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May 18 16

Planning Department Celebrates May as Preservation Month

by Bridget Schwiesow

HistoricPreservationMonthGroup 5-17-16

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.

Apr 28 16

Planning Department Participates in County Bicycle Events in May and June

by Bridget Schwiesow

Bicycle Master Plan

The Bicycle Master Plan team will participate in the Olney community bike ride, Metropolitan Branch Trail review, Bike to Work Day and Third Great MoCo Bicycle Summit

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is participating in several local cycling events this spring as staff continues to develop the Countywide Bicycle Master Plan.

On Saturday, May 7, the Bicycle Master Plan team will join Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and community residents on a bike ride from 1 to 2 p.m. around Olney, Maryland. The bicycle tour, which will depart promptly at 1 p.m. from the Olney Library (3500 Olney Laytonsville Road, Olney, MD), is open to the public, but several on-road segments may be uncomfortable for less experienced riders. Consult the Montgomery County Bicycle Stress Map for details. Following the tour, a discussion about the Bicycle Master Plan will be held at the Olney Bagel Bakery (3490 Olney Laytonsville Road) from 2 to 3 p.m.

On Thursday, May 19, 2016, Planning Department staff will lead the Planning Board in a review of the proposed Metropolitan Branch Trail. The date for this Planning Board discussion is tentative and may be changed. When the date is confirmed, the session will be posted on the Planning Board website at www.montgomeryplanningboard.org/agenda/.

The Montgomery County Planning Board welcomes your participation at this trail review. You may sign up online to testify at the meeting. Written comments must be submitted at least one full business day before a scheduled hearing (by 9 a.m. on the Wednesday morning before a Thursday hearing) and sent to Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson by email at mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org. They can also be sent by mail to the Montgomery County Planning Board (8787 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910) or via fax at (301) 495-1320.

On Friday, May 20, 2016, the Planning Department will participate in this year’s Bike to Work Day.  This regional event is organized by Commuter Connections, a division of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA).

Bicyclists are invited to join convoys led by experienced cyclists and commute to their work places. Pit stops throughout the County will offer refreshments and prizes. Members of the Planning Department will be at pit stops in Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Bethesda to discuss the Bicycle Master Plan.

On Saturday, June 18, the Planning Department’s transportation planner David Anspacher will join County Councilmember Hans Riemer at the Third Great MoCo Bicycle Summit. The morning event starts with a family-friendly group bike ride from 9 to 10 a.m., beginning at the intersection of the Bethesda Trolley Trail and Tuckerman Lane. The route proceeds through Rockville to the Council Office Building (100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD) where the presentations in the third floor hearing room run from 10 a.m. through noon. David Anspacher will speak about the update to the Bicycle Master Plan starting at 11:15 a.m.

About the Bicycle Master Plan

Launched in July 2015, the Bicycle Master Plan is focusing on developing a high-quality, low-stress network throughout Montgomery County that reflects the newest biking practices. Separated bike lanes, buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities, are being studied for specific locations. This current effort will consolidate all bicycle recommendations into a single plan for the first time since 1978.

The 21-member Bicycle Master Plan Community Advisory Group was appointed in 2015 to guide planners in developing the Plan. The group consists of 13 members from cycling and other organizations, and eight community members who applied to be part of the effort.

A draft of the Bicycle Master Plan is expected to be presented to the Planning Board in spring 2017.

May 29 15

‘Second Great MoCo Bike Summit’ Focuses on County’s Bicycle Master Plan

by Bridget Schwiesow

hans bike summit

June 6 event at Silver Spring Civic Center will highlight the County’s new bicycling network incorporating separated bike lanes and bicycle storage facilities

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is participating in the Second Great MoCo Bike Summit on Saturday, June 6 from 10 am to noon at the Silver Spring Civic Center (1 Veterans Plaza). The event will focus on ways of incorporating next-generation bicycle facilities into the County’s transportation network.

At the summit, 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.

Set to launch in July 2015, the Plan will consider the newest types of bikeways, such as separated and buffered bike lanes, and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities at transit stations. The network will be developed according to an evaluation of the varying levels of stress imposed by traffic on cyclists along each roadway in the County.

The Bicycle Master Plan will initially focus on a bicycle network along the rapidly developing Corridor Cities Transitway, a 15-mile bus rapid transit (BRT) line proposed to run from the Shady Grove Metrorail Station, through the Life Sciences Center area and ultimately to Germantown and Clarksburg.

The annual MoCo Bike Summit is organized by County Councilmember Hans Riemer with the participation of the Planning Department, County Department of Transportation and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. The event will kick off at 9 am with a family-friendly bike ride along the Capital Crescent Trail from Elm Street Park in Bethesda to the Silver Spring Civic Center.

Register for the Bike Summit and find out more about the Bicycle Master Plan.

