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Jul 25 16

Planning Board Approved Revisions to County’s Subdivision Staging Policy on July 21 and Will Transmit Updated Policy to County Council for Review

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Transportation and school elements, focus of the new draft of the Subdivision Staging Policy, are now available online for public review

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has updated 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, the Montgomery County Planning Board held public hearings and work sessions to determine the best ways to revise the current policy. At their meeting on July 21, 2016, Board members voted to approve and transmit the current draft of the Subdivision Staging Policy to the County Council. The Council will hold its own work sessions and public hearing in the fall, before voting to adopt the revised policy in November.

Learn more about the Subdivision Staging Policy and read the newest draft.

The following updates are reflected in the current draft of the Subdivision Staging Policy:

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 groupings to acknowledge the diverse nature of transportation in the County.

A spectrum of policy area-based transportation tests appropriate for each group has been created, with a strong focus on transit accessibility. Some groups 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 and may be adjusted to better incentivize reduced parking.

School 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 new 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 capacity to prevent a cluster from entering a moratorium. The new policy proposes to limit the use of placeholder capacity. If a real capacity improvement is not placed in the CIP within two years, a moratorium will be put into effect..

The new policy proposes to calculate school impact taxes to reflect the latest student generation rates and school construction costs. Improvements in technology allow the school system to combine the school system’s data containing student addresses and grade-level information (stripped of any confidential information) and combine it 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 newly revised policy 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.

Background on Subdivision Staging Policy
Planning staff has proposed these 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 tools used to evaluate the impact of development may not adequately access these changing growth patterns, so they were re-examined for their effectiveness and relevancy.

Jun 30 16

County Council Approves FY17 Work Program for Planning Department

by Christopher Peifer

New plans for the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Area, Gaithersburg East and Veirs Mill Road Corridor among funded projects for fiscal year starting July 1, 2016

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has secured the County Council’s approval to proceed with an ambitious work program for fiscal year 2017 (FY17), starting July 1, 2016.

The Montgomery County Council approved the Department’s $19.5 million budget for FY17 at its meeting on Thursday, May 21, 2016. These funds support the work program for 148 employees. Highlights of major projects to be undertaken by the Planning Department in FY17 include:

Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Area Minor Master Plan: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has selected a partner for the redevelopment of the parking lot at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station. This plan will explore the transit station area’s potential to serve as a cultural node and connect with surrounding uses, including the adjacent Strathmore Music Center. It will identify possible public spaces and public art for the area. The goal will be to turn the Grosvenor-Strathmore station area into a neighborhood rather than a disparate collection of buildings. Learn more about the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Area Minor Master Plan.

Gaithersburg East Master Plan: In 2014, the Gaithersburg East area was divided into the Montgomery Village Master Plan and Gaithersburg East Master Plan, so the planning for Montgomery Village could be expedited. The Gaithersburg East Master Plan will address any land use and transportation issues that arise after a preferred solution has been identified for the M-83 highway alignment. Uses within the proposed plan boundaries, including the Airpark, surrounding light industrial uses and several residential communities, will be analyzed, along with redevelopment and rezoning opportunities.

Veirs Mill Road Corridor Small Area Plan: This plan will evaluate the heavily used corridor between the Wheaton and Rockville Metrorail stations. Goals include ensuring neighborhood access to the future bus rapid transit system and transit compatibility with the adjoining land uses along the Veirs Mill corridor. Redevelopment opportunities, improved pedestrian connectivity and compatibility between existing and potential uses will be analyzed.

Short-Term Residential Rentals: The County Council has charged planners with conducting outreach to help craft legislation on short-term residential rentals, such as Airbnb. Currently, the County’s Zoning Ordinance does not allow for residential rentals less than 30 days. The Council has directed Planning staff to make recommendations on best practices only after community outreach is conducted to engage stakeholders in discussing this issue. Learn more about the Short-Term Residential Rental project.

Plans in Progress:

White Flint 2 Sector Plan: Launched in July 2015, this plan has focused on land uses, transportation, infrastructure and public facilities in areas to the west, north and east of the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan boundaries. The Working Draft of this plan is scheduled to be presented the Planning Board in fall 2016. Learn more about the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.

