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White Flint

Oct 12 15

Community Invited to Give Comments on Draft Proposal of Separated Bike Lane Network for White Flint and Apply For Bicycle Advisory Group

by Bridget Schwiesow

Separated Bike Lanes Report

Planners are seeking comments on the proposed network in the White Flint Sector Plan area as well as seeking applications for the Bicycle Master Plan Advisory Group

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is seeking comments on the draft proposal of the Separated Bike Lane Network for White Flint as part of the Bicycle Master Plan.

Review the draft of the White Flint Separated Bike Plan Network document.

The community is asked to give feedback on the recommendations for this focused area of the Bicycle Master Plan during the month of October. Send comments to Bicycle Master Plan Project Manager, David Anspacher:

The full plan will be approved at the end of 2017 but planners are moving forward with recommendations in the White Flint Sector Plan area to take advantage of opportunities to develop a high-quality bicycling network as part of the current development of new mixed-use projects, a grid road network and the County’s Rapid Transit System. Planners are tentatively scheduled to ask the Planning Board to review the draft plan for White Flint in early December.

The proposed White Flint Separated Bike Lane Network was presented to the community on October 6 at a meeting at Walter Johnson High School. This event wrapped up the five kickoff meetings for the Bicycle Master Plan held throughout the County during the months of September and October. The five events drew approximately 200 attendees who were interested in learning more about the Bicycle Master Plan.

Review the presentation from the October 6 Bicycle Master Plan meeting.

View a short video recap of the October 6 meeting featuring Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and Councilmember Roger Berliner.

Separated bike lanes (or cycle tracks) create a low-stress environment for cyclists that can make bicycling a mainstream option because they provide physical separation from both traffic and pedestrians.

Bicycle Master Plan Advisory Group
The Bicycle Master Plan team is seeking people interested in serving on the Bicycle Master Plan Advisory Group.

This group will consist of approximately 20 members and will meet approximately once a month over the next year and a half to provide advice to Planning Department staff as they develop a working draft of the master plan. Between 10 and 15 members will be chosen to represent a variety of interest groups.

In addition, eight members will be selected through an application process that is intended to represent a diverse perspective in the bicycling community, with members representing different areas of Montgomery County and all levels of cycling ability. All meetings will take place on weekday evenings at the Planning Department’s headquarters at 8787 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring.

Interested members of the community should complete this application by Friday, October 30, 2015.

For more information contact David Anspacher at or (301) 495-2191.

On July 1, 2015, the Planning Department began working on the Bicycle Master Plan. The plan will focus on developing a high-quality/low-stress bicycle network throughout Montgomery County, bringing bicycle recommendations in line with industry best practices, and consolidating all bicycle recommendations into a single plan for the first time since 1978. An emphasis will be placed on evaluating newer facilities, such as separated bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities. Visit our webpage to get more information on the Bicycle Master Plan.

Sep 25 15

Planners Seek Feedback on Draft Proposal of Separated Bike Lane Network for White Flint at October 6 Meeting in Bethesda

by Bridget Schwiesow

wf seperated bike plan

Proposed network in White Flint Sector Plan area will be discussed as part of fifth kick-off meeting for Bicycle Master Plan.

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will conclude its kick-off meetings for the Bicycle Master Plan on October 6 from 7 to 9 Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD) RSVPs to attend the session are encouraged, but not required.

RSVP for the October 6 Bicycle Master Plan kickoff meeting.

This community event will focus on draft recommendations for a network of separated bike lanes in the White Flint Sector Plan area of North Bethesda. Separated bike lanes (or cycle tracks) create a low-stress environment for cyclists that can make bicycling a mainstream option because they provide physical separation from both traffic and pedestrians.

Planners began work on the Bicycle Master Plan in July 2015 and are focusing on the White Flint area in order to take advantage of opportunities to develop a high-quality bicycling network as part of the development of new mixed-use projects, a grid road network and the County’s Rapid Transit System.

