval.

The plan focuses on commercial and residential areas along Piney Branch Road between Flower Avenue and University Boulevard. The plan would strengthen two commercial areas on either end of Piney Branch Road and designate the road as a boulevard that connects the community and provides a strong identity.

Residents attending community meetings have expressed concerns about safety, health, housing and connectivity. The plan seeks to address those issues by encouraging reinvestment. Redevelopment of commercial areas, most of which lack an inviting environment, could draw more people and help reduce crime.

With most streets designed for moving cars, heavy traffic, few public gathering spaces and large surface parking lots, the community lacks a safe, appealing public realm. To that end, the plan recommends zones that require developers to contribute public amenities, such as creating a better environment for walkers, cyclists and transit riders.

The Long Branch Town Center at Flower Avenue and Piney Branch Road provides the greatest opportunity, from infill development on surface parking lots to adaptive reuse of the Flower Theatre, which is recommended for historic designation. Its location near the Arliss Street Purple Line station makes it a natural for public realm improvements.
The plan recommendations are presented in phases, with the first phase covering development before the construction of the Purple Line. Phase two addresses longer term development, when the full funding agreement for the Purple Line is in place.

Planners develop master and sector plans to create a framework for each community designed to last 15 to 20 years. Those plans help policy-makers – such as the Planning Board and County Council – develop land use strategies and decide on proposed development.

WHO: Montgomery County Planning Board

WHAT: Consideration of Long Branch Sector Plan Staff Draft

WHEN: 9 a.m. Thursday, December 13

Park and Planning Headquarters
8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring