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westbard

May 4 16

Montgomery County Council Unanimously Approves Westbard Sector Plan at May 3 Meeting

by Bridget Schwiesow

PB Draft cover_Westbard

The plan recommends restoring natural features, revitalizing an aging strip shopping center and increasing affordable housing in the Westbard area

Silver Spring, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, participated in the County Council’s work session on the Westbard Sector Plan on Tuesday, May 3 and the Council voted 9 to 0 to approve the Sector Plan.

“This is a great step forward in ensuring a greener, more sustainable Westbard,” says Planning Director Gwen Wright. “The plan provides a blueprint for restoring the Willett Branch stream and providing more affordable housing, parks and a revitalized shopping center in keeping with the scale of the neighborhood.”

The latest version of the plan reflects revisions based on work sessions held with the County’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee and the full Council. These changes include:

– Maintaining the existing zoning and building heights of 35 to 40 feet along River Road.
-Allowing the potential for a floating zone to be requested for River Road properties currently occupied by the American Plant garden center, Roof Center and Talbert’s Ice and Beverage Service to allow future redevelopment of these sites.
-Increasing the affordable housing requirements for new optional method redevelopment projects within the entire planning area, from 12.5 percent moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs) to 15 percent MPDUs.
-Decreasing the floor area ratio (FAR) for proposed commercial development within the Westwood Shopping Center area from 1.25 FAR to .75 FAR.

This summer, the Planning Board will review a Sectional Map Amendment to establish the zoning of properties in the Westbard Sector Plan area.

Background on the Westbard Sector Plan
The Westbard Sector Plan covers an area of approximately 181 acres and was last updated in 1982, making it the oldest master plan in Montgomery County. The Plan builds on the assets of the community by offering ways to improve neighborhood retail and maintain the existing light industrial areas, while expanding housing options and recreational and open spaces over the next 20 years. It allows for redevelopment of the older retail centers and recommends the creation of new parks in the Sector Plan area, which does not have a single County park. Restoration of the Willett Branch stream would both improve water quality and provide a significant amenity for the residents of Westbard and surrounding communities.

Recommendations in the Westbard Sector Plan focus on:

-Encouraging more housing choices.
-Revitalizing older retail areas.
-Emphasizing low-scale development.
-Preserving local light industrial uses.
-Restoring the Willett Branch stream as a public amenity.
-Creating better access to the Capital Crescent Trail.
-Establishing new gathering spaces and parks.
-Enhancing walkability with sidewalks shaded by street trees.

Stay Connected
Sign up for the Westbard Sector Plan eNewsletter.

Mar 24 16

Changes to Westbard Sector Plan Recommended at County Council Meeting on March 22

by Bridget Schwiesow

Westbard Logo

The plan is being revised to maintain most of the existing commercial zoning along River Road and increase affordable housing in the Westbard area

Silver Spring, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, presented the Westbard Sector Plan to the County Council on Tuesday, March 22. This meeting followed a work session held with the County’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee on Monday, March 14.

The Council recommended changes to the plan based on the PHED work session, including:

– Maintaining the existing commercial and industrial zoning, and building heights of 35 to 40 feet along River Road.

-Allowing a floating zone to be applied to River Road properties currently occupied by the American Plant garden center, Roof Center and Talbert’s Ice and Beverage Service, and allow future redevelopment of these sites.

-Increasing the affordable housing requirements for new residential construction within the entire planning area, from 12.5 percent moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs) to 15 percent MPDUs.

-Decreasing the floor area ratio (FAR) for proposed commercial development within the Westwood Shopping Center area from 1.25 FAR to .75 FAR.

These changes will be reflected in the Westbard Sector Plan Draft Plan, which also reflects recommendations from Planning Board work sessions. The County Council will vote on approval of the Sector Plan in April 2016.

View the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan.

Background on the Westbard Sector Plan
The Westbard Sector Plan covers an area of approximately 181 acres and was last updated in 1982, making it the oldest master plan in Montgomery County. The Plan builds on the assets of the community by offering ways to improve neighborhood retail and maintain the existing light industrial areas, while expanding housing options and recreational and open spaces over the next 20 years. It allows for redevelopment of the older retail centers and recommends the creation of new parks in the Sector Plan area, which does not have a single County park. Restoration of the Willett Branch stream would both improve water quality and provide a significant amenity for the residents of Westbard and surrounding communities.

Recommendations in the Westbard Sector Plan focus on:

-Encouraging more housing choices.

-Revitalizing older retail areas.

-Emphasizing low-scale development of not more than seven stories.