Review the draft of the White Flint Separated Bike Plan Network document.

The community is asked to give feedback on the recommendations for this focused area of the Bicycle Master Plan during the month of October. Send comments to Bicycle Master Plan Project Manager, David Anspacher:

“I have been extremely impressed with the involvement of the community in the Bicycle Master Plan,” said Planning Department Director, Gwen Wright. “With more than 1,000 comments on our interactive feedback map, this plan is tapping into the concerns and issues of cyclists in the County, and that will only help us make this plan the best it can be.”

“The timing is right to focus on improving the bicycle network in White Flint,” said Councilmember Roger Berliner, who is scheduled to be at the October 6 event. “With all the changes occurring in White Flint, we have a unique opportunity to transform the sector plan area into one of the best bicycling networks in the region.”

The community is invited to give comments on the draft proposal for the White Flint Separated Bike Lane Network through October. Planners are tentatively scheduled to ask the Planning Board to review the draft plan in late November.

This event will also include the opportunity to meet with planners and learn about topics such as level of traffic stress (LTS) and the state of bicycling in Montgomery County. Attendees will also have the chance to contribute comments about bicycling safety and facilities on the digital, interactive Cycling Concerns Map, which will be used to help guide the planners during their work.

Sep 10 15

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

by Bridget Schwiesow


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.

Jun 8 15

Update: White Flint 2 Community Meeting Rescheduled

by Bridget Schwiesow

White Flint 2 Sector Plan Logo and Map

Due to conflicting community meetings, the June 17 White Flint 2 Community Open House will be rescheduled for a date later in the month. The new date for the event will be announced shortly. Please go to to learn more about this plan.

Mar 25 15

Pike & Rose Wins National Award of Excellence for Planning and Development

by Bridget Schwiesow

American Planning Association and National Association of County Planners honor achievement of White Flint Sector Plan goals through new development in North Bethesda

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is this year’s recipient of an Award of Excellence from the American Planning Association (APA), County Planning Division, and its sister organization, the National Association of County Planning (NACP).

The award in the Planning Project category recognizes the Pike & Rose neighborhood developed by Rockville-based Federal Realty Investment Trust as realizing the goals of the White Flint Sector Plan. This plan aims to transform the parcels bordering Rockville Pike into pedestrian-friendly clusters of housing, offices, stores, restaurants and civic amenities. Pike & Rose is the first project approved and built in North Bethesda following the adoption of the new Sector Plan.

Review the Montgomery Planning Department’s award submission online.

“We are thrilled to be honored with this award for one of the most transformative planning efforts in the County,” says Planning Department Director Gwen Wright. “The White Flint Sector Plan represents the transition from car-oriented suburbs into livable, urban-style communities with access to transit. Pike & Rose exemplifies this exciting change and sets a high bar for the mixed-use developments to come.”

The 24-acre Pike & Rose replaces the 1960s Mid-Pike Plaza at Old Georgetown Road and Rockville Pike and is located within walking distance of the White Flint Metrorail station. The development, which began opening in summer 2014, is one of the first projects in the nation to transform a functioning strip center into a vibrant, walkable neighborhood of apartments, offices, stores, restaurants, open spaces and amenities.

“This award confirms our philosophy of placemaking on even the most challenging sites,” says Evan Goldman, vice president of development for Federal Realty, which is also responsible for Bethesda Row. “We are proud that the initial phase of Pike & Rose has surpassed our expectations in creating the ‘there’ in North Bethesda with a vibrant, new center of activity.”

The Award of Excellence will be presented on Sunday, April 19 at the County Planning Division’s Annual Business Meeting during the APA National Conference in Seattle, Washington.

About the White Flint Sector Plan
Approved by the County in 2010, the White Flint Sector Plan outlines ways to transform the areas along Rockville Pike into thriving, mixed-use centers with new buildings, parks and streets. The planned 3.5 million square feet of offices, housing, restaurants, retail and amenities are designed to serve diverse constituencies within the metropolitan Washington, DC area.

