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“White Flint 2”

Aug 31 16

Planning Board Returns from Month-long Summer Recess to Hold First Fall Session on September 8

by Christopher Peifer

Board will review White Flint 2 Sector Plan Working Draft and conduct first work session for the Bicycle Master Plan

SILVER SPRING, MD  The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), will hold its first meeting since its summer recess on Thursday, September 8.

On the Planning Board’s September 8 agenda is the review of the White Flint 2 Sector Plan Working Draft; a work session for the Bicycle Master Plan Framework; and approval of the Sectional Map Amendment to the Westbard Sector Plan, among other items.

The Planning Board has a full agenda during each of its meetings in September to include the following:

-The September 15 meeting will consider a request for approval of the Scope of Work for the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Area Minor Master Plan.

-On September 22, the Board will hear public testimony and consider requests for water and sewer extensions to various properties. Based on this feedback, the Board will present its recommendations to the County Council at a later date.

-At the last meeting of the month on September 29, the Planning Board will be briefed on implementation issues related to the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.

Planning Board agendas are posted 10 days in advance of the meeting date. For a full list of items on the Board’s agenda and details about each meeting, consult the Planning Board Agenda. The public is invited to attend all open Board sessions.

Jul 15 16

Cyclists To Visit White Flint 2, Rock Spring, and Grosvenor-Strathmore Planning Areas

by Christopher Peifer

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On July 29, Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson will lead a bike tour through the communities to gain a clearer understanding of planning recommendations and goals

SILVER SPRING, MD – Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson will join staff from the County Planning Department and Department of Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, on a bicycle tour of the communities that are the subject of current plans.

Departing on Friday, July 29, at 10 a.m., the tour will travel mostly on low volume streets to visit the White Flint 2, Rock Spring, and Grosvenor-Strathmore plan areas. Plans for these communities are currently underway and the bike tour will highlight those areas now under consideration for improvements.

Join the bicycle tour

The public is invited to join the bike tour at the Battery Lane Urban Park in Bethesda (4960 Battery Lane, Bethesda, MD) at 10 a.m. or can meet the group at various stops along the way. The approximately 15-mile tour is designed for experienced cyclists who must bring their own bikes and helmets. The ride is designed as a point-to-point tour, beginning in Bethesda and ending in Rockville Town Center. All participants are required to sign a form for indemnification and release of all claims before they begin the bike tour.

Planners will speak about their visions for White Flint 2, Rock Spring, and the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station redevelopment at key stops along the tour route:

  • Westlake Terrace bridge over the I-270 Spur, connecting Rock Spring Park to the Montgomery Mall
  • The intersection of Fernwood Road at Democracy Boulevard
  • Redevelopment of the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station
  • The intersection of Rockville Pike and Grosvenor Lane/ Beach Drive
  • The intersection of Old Georgetown Road and Executive Boulevard
  • The Pike and Rose development

Understand bicycle planning goals

In addition to showcasing plan area, the tour will help participants understand the goals of the Bicycle Master Plan. This Plan was launched in July 2015 to develop a high-quality, low-stress bicycle network reflecting 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.

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.

Apr 6 16

White Flint Sector Plan Implementation Advisory Committee Will Hold Monthly Meeting in North Bethesda on April 11

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Group will discuss progress of developments, road improvements, bikeway projects and related White Flint 2 Sector Plan issues 

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is convening the monthly meeting of the White Flint Sector Plan Implementation Advisory Committee on Monday, April 11 at 7 p.m. at the Wall Local Park/Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center (5900 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda, MD 20852). The meeting is open to the public.

The session’s agenda includes a progress report on development activity, updates on road and bikeway projects, and the County’s current Capital Improvements Program budgetary process as it relates to the White Flint Sector Plan area of North Bethesda.

Participants will learn more about the White Flint 2 Sector Plan, launched in 2015 to close the gap between the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan, Twinbrook Sector Plan and the pending City of Rockville plan for Rockville Pike (MD 355). The plan’s land use, zoning and transportation recommendations will apply to properties in a bow-tie-shaped area between the boundaries of these already established Plans. White Flint 2 will link common elements between the Plan areas, including Rockville Pike and a proposed network of bike lanes and public open spaces.

Update on Urban Land Institute Review Panels

Another topic of discussion at the meeting will be the Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) review held by the Planning Department and Washington, DC chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in December 2015 to focus on revitalization strategies for the Executive Boulevard and Rock Spring areas of North Bethesda. This two-day event included site visits, roundtable discussions and a presentation of findings from a multi-disciplinary team of real estate and land use experts.

The panelists suggested ways of making the two office parks in North Bethesda more economically competitive and their findings are documented in a recent report entitled “What’s Next for Office Parks in Montgomery County.” The report recommendations for the Executive Boulevard area are being considered by planners for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.

Meeting participants will also learn about a more recent ULI TAP review, held by the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee on March 29, 2016 at the Strathmore Music Center.  The purpose of this study is to look at ways of re-branding the White Flint area as the Pike District. Panelists offered ideas for signage and streetscape designs to clearly define a new identity for the neighborhood.

About the White Flint Sector Plan Advisory Committee

In 2010, the Planning Department appointed a group of property owners, residents, County officials and interest groups to oversee the implementation and staging of redevelopment in the Sector Plan areas. The 24-member committee monitors the progress of Plan recommendations, including improvements to traffic congestion, transit use and parking; the County’s Capital Improvements Program and Subdivision Staging Policy. Members recommend action by the Planning Board and County Council to address issues that may arise.

Feb 4 16

Civic Groups, Homeowner Associations and Property Owners Share Perspectives for White Flint 2 Area at Public Forum on February 1

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Speakers addressed schools, transportation, parks and new developments within White Flint 2 Sector Plan boundaries at evening meeting

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, held a public forum on Monday, February 1, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville, MD) for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.

This event allowed civic and homeowner associations, including representatives from the Luxmanor, Garrett Park, Cherington and Randolph Hills neighborhoods, to share ideas with planners and the approximately 40 meeting participants. The discussion focused on public schools within the Walter Johnson cluster, transportation and new parks and open spaces.

In addition, developers from Federal Realty Investment Trust explained their initial concepts for redeveloping the Montrose Crossing Shopping Center and the owner of Randolph Hills Shopping Center also presented his suggested renovation plans.

Local representatives of the Sierra Club presented the benefits of such development, including the provision of more affordable housing in proximity to transit, as well as ways to improve the energy efficiencies of buildings and sites.

View the video recap of the meeting.

Background on the White Flint 2 Sector Plan

The White Flint 2 Plan aims to close the gap between the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan, Twinbrook Sector Plan and the pending City of Rockville plan for Rockville Pike (MD 355). Its land use, zoning and transportation recommendations will apply to properties in a bow-tie-shaped area between the boundaries of these already established Plans. White Flint 2 will link common elements between the Plan areas, including Rockville Pike and the proposed network of bike lanes and public open spaces.

Planners will be looking at parcels along Executive Boulevard, west of Old Georgetown Road; east of the CSX rail tracks, between Randolph Road and Nicholson Lane; and north of Montrose Parkway along Rockville Pike to the city limits of Rockville. Nicholson Court, which was a part of the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan, will also be included in the proposed plan area.

Issues confronting the White Flint 2 planners

  • How should the City of Rockville and County officials coordinate their efforts in redesigning Rockville Pike?
  • What transportation policies should be introduced or amended?
  • Should the White Flint Special Taxing District extend to White Flint 2?
  • How can uses on both sides of the MARC station and CSX tracks be integrated?
  • What is the role of the proposed MARC station?
  • How should properties outside of the 2010 White Flint Plan be developed?
  • Should light-industrial-zoned properties be retained?
  • What would the school capacity impacts be if significant numbers of new residential developments are approved?
  • What are the impacts associated with bus rapid transit (BRT)?
  • What is the potential for infill to create a mix of uses and promote walkability?

For more information about the White Flint 2 Plan and February 1 public forum, contact:

Lead Planner Nkosi Yearwood, tel. 301-495-1332, email Nkosi.Yearwood@montgomeryplanning.org

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Jan 8 16

Property Owners and Civic Groups Invited to Present Proposals for White Flint 2 Area at Public Forum on February 1

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Speakers who wish to address specific properties and improvements at the meeting must submit presentation proposals to the Planning Department by January 28 to be considered

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will hold a public forum on Monday, February 1, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville, MD) for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.