Rock Spring Master Plan: The plan for Rock Spring started last July with the exploration of new opportunities for 247 acres east of Montgomery Mall. Currently, this area is occupied mostly by office buildings, including the headquarters for Lockheed Martin and Marriott. A new street network, public amenities, residential uses and environmental upgrades have been examined for the area. School capacity issues have also been discussed and studied through a series of community meetings for this plan area. The Working Draft of the Rock Spring Master Plan  is scheduled to be presented to the Planning Board in fall 2016. Learn more about the Rock Spring Master Plan.

Subdivision Staging Policy Update (Growth Policy): The update to the quadrennial Subdivision Staging Policy started in July 2015 and has progressed through a series of community meetings focused on the impact of growth on the County, specifically as it relates to schools and transportation. The goal has been to evaluate the tools that will determine the adequacy of public facilities to accommodate new development and growth in Montgomery County. Learn more about the Subdivision Staging Policy Update.

Retail Trends Study: The Planning Department has been conducting a retail trends study with the help of a consultant to understand how emerging buying patterns will influence the County’s economic competitiveness. The study, which is looking at national and regional trends affecting shopping environments, such as the growing use of e-commerce, will propose recommendations for future plans involving retail.

MARC Rail Communities Plan: Work began last fall on the MARC Rail Communities Plan, which is focusing on the areas around the Boyds and Germantown rail stations. Planners are evaluating land use, zoning, design and access at those two Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) stations. The resulting plans will recommend physical and operational improvements to the stations and enhancements to access and parking. Learn more about the MARC Rail Communities Plan.

Bicycle Master Plan: Cities across the United States have taken the lead in retrofitting streets for bikes. Now Montgomery County aims to be at the forefront among suburban jurisdictions in planning a high-quality bicycling network. The opportunities to create these facilities are immense, as older areas such as White Flint and Shady Grove are rebuilt, and newer transit projects such as the Purple Line and bus rapid transit system are implemented. Launched in 2015, the Plan is considering the newest types of bikeways, such as separated bike lanes, buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities. Learn more about the Bicycle Master Plan.

New Recreation Guidelines: The Recreation Guidelines, last adopted in 1992, are being revised in response to the County’s need for more urban-style recreation space in mixed-use developments near transit centers. In order to serve a variety of age groups, the updated guidelines will provide digital tools and an expanded list of recreation facilities, including rooftop areas, indoor fitness centers, community gardens and urban plazas. They will result in a more effective recreation plan for each site. Learn more about the update to the Recreation Guidelines.

Master Plan Reality Check: This study aims to determine how well recommendations in recent County Master Plans have been carried out in addressing changing density, infrastructure, transportation and land use in the County. Findings will influence the development of future Master and Sector Plans.

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.

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.

Apr 14 16

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

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Proposed revisions to the transportation elements of the Subdivision Staging Policy were discussed at a public meeting held at the Planning Department in Silver Spring

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is updating the Subdivision Staging Policy (formerly called Growth Policy) for review and approval by the County Council by November 15, 2016. The intent of the Subdivision Staging Policy is to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and transportation facilities, are adequate to accommodate new development.

A community meeting, attended by about 20 County residents, was held on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Montgomery County Planning Board auditorium (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD) to discuss key transportation elements of the policy update.

This event follows a similar public forum held on March 15, 2016 and, like that meeting, presented the opportunity for the community to learn more about the Subdivision Staging Policy and share thoughts about proposed changes to the policy.

The meeting summarized recent discussions at Planning Board briefings that have focused on changes to the current transportation adequacy tests known as Local Area Transportation Review and Transportation Policy Area Review. These tests are intended to ensure that development in Montgomery County is accompanied by appropriate and sufficient transportation facilities. They are used to estimate the impact of development on the transportation network and determine effective ways to mitigate that impact when transportation facilities are inadequate.

Planning Board work sessions to refine the Subdivision Staging Policy will continue in April, May and June. A public hearing about the policy will be held 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 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.

Mar 22 16

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

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Proposed revisions to the transportation elements of the Subdivision Staging Policy will be discussed at a public meeting held at the Planning Department in Silver Spring

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is updating the Subdivision Staging Policy (formerly called Growth Policy) for review and approval by the County Council by November 15, 2016. The intent of the Subdivision Staging Policy is to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and transportation facilities, are adequate to meet the needs of new development and growth.