The planning effort involved a high level of cooperation among developers, residents and County staff, including an unusual partnership among the area’s landowners and formation of a grassroots community advocacy group. Infrastructure needed for the redevelopment is being funded by a 10 percent ad valorem property tax. This taxing mechanism is the first of its kind in Montgomery County.

About Pike & Rose
Part of a shift to smart growth in the suburbs, Federal Realty’s Pike & Rose is the first project to be built under the new zoning and land use guidelines of Montgomery County’s White Flint Sector Plan. The 24-acre development is located at the key intersection of Rockville Pike and Montrose Parkway in the heart of Montgomery County. Pike & Rose is designed to be a pedestrian-oriented, urban-minded, mixed-use neighborhood central to the area’s revitalization efforts, and will comprise 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, 1,605 residential units and a 177-room boutique hotel at full build-out.

Its initial phase, largely completed in 2014, centers on the newly built Grand Park Avenue. Phase 1 includes an 80,000 square-foot Class A office building, a 174-unit midrise rental apartment building, a 319-unit high-rise rental apartment building and a pre-existing retail building that was renovated as part of the project. Added to this mix are the 8-screen iPic movie theater and a 240-seat live performance venue run by the Strathmore music center, called AMP, which opened in March 2015.

The second phase of Pike & Rose, due to be completed in 2017, will add another 340,000 square feet of retail, 462 more apartments and 104 luxury condos set atop the 177-room Canopy hotel run by Hilton. The neighborhood incorporates the best of what Federal Realty has created at its other mixed-use properties across the country, all located amid a carefully orchestrated environment of plaza parks, creative common areas, street festivals, farmers market and more.

Sep 4 13

Montgomery Parks to Host Public Meeting on Wall Park Renovation Plans: September 18, 7 – 9 PM

by Melissa Chotiner

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will host a public meeting on September 18, 2013 from 7 – 9 p.m. to solicit input from the community about forthcoming renovations to Wall Park. Potential plans include a new community recreation center and an expanded swim center serving the south central portion of the county.

Wall Park Renovation Plan Public Meeting
September 18, 2013, 7 – 9PM
Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center
5900 Executive Boulevard
North Bethesda, MD 20852

Visit for more information or contact Rachel Davis Newhouse at 301-650-4368.


About Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning – Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks manages more than 35,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 418 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission encourages the participation of individuals with disabilities in its programs, park sites and its facilities. For support in using programs, sites and facilities, or to request sign language interpretation, large print materials, listening devices, etc., please contact 301-495-2595.



Oct 26 12

Planning Board Approves Plan for White Flint Mall Redevelopment

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING, MD – Visitors to the future White Flint Mall site in North Bethesda will see a dramatically different place than the regional retail shopping center standing along Rockville Pike today.

The Montgomery County Planning Board approved a sketch plan for a new mixed development project on the 45.3-acre mall site that will transform the retail establishment into a complete community featuring residential, office, retail and public uses including a large central plaza, a 2.3 acre addition to the existing White Flint Neighborhood Park, and an elementary school site.

It is the fourth mixed-use project approved by the Board in White Flint, reinforcing the 2010 sector plan that encourages innovative, pedestrian-friendly development projects near the Red Line Metro station. Previously, the Board approved Pike and Rose (Mid-Pike Plaza), North Bethesda Market II, and North Bethesda Gateway, mixed-use developments that are expected to change the face of Rockville Pike from a sea of parking lots to a vibrant mix of uses. White Flint Mall is half a mile from the Metro station.

The development application is among the largest reviewed recently by the Board, consisting of 5.22 million square feet, including 2.87 million square feet of residential. The plan’s most transformative element is a new street network that creates developable blocks with many public spaces.