The purpose of the forum is to allow property owners to share with the public any general thoughts or detailed development plans they may have for sites within the Sector Plan boundaries. Representatives of civic and homeowner associations, and other stakeholders, are also invited to discuss issues and concerns about specific properties and the future of the White Flint 2 area.

Each speaker will have up to 10 minutes to make a presentation at the meeting. Those property owners, association representatives and stakeholders wishing to make a presentation should submit a brief description of the presentation to lead planner Nkosi Yearwood (nkosi.yearwood@montgomeryplanning.org or 301-495-1332) by Thursday, January 28 in order to be scheduled to speak.

Background on the White Flint 2 Sector Plan:

The White Flint 2 Plan aims to close the gap between the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan, Twinbrook Sector Plan and the pending City of Rockville plan for Rockville Pike (MD 355). Its land use, zoning and transportation recommendations will apply to properties in a bow-tie-shaped area between the boundaries of these already established Plans. White Flint 2 will link common elements between the Plan areas, including Rockville Pike and the proposed network of bike lanes and public open spaces.

Planners will be looking at parcels along Executive Boulevard, west of Old Georgetown Road; east of the CSX rail tracks, between Randolph Road and Nicholson Lane; and north of Montrose Parkway along Rockville Pike to the city limits of Rockville. Nicholson Court, which was a part of the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan, will also be included in the proposed plan area.

Issues confronting the White Flint 2 planners:

  • How should the City of Rockville and County officials coordinate their efforts in redesigning Rockville Pike?
  • What transportation policies should be introduced or amended?
  • Should the White Flint Special Taxing District extend to White Flint 2?
  • How can uses on both sides of the MARC station and CSX tracks be integrated?
  • What is the role of the proposed MARC station?
  • How should properties outside of the 2010 White Flint Plan be developed?
  • Should light-industrial-zoned properties be retained?
  • What would the school capacity impacts be if significant numbers of new residential developments are approved?
  • What are the impacts associated with bus rapid transit (BRT)?
  • What is the potential for infill to create a mix of uses and promote walkability?

For more information about the White Flint 2 Plan and February 1 public forum, contact:

Lead Planner Nkosi Yearwood, tel. 301-495-1332, email Nkosi.Yearwood@montgomeryplanning.org

Stay connected with the latest information about the WF2 Sector Plan
Connect with us on Twitter: #WF2
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/montgomeryplanning

Dec 3 15

ULI Washington Panel Recommends Strategies to Revitalize Rock Spring and White Flint 2 Office Parks at December 2 Workshop

by Bridget Schwiesow

white flint imageRock Spring Logo rev 2ULI revised

Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel helped ongoing planning efforts for Rock Spring and White Flint 2 areas by suggesting land uses, amenities, multi-modal access

Silver Spring, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, partnered with the Washington, DC District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to conduct a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) review from Tuesday, December 1 through Wednesday, December 2, 2015. The event, titled “What’s Next for the Rock Spring Office Park and the Executive Boulevard area in White Flint,” was held at 6110 Executive Boulevard in Rockville.

“These areas are so important to Montgomery County from the standpoint of economic development and jobs,” says Planning Director Gwen Wright. “That’s why we wanted to draw on the expertise of a ULI Washington technical assistance panel to provide recommendations as we continue the planning process for Rock Spring and White Flint 2.”

The workshop included site visits, roundtable discussions and a presentation of findings from a multi-disciplinary team of real estate and land use experts who are members of ULI Washington. The panelists suggested ways of making the two office parks in North Bethesda more economically competitive and vibrant. These office districts, located less than two miles apart in the Rock Spring and Executive Boulevard areas, are now being studied by the County Planning Department as part of its ongoing planning efforts. The Rock Spring Master Plan and White Flint 2 Sector Plan will consider new land uses and zoning, along with potential enhancements to public facilities, open spaces and transportation.

View the powerpoint of the ULI Washington Technical Assistance Panel presentation from December 2.

View the video of the ULI Washington Technical Assistance Panel presentation from December 2.

Challenges of Rock Spring and Executive Boulevard Areas

The primary challenge in both locations is the high office vacancy rate. The Rock Spring office park has a vacancy rate of 21.2 percent and the Executive Boulevard office park within the White Flint 2 area has a vacancy rate of 29.2 percent, compared to Montgomery County’s overall office vacancy rate of 14.8 percent (according to CoStar statistics).