Jan 16 15

County Councilmember Hans Riemer Presents Outcomes of Silver Spring Placemaking Workshops to Planning Board

by Bridget Schwiesow

Silver Spring and Placemaking logo without Partnership tag

Creative strategies discussed for improving Transit Center civic space, Ripley District and Metro Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring

Silver Spring, MD – At its latest meeting, the Montgomery County  Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission  (M-NCPPC), learned about the ideas generated at three Silver Spring Placemaking Workshops held in October and November 2014. County Councilmember Hans Riemer, who led the public placemaking effort, opened the presentation to the Board along with Parks and Planning staff and representatives of the Silver Spring Urban District on Thursday, January 15. The purpose of the workshops was to enhance the identity of the Downtown Silver Spring area and improve opportunities in key locations, while building on the 2000 Silver Spring Sector Plan.

“The whole process was fantastic and we had such a positive reaction from the community,” said Riemer. “Now we want to make sure the workshops contribute to meaningful change in Downtown Silver Spring.”

Councilmember Tom Hucker, whose Council district includes Silver Spring, said “I was very excited to participate in the Placemaking series. We identified some great ideas to enhance Silver Spring and I look forward to seeing them realized.”

Learn more about the Silver Spring Placemaking project.

What is placemaking?
This approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces involves listening to the people who live, work and play in a particular area about their needs and aspirations. The information from the community is then used to create a common vision for a specific place.

The Silver Spring Placemaking Workshops were initiated by Councilmember Riemer in collaboration with the Montgomery County Planning and Parks Departments, and the Silver Spring Urban District. County planners joined Riemer, community residents and other participants to explore the brainstorming sessions and brought in creative ways of enhancing three downtown locations.

Three workshops for three places
The first workshop, held at the Planning Department’s headquarters on October 15, explored the creation of civic space in the vicinity of the Transit Center.  Enhancements to Gene Lynch Urban Park and ways to improve the pedestrian experience from the Transit Center to Downtown Silver Spring via Wayne Avenue were examined, along with looking for temporary green spaces and bike service facilities in this location.

The second workshop, held at the Denizens Brewing Company on October 29, focused on the urban character of the Ripley District and enhancing pedestrian experiences in the area to heighten community identity.

The third workshop at the Silver Spring Civic Building on November 5 examined the areas immediately surrounding the proposed Purple Line station in Downtown Silver Spring that are slated for high-density development. Participants weighed design options, including pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, surrounding the Metro Plaza site (located on the northeast corner of East-West Highway and Colesville Road), a prominent gateway to Downtown Silver Spring from the District of Columbia. Ways to improve  the pedestrian connectivity from the Transit Center to South Silver Spring and the Blairs was also studied.

Plan to implement workshop concepts
As part of the January 15 presentation to the Planning Board, the Silver Spring Placemaking team recommended specific improvements to the three areas as a result of the workshops. These action items range from enhanced crosswalks, clearer signage and new bike lanes to outdoor movies, public art and food trucks. For each recommendation, the team suggested a “champion” was needed including public agencies and corporate sponsors, to implement the change.

“One of the reasons we held the workshops was to enhance the Silver Spring Master Plan so we have a head start when that master planning effort comes back around for updating,” says Robert Kronenberg, the Planning Department’s Chief of Area 1, who helped organize the events. “The Silver Spring Placemaking Workshops are the first of many we will be doing in the County. They set the stage of what is to come.”

Sep 29 14

Design Workshops Explore Placemaking Opportunities in Downtown Silver Spring

by Bridget Schwiesow

 Silver Spring and Placemaking logo without Partnership tag

Public invited to brainstorm creative ideas for improving Transit Center civic space, Ripley District and Metro Plaza

The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is partnering with the office of County Councilmember Hans Riemer, and the Silver Spring Urban District to host three design workshops focused on placemaking strategies for Downtown Silver Spring.

The current Silver Spring Sector Plan was last updated in 2000. Since then, many aspects of the plan have been implemented, transforming Downtown Silver Spring into a vibrant urban community. These workshops will explore creative ways of enhancing three downtown locations with proposed improvements. The public is invited to participate in these workshops. RSVP’s are encouraged but not required. RSVP for each event at www.silverspringplacemaking.com

The first workshop, to be held on October 15 from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Planning Department Headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD) will explore the creation of civic space in the vicinity of the Transit Center. The session will examine enhancements such as temporary short-term green space and bike facilities improving pedestrian experiences from the Transit Center to Downtown Silver Spring via Wayne Avenue. RSVP for the first Silver Spring Placemaking workshop focused on the Transit Center and green space.

The second workshop happening on Wednesday, October 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Denizens Brewing Co. (1115 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD), will focus on the community character of the Ripley District and the pedestrian experiences in the area to heighten community identity within the district. Creating a civic green space within the area will also be considered. RSVP for the second workshop focusing on the Ripley District.

The third workshop will take place on Wednesday, November 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.(location to be announced), will examine the areas immediately surrounding the proposed Purple Line station in Downtown Silver Spring. These areas are slated for high density development. Participants will explore design options for the redevelopment of the Metro Plaza site (located on the northeast corner of East-West Highway and Colesville Road), a prominent gateway to Downtown Silver Spring from the District of Columbia.  So that redevelopment can proceed in a manner best suited to this location, the workshop will address transit support structures and streetscape enhancements aimed at improving pedestrian connectivity. RSVP for the third workshop examining the areas around the Purple Line station.

Learn more about the workshop series: www.silverspringplacemaking.com.