The White Flint Mall project will front Rockville Pike and the eastern part of Executive Boulevard, which, along with Nebel Street, will be extended into the site. A hotel is planned along Executive Boulevard, as well as offices. Residences are planned in a mix of mid-rise and high-rise multi-family buildings.

Developers plan to build a series of public and private streets that create blocks and include ample sidewalks and attractive streetscapes that encourage walking. Most will have on-street parking, although the majority of parking for the development will be underground. A pedestrian promenade will front Rockville Pike and interior courtyards will serve the multi-family high-rise residential buildings.

Environmental features will include stormwater management techniques, such as green roofs, bioswales, and bioretention structures. The proposed sketch plan features building heights and orientations that take advantage of passive solar lighting and heating.

As with the other Rockville Pike projects, White Flint Mall is located in the new Commercial Residential Zone, which fosters a mix of uses and public benefits to update the county’s aging commercial areas.

Mar 1 12

Planning Board Approves New Mixed-Use Development in White Flint

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board today approved a plan for a new retail, office, and residential development in White Flint, an area undergoing dramatic change as landowners begin to capitalize on planners’ urban vision for the area.

North Bethesda Market II, approved with four buildings housing up to 414 dwellings and up to 368,000 square feet of retail, including restaurant and entertainment sites, will add a striking set of buildings to Rockville Pike.

It was the third urban-styled, pedestrian-oriented project approved by the Board in the last month, highlighting the resurging local real estate market. The string of approvals also shows support for new mixed-use zoning that encourages innovative development projects near transit.

Last week, the Board approved the Pike and Rose site plan. The project, about a mile north of North Bethesda Market II, will build up to 492 dwelling units and close to 350,000 square feet of commercial uses in its first phase. Eventually, the project will cover 24 acres, converting a huge surface parking lot to an innovative mix of uses, including an upscale cinema and half-acre park.
Planning Board members spoke effusively at today’s hearing about the North Bethesda Market II plan after seeing renderings showing a modular glass, concrete, and metal residential building that steps back floor-by-floor from a retail base to a height of almost 300 feet. The buildings are located at Nicholson Lane and Woodglen Drive one block from the White Flint station on Metro’s Red Line.

Both projects are located in the new Commercial Residential Zone, which fosters a mix of uses and public amenities to update the county’s 1950s-era commercial areas. North Bethesda Market II will provide public benefits, such as a new pedestrian walkway with wayfinding signs, tree canopy, public parking, and public art. The new zone requires such amenities as part of planners’ strategies to replace acres of surface parking lots with more dynamic and productive land uses and improve stormwater management. The North Bethesda Market II site is now occupied by four commercial buildings and surface parking lots.

The public space includes a central plaza with artwork, fountains, seating, planting, and structures. A stormwater management plan approved by the county Department of Permitting Services includes green roofs, bio-filters, and underground filter systems.

In January, the Board approved the residential-retail Falklands Chase development one block from the Silver Spring Metro. This full-block project uses the natural topography as the defining element in locating several, modern-designed residential buildings with new commercial uses lining East-West Highway.

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Jul 19 11

County Officials to Cut Ceremonial Ribbon to Open White Flint Planning Area for New Development

by Valerie Berton

For immediate release:
July 19, 2011

For more information, contact:
Valerie Berton
Communications Manager
Montgomery County Planning Department

SILVER SPRING, MD – This month, the Planning Board and County Council approved the required planning tools to begin accepting new development applications in White Flint. Located along Rockville Pike north of Bethesda, White Flint is poised for a series of new development projects that will dramatically change the look, feel and function of the community.

With today’s Council approval of the final tool – a transportation analysis program – the planning area is  open for new development. To recognize this economic milestone, the Planning Board is hosting a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at 11 a.m. Friday at the White Flint Mall. County Council members, representatives from the County Executive’s Office, Planning Board members, planners, residents and others will be on hand to declare the planning area open for business.