Each office park contains three completely empty buildings. A major tenant in Rock Spring, Marriott International, has announced tentative plans to relocate to a more walkable, transit-served and mixed-use setting. Experts on the panel pointed out that high office vacancy rates are not unique to Montgomery County; they are evident all over the country. In response, many communities are successfully developing strategies to deal with the changing office market.

The ULI panelists also focused on challenges related to the lack of community identity in both locations. They emphasized the absence of amenities, such as coffee shops, lunch venues, gyms, and drug stores, within the office parks; the lack of pedestrian access and connectivity to offsite amenities; and the need to diversify land uses, since currently there is only a single land use – office – in the two areas.

TAP Recommendations for Executive Boulevard Area

During the report-out on December 2, the ULI experts presented strategies for transforming the office parks. Their recommendations for the Executive Boulevard area of White Flint are:

-Accelerate implementation of the north/west Pike & Rose Metrorail station entrance.

-Implement the planned Old Georgetown Road and Executive Boulevard realignment (called the Western Workaround).

-Improve pedestrian connections to amenities, such as those at Pike & Rose, and the existing White Flint Metrorail station.

-Leverage and link to the White Flint recreation loop for walking and biking.

-Introduce Bikeshare as a multimodal connector.

-Introduce convenience retail for office workers and future residents, including coffee shops, cafes, drug stores, dry cleaners.

-Decrease perceived distances between office building entrances and the street by encouraging small retail spaces, pop-up amenities (food trucks, parklets) and outdoor seating.

-Embrace and enhance the ample green spaces, including mature trees and landscaping, already present.

-Leverage and link the Executive Boulevard office park to Pike & Rose’s identity.

-Create a consistent signage and streetscape package to reinforce new identify for office parks.

TAP Recommendations for Rock Spring Area

The experts organized their comments according to the major challenges of identity, connectivity, amenities and land use as follows:

-Draw on the theme of “live well” by building on existing medical tenants and green environment of Rock Spring.

-Create an anchor for wellness/central community uses and a mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented environment.

-Improve entry points by creating gateways through artwork, signage and archways.

-Provide a shuttle to the Metrorail station and enhance pedestrian and bike connections to Westfield Montgomery Mall – which the panel viewed as a major amenity for the area.

-Enhance transit rider knowledge through technology tools.

-Introduce Bikeshare stations.

-Break up superblocks of office buildings with mid-block crossings for pedestrians.

-Concentrate communal amenities (community center, library, civic functions) in a central location.

-Create a centrally located mixed-use village center, possibly including a library and arts facilities.

-Leverage existing green spaces by building a trail network, seating, and open spaces.

-Catalyze development of the approved, mixed-use Rock Spring Center project.

-Change zoning to eliminate constraints, allow maximum land-use flexibility and make the area market-responsive.

-Explore creative approaches to school overcrowding in the area, such as adding another school on or adjacent to the Walter Johnson High School site, reusing an office building for a school and/or building a new school within the Rock Spring office park, possibly on an existing surface parking lot.

-Use financial tools to achieve goals, such as tax abatement and tax-increment financing; special assessment taxing districts to accelerate infrastructure improvements; County acquisition of vacant and underperforming offices buildings to spur changes in use; and public-private partnerships.

-Create buy-in for real estate changes through community education.

Many of these recommendations will be considered by County planners in developing the new Rock Spring Master Plan and White Flint 2 Sector Plan. The Plans will guide and encourage the transformation of the office parks, and recommend facilities and policies needed to support new uses.

For more information about the Rock Spring Master Plan, go to www.montgomeryplanning.org/rockspring

For more information about the White Flint 2 Sector Plan, go to www.montgomeryplanning.org/wf2

About the ULI Technical Assistance Panel

The objective of ULI Washington’s Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) program is to provide expert, multidisciplinary advice on land use and real estate issues facing public agencies and nonprofit organizations in the Metropolitan Washington Region. Drawing from its extensive membership base, ULI Washington conducts one and one-half day panels offering objective and responsible advice to local decision-makers on a wide variety of land use and real estate issues, ranging from site-specific projects to public policy questions. The TAP program is intentionally flexible to provide a customized approach to specific land use and real estate issues. Learn more at http://washington.uli.org/TAPs.