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

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

RSVP for the Subdivision Staging Policy Community Open House.

Background on Subdivision Staging Policy:
Revisions to the Subdivision Staging Policy are currently underway. Planning staff is researching new ideas in transportation and school capacity planning in preparation for the revised regulations, which will first be presented to the Planning Board in May 2016 for comment. This quadrennial policy includes criteria and guidance for the administration of the County’s Adequate Public Facility Ordinance (APFO), which matches the timing of private development with the availability of public services.

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

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

 

Mar 11 16

Transportation-related Initiatives and Proposed Changes to the County’s Subdivision Staging Policy to be Discussed at March 15 Meeting

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Community invited to discuss proposed changes to the transportation elements of the Subdivision Staging Policy at public 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 Growth Policy) for review and approval by the County Council by November 15, 2016. The intent of the Subdivision Staging Policy is to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and transportation facilities, are adequate to meet the needs of new development.

“The update to the Subdivision Staging Policy is one of our most important initiatives,” says Planning Director Gwen Wright. “This effort happens every four years and lays the groundwork for how our County can continue to grow and thrive.” 

A community meeting focusing on key transportation elements of the policy update will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 from 7 to 9 pm in the Montgomery County Planning Board auditorium in Silver Spring (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). This event presents the opportunity for the community to learn more about the Subdivision Staging Policy and share concerns about proposed changes to the policy. Representatives of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation will participate in the discussions. RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Background on Subdivision Staging Policy:
Revisions to the Subdivision Staging Policy are currently underway. Planning staff is researching new ideas in transportation and school capacity planning in preparation for the revised regulations, which will first be presented to the Planning Board in May 2016 for comment. This quadrennial policy includes criteria and guidance for the administration of the County’s Adequate Public Facility Ordinance (APFO), which matches the timing of private development with the availability of public services.

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

Today, much of the County has already been developed. Growth is occurring through infill development and redevelopment, as well as through the resale of existing homes to young families 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 these development patterns may not adequately account for these changing growth patterns, so they are being examined for their effectiveness.

Feb 4 16

Updates to Subdivision Staging Policy Being Discussed at Planning Board and Community Meetings

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Public events in January and February focus on schools and transportation issues related to new development and growth

Silver Spring, MD The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is in the process of updating the Subdivision Staging Policy (formerly called Growth Policy) for review and approval by the County Council later this year. The intent of the Subdivision Staging Policy is to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and roads, are adequate to meet the needs of new development and growth.

On Tuesday, January 12, a community meeting was held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Planning Department auditorium (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD) to discuss current school tests and school facility funding as they relate to the staging of future subdivision development.

The approximately 40 participants provided comments on four topics related to school facilities: school facility funding, options for new schools, calculation of the annual school test and school adequacy policies. They voiced concern about overcrowding at the elementary school level and how the school impact tax is calculated.

Feedback from this event will help planners revise the sections related to schools in the current Subdivision Staging Policy.

View the presentation from the January 12 meeting.

Next Steps for the Subdivision Staging Policy

Aspects of the Subdivision Staging Policy related to transportation and schools will be discussed at Planning Board meetings and community events scheduled in February, as follows:

February 4 – The Subdivision Staging Policy team will continue to discuss new ideas for transportation testing with the Planning Board. View the Planning Board Agenda for details about this item.

February 18 – The Subdivision Staging Policy team will engage in its third discussion of new ideas for transportation testing with the Planning Board. View the Planning Board Agenda for details about this item.

February 18 –After the Planning Board meeting, a public forum to discuss whether the Subdivision Staging Policy can include new approaches to determining the adequacy of school facilities will start at 7 p.m. at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring MD). It will focus on possible changes to the current school tests and school facility funding as they relate to the staging of subdivision development. Feedback from this event will help planners revise the current Subdivision Staging Policy.

February 25 –The Planning Board will hold a work session on the update to the Subdivision Staging Policy at its regularly scheduled meeting. This session will focus on draft recommendations related to the work of the Transportation Impact Study Technical Working Group. Feedback from this event will help planners revise the current Subdivision Staging Policy.