-Preserving local light industrial uses.

-Restoring the Willett Branch stream as a public amenity.

-Creating better access to the Capital Crescent Trail.

-Establishing new gathering spaces and parks.

-Enhancing walkability with sidewalks shaded by street trees.

Stay Connected
Sign up for the Westbard Sector Plan eNewsletter.

Dec 23 15

Planning Department Announces Calendar of January 2016 Events

by Bridget Schwiesow

Calendar of Events

Plans for Downtown Bethesda, future subdivision development and bicycle lanes and trails proceed through community meetings and public review

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce its January 2016 calendar of community meetings and work sessions. 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 and Planning Department Events in January 2016

January 7 – Attend the next Planning Board 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 details about the session.

January 12 –Participate in a community meeting held at 7 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 subdivision development. Feedback from this event will help planners revise the current Subdivision Staging Policy.

January 14 –Learn about transportation-related updates to the Subdivision Staging Policy at this Planning Board meeting. Planning staff will brief the Board on new ideas for determining transportation adequacy and will also update the Board on its work to refine the transit component of Transportation Policy Area Review (TPAR) and update trip generation rates. Consult the Planning Board Agenda for details about the session.

January 20 – Attend Putting the Transition Back in Transit, the first session of the 2016 Winter Speaker Series, held at the Planning Department headquarters from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Transportation planner Nat Bottigheimer of DC-based Fehr & Peers will address the challenges that surface transit projects – light rail, streetcars, bus rapid transit — face in being implemented. The presentation will highlight the tools and processes that are most common in transit planning.

January 21 – Attend the Planning Board work session for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. Zoning, building heights and environmental improvements for various districts within the Plan area will be discussed. Consult the Planning Board Agenda for details about the session.

January 26 –Testify at the Montgomery County Council’s public hearing for the Westbard Sector Plan, held in the Council Hearing Room (100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD). Citizens interested in testifying in person at the hearing must sign up in advance online or call 240-777-7803 for more information.

January 26 – The first meeting of the Bicycle Master Plan Community Advisory Group will occur at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD) from 7 to 9 p.m. This diverse, 21-member group was organized to guide planners in developing the Bicycle Master Plan. The public is invited to observe and to speak at the end of the meeting.

January 28 – Learn about new metrics and modeling tools that could be used for the transportation analysis as part of the Subdivision Staging Policy at the Planning Board meeting.  Consult the Planning Board Agenda for details about the session.

January 28 – Participate in the planning for Rock Spring in North Bethesda. A community meeting to discuss the Rock Spring Master Plan will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD). Consult the plan webpage for details about the event.

January 28 – Weigh in on plans for pedestrian, bicycling and transit routes and facilities in the Life Sciences Center near Gaithersburg. Planning staff will present these proposals to the Planning Board for review. They include an update on the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT), the Life Sciences Center Loop Trail Design Guidelines and the Life Sciences Center Bicycle Network Proposal, a network of separate bike lanes and long-term bicycle parking a future CCT. Consult the Planning Board Agenda for details about the session.

Dec 22 15

County Council Will Hold Public Hearing on the Westbard Sector Plan on January 26 in Rockville

by Bridget Schwiesow

PB Draft cover_Westbard

Community offered opportunity to sign up and testify before Council members on Planning Board Draft of Sector Plan

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, approved the Westbard Sector Plan at its meeting on Thursday, December 17 for transmittal to the Montgomery County Council and Office of the County Executive.

The County Council has scheduled a public hearing on the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan for Tuesday, January 26, 2016 in the Council Hearing Room (100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD). Community members interested in testifying in person must sign up in advance online or call 240-777-7803 for more information.

The Planning Board previously held three work sessions on the Westbard Sector Plan to address schools, transportation, land uses, zoning, open spaces and historic and cultural resources. A fourth work session was held to finalize zoning language for specific properties in the Plan area. The Planning Board’s revisions are reflected in the newest draft of the Sector Plan.

These changes affect some building heights, address the need for community-serving uses, increase affordable housing requirements in certain circumstances and add restrictions to commercial uses in areas abutting single-family residential neighborhoods.

View the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan.

Background on Westbard Sector Plan
The new Sector Plan is the first effort since 1982 to develop a unified vision for Bethesda’s Westbard area, which is located near Friendship Heights and the District of Columbia. The Plan builds on the assets of the community by offering ways to improve neighborhood retail, existing light industrial areas, housing options and recreational and open spaces over the next 20 years.

Recommendations in the Westbard Sector Plan focus on:

-Encouraging more housing choices.