The panelists for the Rock Spring and Executive Boulevard areas were:

Bob Eisenberg, Chair, Clark Enterprises

Robert Atkinson, Davis Carter Scott

Dean Bellas, Urban Analytics

Brigg Bunker, Foulger Pratt Development

Barbara Byron, Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization

Matt Klein, Akridge

Alex Rixey, Fehr and Peers

Rebecca Snyder, Insight Property Group

Stan Wall, HR&A Advisors

About The Montgomery County Planning Department
The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, aims to improve quality of life by conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment for current and future generations. The Planning Department creates great communities by developing master plans, reviewing applications for development and analyzing various types of information to help public officials plan for Montgomery County’s future. The Department comprises 140 staff members and provides recommendations, information, analysis and services to the Montgomery County Planning Board, the County Council, the County Executive, other government agencies and the general public. Visit www.montgomeryplanning.org.

About ULI Washington
ULI Washington is a district council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a nonprofit education and research organization supported by its members. Founded in 1936, the Institute today has more than 30,000 members worldwide representing the entire spectrum of land use planning and real estate development disciplines working in private enterprise and public service. As the preeminent, multidisciplinary real estate forum, ULI facilitates the open exchange of ideas, information and experience among local, national and international industry leaders and policy makers dedicated to creating better communities.

ULI’s mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. ULI Washington carries out the ULI mission locally by sharing best practices, building consensus, and advancing solutions through educational programs and community outreach initiatives.

 

 

Dec 1 15

December 9 Community Meeting for White Flint 2 Sector Plan Will Focus on Parks and Open Spaces in Area

by Bridget Schwiesow

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Staff from Planning and Parks Departments will discuss existing open spaces and opportunities to introduce additional green areas and gathering places

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will hold a community meeting to discuss the White Flint 2 Sector Plan on Wednesday, December 9 at Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville) from 7 to 9 p.m.

RSVP for the December 9 meeting.

Staff from the Planning and Parks Departments will make a presentation about existing parks and open spaces in the area, and where additional facilities may be needed. Following that discussion, attendees will be invited to provide feedback on ideas about parks and amenities in the White Flint 2 area to help steer the planning process.

Learn more about the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.

Background on the White Flint 2 Sector Plan

The White Flint 2 Plan aims to close the gaps between the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan, the Twinbrook Sector Plan and the pending City of Rockville plan for Rockville Pike (MD 355). Its land use, zoning and transportation recommendations will apply to properties in a bow-tie-shaped area between the boundaries of the already established Plans. White Flint 2 will link common elements between the Plan areas, including Rockville Pike and the proposed network of bike lanes and public open spaces.

Planners will be looking at parcels along Executive Boulevard, west of Old Georgetown Road; east of the CSX rail tracks, between Randolph Road and Nicholson Lane; and north of Montrose Parkway along Rockville Pike to the city limits of Rockville. Nicholson Court, which was a part of the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan, will also be included in the proposed plan area.

Challenges of the plan include improving the transportation network, including the redesign of Rockville Pike into a more pedestrian-friendly tree-lined boulevard; integrating land uses on both sides of the CSX tracks and the proposed MARC station; and encouraging mixed-use, walkable developments.

For more information about the White Flint 2 Plan, contact the lead planners:

Nkosi Yearwood, tel. 301-495-1332, email Nkosi.Yearwood@montgomeryplanning.org
Andrea Gilles, tel. 301-495-4541, email Andrea.Gilles@montgomeryplanning.org

Stay connected with the latest information about the WF2 Sector Plan
Connect with us on Twitter: #WF2
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/montgomeryplanning

 

Nov 25 15

Planning Department and Urban Land Institute Will Hold Workshop on December 1 and 2 to Strategize Future of Rock Spring and White Flint Office Parks

by Bridget Schwiesow

ULI revised

white flint imageRock Spring Logo rev 2

The ULI Washington Technical Assistance Panel will help shape plans for Rock Spring and White Flint 2 areas by suggesting ways of revitalizing their office parks

Silver Spring, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is partnering with the Washington, DC chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to hold a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) from Tuesday, December 1 through Wednesday, December 2, 2015. The invitation-only event, titled “What’s Next for the Rock Spring Office Park and the Executive Boulevard Area in White Flint,” will be held at 6110 Executive Boulevard in Rockville.