Background on the Subdivision Staging Policy

The County’s Subdivision Staging Policy is revised every four years. Planners are currently researching new ideas in transportation and school capacity planning to help them revise the regulations to make them as useful as possible in managing growth in the county. The policy update will first be presented to the Planning Board in May 2016 for comment. This quadrennial policy includes criteria and guidance for the administration of the County’s Adequate Public Facility Ordinance (APFO), which matches the timing of private development with the availability of public services.

In the past, the APFO was designed to ensure that road and school capacity – as well as water and sewer and other infrastructure — kept pace with 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. This type of growth creates pressure on existing transportation systems and school facilities. In updating the Subdivision Staging Policy, staff will evaluate whether the current methodologies effectively account for these changing growth patterns.

Learn More About the Update to the Subdivision Staging Policy

Sign up for the Subdivision Staging Policy e-newsletter

Check out the Subdivision Staging Policy webpage

Watch the Subdivision Staging Policy promo video

Contact Planning Department staff:

Pamela Dunn, Chief of Functional Planning and Policy, tel. 301-650-5649, Pamela.Dunn@montgomeryplanning.org

Jan 27 16

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

For any meetings that were postponed in January due to the weather, they will be rescheduled and information will be posted to www.montgomeryplanning.org with updates.

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 February 2016

February 1 – Attend the property owners forum for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan. Speakers who wish to address specific properties and improvements at the meeting must submit presentation proposals to the Planning Department by January 28, 2016 to be considered. The public forum will be held on Monday, February 1, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville, MD). Learn more about the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.

February 2 – The Montgomery County Council will hold a public hearing for the Westbard Sector Plan on Tuesday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Office Building (100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD, Council Hearing Room). This meeting was originally scheduled for January 26, but was rescheduled due to the inclement weather. The meeting will be televised live on County Cable Montgomery Channels Comcast 6, RCN 6 and Verizon 30 and streamed live online. View the County Council Agenda webpage.

February 4 – Attend the next Planning Board meeting work session for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. Zoning and building heights in the Arlington North, Arlington South, Battery Lane and South Bethesda Districts will be discussed as time permits. Consult the Planning Board Agenda for the staff report for this item.

February 4 – The Subdivision Staging Policy team will continue its discussion of new ideas for transportation testing with the Planning Board. View the Planning Board Agenda for details about this item.

February 4 – The Montgomery County Council will hold a second public hearing for the Westbard Sector Plan on Tuesday, February 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Office Building (100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD, Council Hearing Room). This meeting was originally scheduled for January 26, but was rescheduled due to the inclement weather. The meeting will be televised live on County Cable Montgomery Channels Comcast 6, RCN 6 and Verizon 30 and streamed live online. View the County Council Agenda webpage.

February 6 – Architectural historian Clare Lise Kelly of the Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office will talk about the Montgomery Modern initiative and her new book about midcentury design. The event will be held at the B&O train station in Silver Spring and hosted by Montgomery Preservation, Inc. and the Silver Spring Historical Society. Learn more.

February 11 – Attend, watch or listen live to this Planning Board meeting. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on agenda items.

February 11 – Participate in the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan public hearing at 6:30 p.m. at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD). Participants will have up to three minutes to testify on the Public Hearing Draft of the plan. Time slots to testify are limited, so in advance of the hearing date, the public is encouraged to go online to sign up to testify:   http://www.montgomeryapps.org/planning_board/testify.asp.

February 16 – Attend the second session of the three-part Winter Speakers Series, which is focused on transportation, at 6 p.m. in the MRO Auditorium at 8787 Georgia Avenue. Jennifer Toole, president of the Silver Spring-based Toole Design Group, will discuss local examples of suburban bike lanes as well as case studies from other countries, including the Netherlands. The session is free and members of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) attending the series can earn credit. Learn more about the session and the #smartmoves series.

February 18 – Attend, watch or listen live to this Planning Board meeting. View the Planning Board Agenda for details on agenda items.

February 18 – The Subdivision Staging Policy team will engage in its third discussion of new ideas for transportation testing with the Planning Board. View the Planning Board Agenda for details about this item.

