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Meet The Board

Meet the Board

The Montgomery County Planning Board plans for livable communities by developing large and small scale plans, providing guidelines for the pattern and pace of future development and preserving historic resources throughout the 323,000-acre county. The Planning Board implements plans through its review of development applications and its subdivision decisions. The Board is also responsible for the development and management of Montgomery County’s nationally recognized 36,512-acre park system. The Montgomery County Planning Board, together with the Prince George’s County Planning Board, comprise The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

On Thursday, October 27, the Montgomery County Council appointed five new temporary acting Planning Board members. Each will serve interim terms until the next County Council appoints permanent Planning Board members to serve out the terms of the previous Planning Board members. The Chair is a full-time position, and the other Planning Board member positions are part-time.

Board Members

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    Jeff Zyontz, Chair

    Jeff Zyontz has been appointed Chair of the Planning Board. Mr. Zyontz earned a M.C.R.P. degree from Rutgers University and a J.D. from the Washington School of Law, American University. He used those law and planning classroom skills throughout his 47-year career.  In the last 15 years of his career, he was the zoning and land use law expert for the Montgomery County Council. Mr. Zyontz helped the Council draft much of the local code that the Planning Board must follow. This past year, as a volunteer, he worked with the Council Redistricting Commission. Mr. Zyontz started working for the Montgomery County Planning Department as a summer intern and ended employment with the department 32 years later as a division chief, supervising 55 planning specialists (transportation, environment, historic preservation, park planning, and park resource specialists). Immediately before being chief, he coordinated the drafting of master plans including the pre-Thrive General Plan Update. Earlier in his career he dealt with subdivision staging issues. Mr. Zyontz has been a resident of the county since 1974 and a member of the Maryland Bar Association since 1978.

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    Amy L. Presley, Vice Chair

    Amy L. Presley has been appointed Vice Chair of the Planning Board. Sheserved two terms on the Planning Board from June 2008 to July 2016. Her tenure included the approval and adoption of the county’s new Zoning Ordinance in 2014 and streamlining of the development review process. A resident of Clarksburg, Amy Presley became a vocal civic activist in her community during the 2000s. She played a major role in uncovering discrepancies between development proposals and approved site plans for the Clarksburg Town Center that led to numerous planning reforms. Her involvement in planning and design issues led the County Council to appoint Presley, a former marketing consultant, to the Planning Board in June 2008. Presley was recognized for her civic work by the Montgomery County Civic Federation (Community Hero Award), the Sentinel Newspaper (Sentinel Award for “Significant Contribution to Good Government at the Local Level”), and Montgomery Women (Phyllis Campbell Newsome Rising Star Award in recognition of leadership to effect change in Montgomery County’s planning and implementation processes). Amy Presley is a founder and current managing partner of Trusted Estate Partners.

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    Cherri Branson

    Cherri Branson served as the Director of the Montgomery County Office of Procurement from June 2015 until December 2018. She was appointed to that position by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. During her time as Director, she ushered in the highest level of contract awards to small and minority-owned businesses in the County’s history.

    Prior to her service as Director of Procurement, she served on the Montgomery County Council, representing District 5, from January to December 2014, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Valerie Ervin. Although on the Council for only a short time, Branson spearheaded efforts such as “Ban the Box” legislation and inclusion of historical African American communities on the M-NCPPC website. Branson came to county government after more than 20 years of experience at the federal level, including government oversight in contracting practices and procurement. Branson began her career on Capitol Hill in 1989 and worked for trailblazing members of Congress, including John Conyers, Patsy Mink, and Cardiss Collins. In 2005, she began work on the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, retiring as Chief Counsel for Oversight. She developed an oversight agenda that focused heavily on contracting within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

    Born in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Branson attended Eastern High School and Immaculate Conception Academy, both in Washington, DC. She went on to earn a B.A. from Vassar College, a J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law, and a LL.M. from Emory University School of Law. Branson is the mother of one son and stepmother of one daughter. She and her husband live in Silver Spring, MD.

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    David Hill

    David Hill served as a Commissioner on the City of Rockville Planning Commission from 2006 to 2016 and is a senior systems analyst at Westat, social research company in the county. David Hill is a 35-year resident of Montgomery County. He brings to the Planning Board twenty years of experience as a land use commissioner in the City of Rockville, with service on the Planning Commission (including serving as Chair), the Rockville 2040 Master Plan cycle, the committee that last re-wrote the municipal zoning ordinance, co-Chair of a Charter Review Commission, and the Board of Appeals (including serving as Chair). Mr. Hill serves as a director for various nonprofit organizations, including historic preservation, environmental, and youth-employment enterprises. He is registered as an Unaffiliated voter.

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    Roberto R. Piñero

    Roberto Piñero grew up in Puerto Rico and came to the mainland U.S. for college. He has a master’s degree in city planning from Harvard University. While working in Puerto Rico in 1990, he was recruited by the U.S. General Accounting Office where he worked for 25 years, retiring in 2016. Piñero volunteered as a board member for the Housing Opportunities Commission from 2003 to 2015. Recently, he served as a board member for the Board of Appeals. He has lived in Montgomery County since 1989 and has three children and two grandchildren.

Last Updated: November 16, 2022