The workshop will include site visits, roundtable discussions and presentations from a team of ULI experts, who will suggest ways of making two office parks in North Bethesda more economically competitive and vibrant.

The North Bethesda office districts are located less than two miles apart in the Rock Spring and Executive Boulevard areas. They are now being studied by the Planning Department as part of ongoing master planning efforts. The Rock Spring Master Plan and White Flint 2 Sector Plan will recommend new land uses and zoning, along with concepts for public facilities, open spaces and transportation.

The challenge set before the ULI experts is the high vacancy rate in these County office parks. The Rock Spring office park has a vacancy rate of nearly 22 percent and the Executive Boulevard office park within the White Flint 2 area has a vacancy rate of almost 33 percent. Each office park contains three completely empty buildings. A major tenant in Rock Spring, Marriott International, has announced tentative plans to relocate to a more walkable, transit-served and mixed-use setting.

The Planning Department submitted an application to ULI in October 2015 to hold the Technical Assistance Panel. The panel will be run by the local ULI chapter to address land use issues that require local knowledge to resolve.

The two-day workshop will end with a presentation of findings that will be posted to the White Flint 2 and Rock Spring plan webpages. A final report will be produced by ULI within three months of concluding the TAP and made available to the public.

The new Rock Spring Master Plan and White Flint 2 Sector Plan will guide and encourage the transformation of the office parks, and recommend facilities and policies needed to support this change.

For more information about the Rock Spring Master Plan, go to: http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/rockspring

For more information about the White Flint 2 Sector Plan, go to: http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/wf2

About The Montgomery County Planning Department
The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, aims to improve quality of life by conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment for current and future generations. The Planning Department creates great communities by developing master plans, reviewing applications for development and analyzing various types of information to help public officials plan for Montgomery County’s future. The Department comprises 140 staff members and provides recommendations, information, analysis and services to the Montgomery County Planning Board, the County Council, the County Executive, other government agencies and the general public. Visit www.montgomeryplanning.org.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Founded in 1936, the institute now has more than 38,000 members worldwide representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines, working in private enterprise and public service. ULI Washington works to advance the mission of ULI in the greater Washington metropolitan area. With just under 2,000 members, ULI Washington is one of the largest district councils in the world.

Oct 30 15

Montgomery County Planning Department Announces Calendar of November Events

by Bridget Schwiesow

Calendar of Events

Master plans move ahead with public meetings and Planning Board work sessions.

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce its calendar for November 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 November 2015:

November 3 – Attend a community meeting about the new M-NCPPC Wheaton Headquarters building in downtown Wheaton. Hosted by Montgomery County Department of Transportation, the meeting will be held at Wheaton High School (12601 Dalewood Drive, Silver Spring, MD) at 6: 30 p.m. Find out about the progress of the design for the Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission building and the public town square to be located on parking lot 13 in Wheaton, MD. No RSVP required. Learn more about this community meeting.

November 4 – The MARC Rail Communities Plan for Boyds and Germantown will be launched at a public open house meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Upcounty Regional Services Center (12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown, MD). Learn more about the MARC Rail Communities plan.

November 5 – The Planning Board will be briefed on the goals for the update to the County’s Subdivision Staging Policy. The intent of these regulations (formerly known as the Growth Policy) is to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and roads, are adequate to meet the needs of new development and growth. Learn more about the update to the Subdivision Staging Policy. Check the Agendas & Staff Reports page two weeks prior to the meeting for details.

November 11 –The Planning Department will be closed in observance of Veterans Day.

November 18 – Attend the fourth community meeting of the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.  The meeting will be held at Rocking Horse Road Center, 4910 Macon Rd, Rockville, MD, from 6:30-8:30 pm. County Planners will focus on transportation issues within White Flint 2 and the surrounding area.  No RSVP necessary.  Learn more about the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.

November 19 – The Planning Board will hold a second work session for the Westbard Sector Plan. Learn more about the Westbard Sector Plan at www.montgomeryplanning.org/planwestbard. Check the Agendas & Staff Reports page two weeks prior to the meeting for details.

November 26-27 –The Planning Department will be closed during the Thanksgiving holiday.