-Revitalizing older retail areas.

-Emphasizing low-scale development of five to seven stories.

-Preserving local light industrial uses.

-Restoring the Willett Branch stream as a public amenity.

-Creating better access to the Capital Crescent Trail.

-Establishing new gathering spaces and parks.

-Enhancing walkability with sidewalks shaded by street trees.

Stay Connected
Sign up for the Westbard Sector Plan eNewsletter.

Dec 18 15

Planning Board Approves Changes to the Westbard Sector Plan at Final Work Session

by Bridget Schwiesow

westbard public hearing cover
At its December 17 meeting, the Board voted to accept the Planning Board Draft for transmission to the County Council and County Executive

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, held its fourth and final work session on the Westbard Sector Plan at its meeting on Thursday, December 17 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). The Planning Board reviewed and approved changes to language in the Plan that it had requested during the prior three work sessions.

Revisions to the Plan include changes to recommended building heights, the need for community-serving uses, increases in affordable housing requirements and restrictions to commercial uses in areas abutting single-family residential neighborhoods.

The Planning Board voted to accept the Planning Board Draft of the Sector Plan and transmit it to the Montgomery County Council and to the Office of the County Executive. The County Council has tentatively scheduled a public hearing on the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan for Tuesday, January 26, 2016.

View the Westbard Sector Plan Staff Report for the December 17 Planning Board meeting.

The Planning Board previously held three work sessions on the Westbard Sector Plan to address the following issues:

Work Session #1: Thursday, October 22, 2015 – Overall Concept and Infrastructure – Schools and Transportation

Work Session #2: Thursday, November 19, 2015 – Land Use and Zoning

Work Session #3: Thursday, December 3, 2015 – Land use and Zoning wrap-up; Parks, Open Space and Willett Branch Renovation; Historic and Cultural Resources

Background on Westbard Sector Plan
The new Sector Plan is the first effort since 1982 to develop a unified vision for Bethesda’s Westbard area, which is located near Friendship Heights and the District of Columbia. The Plan builds on the assets of the community by offering ways to improve neighborhood retail, existing light industrial areas, housing options and recreational and open spaces over the next 20 years.

Recommendations in the Plan focus on:

-Encouraging more housing choices.

-Revitalizing older retail areas.

-Emphasizing low-scale development of five to seven stories.

-Preserving local light industrial uses.

-Restoring the Willett Branch stream as a public amenity.

-Creating better access to the Capital Crescent Trail.

-Establishing new gathering spaces and parks.

-Enhancing walkability with sidewalks shaded by street trees.

Dec 11 15

Montgomery County Planning Board Will Hold its Final Work Session on Westbard Sector Plan on Thursday, December 17

by Bridget Schwiesow

westbard public hearing draft
Planning Board will vote on accepting the Planning Board Draft for transmission to the County Council and County Executive

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will hold its fourth and final work session for the Westbard Sector Plan at its meeting on Thursday, December 17 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD).

It is anticipated that the Planning Board will vote to accept the Planning Board Draft of the Sector Plan and transmit it to the Montgomery County Council and to the Office of the County Executive. The County Council has tentatively scheduled a public hearing on the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan for Tuesday, January 26, 2016.

View the Westbard Sector Plan Staff Report for the December 17 Planning Board meeting.

The Planning Board previously held three work sessions on the Westbard Sector Plan to address the following issues:

Work Session #1: Thursday, October 22, 2015 – Overall Concept and Infrastructure – Schools and Transportation

Work Session #2: Thursday, November 19, 2015 – Land Use and Zoning

Work Session #3: Thursday, December 3, 2015 – Land use and Zoning wrap-up; Parks, Open Space and Willett Branch Renovation; Historic and Cultural Resources

Background on Westbard Sector Plan
The new Sector Plan is the first effort since 1982 to develop a unified vision for Bethesda’s Westbard area, which is located near Friendship Heights and the District of Columbia. The Plan builds on the assets of the community by offering ways to improve neighborhood retail, existing light industrial areas, housing options and recreational and open spaces over the next 20 years.

Recommendations in the Plan focus on:

-Encouraging more housing choices.

-Revitalizing older retail areas.

-Emphasizing low-scale development of five to seven stories.

-Preserving local light industrial uses.

-Restoring the Willett Branch stream as a public amenity.

-Creating better access to the Capital Crescent Trail.

-Establishing new gathering spaces and parks.

-Enhancing walkability with sidewalks shaded by street trees.

Stay Connected
Sign up for the Westbard Sector Plan eNewsletter.