The White Flint Sector Plan, approved last year, establishes prerequisites that must be satisfied at each phase of development to ensure that public services, like roads, are adequate.  They include establishing a transportation approval mechanism, a financing mechanism to fund infrastructure improvements, and a transportation analysis and monitoring program.

Opening phase one of development in White Flint allows property owners to submit development applications. The Board approved three sketch plan applications – North Bethesda Market II, North Bethesda Gateway and Mid-Pike Plaza – last winter, but have not accepted more detailed site plans because the staging plan had not been developed. Now that the staging plan has been approved, planners expect applications for those plans as well as others, such as at the White Flint Metro site.

Planners and County Councilmembers have looked to White Flint as an economic engine for the county, given its strategic location along Metro’s Red Line and the availability of re-developable land.

Montgomery County Planning Board

White Flint Phase 1 Ribbon-Cutting

White Flint Mall Center Court
11301 Rockville Pike
(enter off Lot 1 next to Cheesecake Factory)

11 a.m. Friday, July 22
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Jul 17 09

Montgomery County Planning Board Approves Two Master Plans, Growth Blueprint, New Zone

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING – In one of the most decision-filled meetings in Planning Board history, the  panel yesterday approved visions for two communities – Gaithersburg West and White Flint – as well as the 2009-2011 draft Growth Policy and a new family of zones combining commercial and residential uses.

All of the initiatives will go to the County Council for consideration later this summer or fall.

The Gaithersburg West Master Plan articulates a vision for the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center and surrounding areas. With the county’s largest concentration of advanced technology companies and Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Johns Hopkins University-Montgomery campus, and the Universities at Shady Grove, the area represents a thriving employment area. The plan acknowledges the county’s commitment to the life sciences and provides a blueprint for the institutions to expand apace with the market. It also guides future development into a more compact community of mixed uses including housing.

The Life Sciences Center remains a sprawling, single-use, auto-oriented area. The draft plan features recommendations to make the area more vibrant, dynamic and walkable, with growth tied to the planned Corridor Cities Transitway – a rapid bus or light rail transit project.

The White Flint Sector Plan, which covers north Bethesda along both sides of Rockville Pike, recommends ways to urbanize one of the few remaining locations in the County where excellent public transportation options and the potential to redevelop coincide. With the area dominated by surface parking lots, planners say much can be done to improve the landscape and environmental quality. The plan envisions a diverse mixed use center near the White Flint station and transforming Rockville Pike into a landscaped boulevard accompanied by a grid of new streets.

The Board also approved the 2009-2011 Growth Policy, the latest in a series of biennial reports  determining how development should be analyzed for school and road capacity. This version of the growth policy addresses whether county officials should try to reduce congestion by building away from trafficked areas or instead influence traffic demand.  The Planning Board adopted the staff recommendation addressing the second approach.

A key tenet of the Growth Policy is to work toward reducing travel by vehicles driven by one person, called vehicle miles traveled in planning terminology, when the Board is considering new development applications. Another important focus of the proposed Growth Policy is connecting societal values like environmental protection – encouraging mixed uses near transit, lowering the carbon output of new buildings and potentially creating energy on site – to new building projects.

 The County Council will consider and eventually approve its version of the growth policy this fall, then it will be implemented through the county’s Adequate Public Facility Ordinance.

The Planning Board also voted to advance a commercial-residential (CR) zone that would encourage new development that includes a mix of commercial and residential uses at varying densities. As with the growth policy proposal, the new zone encourages development near transit, particularly daily-use-oriented commercial shops and green building elements. The proximity of services would save people time, increase a sense of community, and decrease congestion.

While the two master plans and the growth policy will be transmitted to the County Council for final action in the coming weeks, the CR zone will return to the Planning Board after Council review for additional refinement.

Yesterday’s decisions represent a landmark for the Planning Board. Together, the planning initiatives encourage strategic growth, infill development and new housing near services and jobs, all intended to improve the quality of place in the county.

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