February 18 – Participate in a community meeting on school facilities related to the Subdivision Staging Policy. This discussion starts at 7 p.m. at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring MD). It will focus on the current school tests and school facility funding as they relate to the staging of subdivision development. Feedback from this event will help planners revise the current Subdivision Staging Policy.

February 25 – Participate in a work session for the update to the Subdivision Staging Policy at the regular Planning Board meeting. This session will focus on draft recommendations related to the work of the Transportation Impact Study Technical Working Group. Feedback from this event will help planners revise the current Subdivision Staging Policy.

February 25 – The Planning Board will have another work session on the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. View the Planning Board Agenda page for details about this item two weeks prior to this date.

Dec 29 15

View the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Top 10 Videos from 2015

by Bridget Schwiesow

the for real final copy of top 10

Most watched online videos highlight the Historic Preservation Office, Design Excellence initiative, Bicycle Master Plan and Subdivision Staging Policy

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has compiled its top 10 most popular online videos from 2015. The videos include a mix of news content and promotional material meant to engage Montgomery County residents and stakeholders to stay informed and involved in Planning Department projects and plans.

“Using video has been an important outreach tool for engaging the community,” says Planning Department Director Gwen Wright. “It is our goal to make the planning process as accessible and interesting to stakeholders as possible, and video helps promote and recap important events and projects happening at the Department.”

View the graphic of the full list of Top 10 Videos.

Take a look at the videos that were the most popular on youtube.com/montgomeryplanning for 2015 and be sure to stay tuned in 2016 for more videos from the Montgomery County Planning Department!

Montgomery County Planning Department Videos from 2015:

  1. Old Places Matter
    The Montgomery County Historic Preservation Office wants to remind you that “old places” mean a lot to our County. Learn more about the Historic Preservation Office by visiting montgomeryplanning.org/historic and follow preservation staff on Twitter @MoCoHistPres
  1. Historic Preservation Tax Credit
    Find out how you can receive a tax credit for the exterior improvements to your historic home or business. Learn more at montgomeryplanning.org/historic
  2. The Bicycle Master Plan
    Learn about the Planning Department’s 2015 launch of a comprehensive update to the County Master Plan of Bikeways. Check out Check out montgomeryplanning.org/bikeplan
  1. Rock Spring Master Plan Kicks Off
    Attend the Rock Spring Farmers Market with the outreach team for the Rock Spring Master Plan and see how the group gathered feedback about this North Bethesda office park for the Plan. Learn more at montgomeryplanning.org/rockspring.
  1. Subdivision Regulations Rewrite Promo
    Understand the reasons why regulations governing subdivision development and growth are being rewritten to ensure more livable communities. Review the code at montgomeryplanning.org/development
  1. Development Review Real-Time Tracker
    Check out how this interactive map allows users to see what projects are being built in specific areas of the County. The map provides access to the Development Activity Information Center (DAIC), which includes all the documents associated with the review of a plan. Clicking on the Real Time Tracker icon takes you to a timeline that shows everything from the accepted date of the development application to the Planning Board’s decision on the project. Learn more about the development review process.
  2. Downtown Silver Spring Design Excellence Tour
    Join Planning Board members as they tour Downtown Silver Spring to see how some of their approved plans turned out and get a better look at what it means to practice design excellence. For more on the Planning Department’s Design Excellence program, go to: montgomeryplanning.org/design
  3. Update to the Subdivision Staging Policy Kickoff Meeting
    Find out more about the updates to the Subdivision Staging Policy (formerly known as the Growth Policy) that are undertaken every four years. The Planning Department started the most recent revision in 2015 to change regulations affecting schools, roads and infrastructure in the County. For more information, go to montgomeryplanning.org/ssp
  4. Montgomery County Planning Department: Just Getting Started Promo
    Review some of the recent work undertaken by the Montgomery County Planning Department and find out how you can stay connected and get involved! Learn more: montgomeryplanning.org
  5. Montgomery Planning Celebrates Design
    Hear what County Councilmembers, Planning Board members, architects and planners think about design excellence at the exciting event co-hosted with the Potomac Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects. This 2015 gala, which drew 200 people, inaugurated the Planning Department’s first Design Excellence Award at the Silver Spring Civic Building. Learn more about Montgomery Planning’s Design Excellence Award: montgomeryplanning.org/design

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