Nov 19 15

Planning Department Announces Calendar of December Events

by Bridget Schwiesow

Calendar of Events

Planning Board wraps up 2015 agenda with work sessions devoted to plans for Bethesda, Westbard and Lyttonsville

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce its calendar for December 2015. These events offer opportunities for the Planning Board members and Planning Department staff to engage with communities within Montgomery County. 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 and Planning Department Events in December 2015

December 1 – Sign up to testify at the County Council’s public hearing for the Montgomery Village Master Plan. The hearing will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Hearing Room at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. Residents and property owners are invited to comment on the Master Plan’s draft recommendations for land use and zoning, transportation networks, parks and open spaces.

To testify, community members can sign up online at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council/calendar.html or call 240-777-7803. The deadline to sign up is 10 a.m. on December 1. Past PowerPoint presentations of the Plan goals and other materials from MV Matters meetings are posted on the Montgomery Village Master Plan webpage.

December 3 – Attend the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting to learn about separated bike lanes proposed for the White Flint area. Also on the agenda is a work session for the Westbard Sector Plan with discussion focused on the future of the Willett Branch stream and open spaces in the area. Planners will also make a presentation to the Planning Board about updates related to the Transportation Policy Area Review (TPAR) process and trip generation rates used in support of Local Area Transportation Review (LATR). TPAR is used to determine adequacy of roadways and transit from a policy area-wide perspective. LATR is used to determine the adequacy of roadway intersections located in the vicinity of proposed new development.

December 9 – Attend the community meeting for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan to discuss parks and open spaces in the area. The session will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville). RSVP to attend the meeting.

December 14 – Attend the community meeting for the Rock Spring Master Plan to learn about future development of this office park in Bethesda. The planner-led event will be held at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda) from 7 to 9 p.m. RSVP to attend the meeting.

December 15 – This Tuesday meeting of the Planning Board will be devoted to a work session on the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan.

December 15 – Attend a community meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus, (Academic and Research Building 9601 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD) to learn about the latest bicycle and pedestrian planning activities in the Life Sciences Center area. Staff will provide an update on the Life Sciences Center separated bike lane network related to the Bicycle Master Plan, as well as the Life Sciences Center Loop Trail design guidelines. RSVPs to attend the session are encouraged, but not required. RSVP for the December 15 meeting.

December 17 – The Planning Board’s last meeting of 2015 will include work sessions on the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan and Westbard Sector Plan. A full agenda for the meeting is posted on the Agendas & Staff Reports page.

Nov 13 15

Planning Board Will Review Zoning Recommendations in Westbard Sector Plan at Work Session on November 19

by Bridget Schwiesow

Westbard Logo

Discussion will focus on height and density recommendations for properties in each district of Westbard

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will review the recommendations regarding zoning and land uses in the Westbard Sector Plan at its meeting on Thursday, November 19 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD).

At this second work session for the Sector Plan, staff planners will highlight the priorities in each district of Westbard. They will present requested changes to Plan recommendations made by property owners and their impact on the potential number of residential units, affordable housing, open spaces and student generation rates.

The Planning Board will hold additional work sessions in December 2015. At the conclusion of the work sessions, the Plan will be revised according to the Planning Board’s direction and transmitted to the County Council and County Executive as the Planning Board Draft. The County Council will hold a public hearing on the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan in 2016.

Background on Westbard Sector Plan

The new Sector Plan is the first effort since 1982 to develop a unified vision for Bethesda’s Westbard area, which is located near Friendship Heights and the District of Columbia. The Plan builds on the assets of the community by offering ways to improve neighborhood retail, the existing light industrial areas, housing options and recreational and open spaces over the next 20 years. Recommendations in the Plan focus on:

-Encouraging more housing choices.

-Revitalizing older retail areas.

-Emphasizing low-scale development of five to seven stories.

-Preserving local light industrial uses.

-Restoring the Willett Branch stream as a public amenity.

-Creating better access to the Capital Crescent Trail.

-Establishing new gathering spaces and parks.

-Enhancing walkability with sidewalks shaded by street trees.

Stay Connected:
Sign up for the Westbard Sector Plan eNewsletter.

Sep 25 15

Planning Department Announces Calendar of October Events

by Bridget Schwiesow

Calendar of Events
Events include community meetings, Planning Board work sessions, announcement of the Department’s first annual Design Excellence Award on October 22 celebration and the Montgomery Modern book launch party on October 30.  

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce its calendar for October 2015. These events offer opportunities for the Board and Planning Department staff to engage with communities within Montgomery County. Review the full list of events below and go online to www.montgomeryplanning.org for more details on projects and plans.

The agenda of upcoming Planning Board meetings being held this fall is posted on the Agendas & Staff Reports page.

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 and Planning Department Events in October 2015:

October 1 – Following the September 10 public hearing for the Montgomery Village Master Plan, the Planning Board will hold its first work session with the planning team to discuss the key issues that were raised. Learn more about the Montgomery Village Master Plan.

October 5 – The Planning Board is holding a work session with the planning team for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan to fine-tune its recommendations. Learn more about the Bethesda Downtown Plan.

October 6 – Attend the community meeting for the Bicycle Master Plan at Walter Johnson High School, 6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD, from 7 to 9 p.m. RSVP for the fifth and final Bicycle Master Plan kickoff community meeting which will focus on White Flint.

October 8 – Learn about the Scope of Work for the Rock Spring Master Plan and hear the Board’s discussion of the Working Draft of the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan at the Planning Board meeting. Check the Agendas & Staff Reports page two weeks prior to the meeting for details.

October 14 — Attend the White Flint 2 Community Open House at Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville, MD) from 7 to 9 p.m. Learn more about the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.

October 15 –The Planning Board will hold a second work session for the Montgomery Village Master Plan. Learn more about the Montgomery Village Master Plan.

October 19 – Attend the public open house discussion about the Subdivision Staging Policy update at the Montgomery County Planning Department (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD) from 7 to 9 p.m. This event presents the opportunity for the community to learn about the policy and share concerns about infrastructure and growth. In addition to planners, representatives of the Montgomery County Public Schools and Department of Transportation will participate in the discussion. Learn more about the update to the Subdivision Staging Policy.

October 22 – Take part in the Celebrate Design event at the Silver Spring Civic Building from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The winner of the first Montgomery County Design Excellence Award will be announced at this celebration, co-hosted by the Planning Department and Potomac Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Developers, architects, landscape architects, designers, property owners and community members are invited to attend the reception and awards event at the Silver Spring Civic Building. Purchase $35 tickets today. Learn more about the Design Excellence initiative.

October 22 –The Planning Board will meet with the planning team for the fourth work session on the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. Learn more about the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan.

October 26 – The Planning Board will hold the first of four work sessions on the Westbard Sector Plan. Learn more about the Westbard Sector Plan Public Hearing Draft.

October 29 –The Planning Board will hold the third work session for the Montgomery Village Master Plan. Learn more about the Montgomery Village Master Plan.

October 30Attend the Montgomery Modern book launch party for the new book authored by Clare Lise Kelly, entitled Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979 on Friday, October 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Writer’s Center (4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD). The event, sponsored by the Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office, is free. Ms. Kelly will give a presentation and attendees will have an opportunity to purchase a signed book. RSVP’s are encouraged but not required. Register to attend the Montgomery Modern Book Launch Party.

Sep 10 15

Planning Director Gwen Wright to Present Strategies for Retrofitting the Suburbs at Smart Cities Week Conference

by Bridget Schwiesow

GWright-3

Wright will join Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner on September 15 at Washington Convention Center for discussion of recent, fine-grained planning efforts

Silver Spring, MD – Gwen Wright, Director of the Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will present recent strategies for retrofitting the suburbs on September 15 at the Smart Cities Week conference at the Washington Convention Center.

Wright will focus on transit-oriented development in established, inner-ring communities, such as Bethesda and Silver Spring, as well as how similar, mixed-use, walkable development is being planned for areas without immediate access to transit, such as Westbard and Rock Spring.

“As Montgomery County grows and becomes denser and more populated, the need for strategic, well designed infill will become paramount,” says Wright. “Our recent plans focus on retrofitting the suburbs with new infrastructure, affordable housing, open space and places to work, shop and play, all within a 10-minute walk. We are taking this approach for Metro-accessible communities as well as for places where Metro is a bus ride away.”

Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner, who represents the Potomac-Bethesda area, will join Wright to participate in the Smart Cities session. He will focus on the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan for North Bethesda and its implementation thus far in development projects such as Pike & Rose.

About Smart Cities Week:
Smart Cities Week, held in Washington, DC from September 15 through 17, 2015, is North America’s first conference and exhibition focused on holistic, integrated approaches to sustainable urban places. Developed by the Smart Cities Council, an educational group, the event highlights best practices for breaking down barriers to progress and instilling a culture of collaboration —solutions that public officials can use to improve livability, workability and sustainability in their communities.