January 3, 2014

The Montgomery Planning Board is Ready for a Big Year in 2014  



The first meeting of the new year is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 9 at 9 a.m. at 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD. Check out the agenda and stay connected to the latest Board news:


Interested in speaking at the Planning Board at an upcoming meeting? Sign up online 10 days prior to the meeting or register at the meeting by submitting a form or business card.  


Stay connected to all of the action of the Planning Board meetings by watching live online or on-demand.


Have feedback for the Board? Send an email:   


Makeover Montgomery II 
We are now accepting applications for presentation ideas for the Makeover Montgomery II conference happening May 8-10, 2014. Building on the success of the first Makeover Montgomery conference in 2011, the theme of this conference is "The Continuing Transformation of America's Suburbs." Learn more about how you can get involved:
Makeover Montgomery II will be made possible by the partnership between the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, the Montgomery County Planning Department and the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of Maryland.

2013 Was a Big Year

It was a busy year for the Montgomery County Planning Department with the approval of the following Master Plans: the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan, Long Branch Sector Plan, Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan, and the Glenmont Sector Plan. Also, the Planning Board sent the complete draft of the new zoning code to the County Council in May of 2013 along with the proposed comprehensive map amendment. The full Council will be reviewing the draft of the map amendment in 2014. 
Learn about these plans, news and more:

A Look Ahead

2014 is set to be a big year for the Montgomery County Planning Department with Council review of the Bethesda Purple Line Station Plan, the Clarksburg Ten Mile Creek Amendment, and the White Oak Science Gateway Plan.  In addition, work is starting on the Bethesda Downtown Plan, Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan, and Aspen Hill Property Minor Amendment. Staff will also be beginning early research and outreach on the Greater Lyttonsville and East Gaithersburg plans. Stay in the know on these plans and how you can get involved

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Get all of the latest news information about the Montgomery Planning Department. From historical Throwback Thursdays posts to the latest Planning Board Agendas, stay in the know on the projects and plans that matter most to you!

Get Moving this Winter with Montgomery Parks! Check Out the 2013 - 14 Winter Program Guide for Classes, Programs and Special Events!
Whether you're looking to reconnect with nature, sharpen your ice skating skills or spend time with your family at a Nature Center campfire or hike, you're likely to find something that's just right in Montgomery Parks' winter line-up of classes, programs and special events. All of the offerings are outlined in the Winter 2013 - 14 Program Guide.

County's Nighttime Economy Task Force Submits Recommendations.
You can see the task force report here [pdf]. It includes recommendations for parks, public space, housing and transportation. 
Montgomery County Homeowners and Civic Associations 

Don't miss the latest development news! The Planning Department maintains a list of organizations to keep residents informed. Developers use our list to publicize their application plans, and we send announcements about planning issues of interest to the community. Providing current email addresses cuts costs and ensures a rapid flow of information. 

User-Friendly Tool Highlights Current Development 

Development finder promotional imageWant to know more about development projects proposed near where you live or work? To stay abreast of Montgomery County development activity, visit our online Development Finder to learn details about building applications to be considered by the Planning Board.

County Council Increases Historic Preservation Tax Credit
On July 16, the County Council passed a bill to increase the County's historic preservation tax credit to twenty-five percent of eligible project costs. The credit had been set at ten percent. The rehabilitation tax credits are available to the owners of property individually designated in the County's Master Plan for Historic Preservation or located within a Master Plan for Historic Preservation-listed historic district. 
There are 430 individual properties and 22 historic districts designated in the Master Plan for Historic Preservation. Eligible projects include rehabilitation work and routine maintenance that cost more than $1,000. Only exterior work is eligible. The credits, which are applied to offset county property taxes, are often used in concert with state rehabilitation tax credits. Applications for work completed in calendar year 2013 will be due in April 2014.  
Additional information about the tax credit program is available here
Weed Warrior Special Events and Training
Ongoing Throughout the Year
Join our incredible volunteers in the 14-year old Weed Warrior program in helping protect the county's trees from invasive vines. Your help during one of these projects could make a difference for years to come!
Events and locations vary. They take place throughout the year - on weekends and weekdays - in small and large parks throughout the County. Please visit for more information.

Shades of Green
shades of greenMany urban areas in Montgomery County lack significant tree cover. To improve this, the Planning Department has launched Shades of Green, a pilot program that provides free trees and two years of tree care to property owners in qualifying locations. Visit our Shades of Green webpage for qualifying locations and information about how to bring positive change to your neighborhood!

Volunteer Opportunities


Montgomery Parks is looking for both special event and long-term volunteers. Go to, click on Search and Apply for Volunteer Opportunities, then click on the category that interests you. Here are some examples of the opportunities we have open: 
  • NNI Removal Events, Various locations and dates, help us rid the park trees of vines and other Non-Native Invasives that are taking over!
  •  Tree Stewards, Various parks - commit to at least one year of quarterly park visits.  Help us keep an eye on our most valuable resource in parks, our trees! 

Have Questions About the Zoning Rewrite Project? Drop in During Daily Office Hours

Office hours  

Mon/Wed/Fri: 2-3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: 10:30 a.m-noon

Thursday: by appointment (Call 301.495.1325)


Office hours are held at the 2nd floor Information Counter at Park and Planning Headquarters.


The Montgomery County Planning Board continues to work on the Zoning Revision Project, which is modernizing and updating the county's zoning code. On Thursday, the Board will begin an implementation review, where they will evaluate and make recommendations on potential zone changes, primarily in non-residential areas. Zone implementation review will occur weekly at the Board, with a goal of transmitting both the draft revision and the implementation recommendations to the County Council in May. Follow the Board schedule.    


Chronicling Montgomery County Trends


The Center for Research & Information Systems identifies and tracks demographic, household and economic trends to help inform planning throughout Montgomery County. These detailed statistics help us identify and analyze changes in population, housing and economy. View our latest trendsheets on employment, housing, demographics and retail/office space from the first quarter of 2013.


New Online Application Submittal System


Planners have launched ePlans, a new online application submittal and review system. Developers now will file all application materials for preliminary and site plan applications electronically through ePlans and applications will remain in electronic form for agency reviewers, negating the need for multiple copies and streamlining labor and cost.


Community Organization Lists   


Our new online tool will make HOA organization email addresses available to web users seeking to notify residents about pending development or other issues. We rely on homeowners and civic organizations to help spread the word about development applications and planning initiatives. Homeowner's association leaders may want to update your organizational contact information to a generic '' and update your contact information


Watch Us on Montgomery Plans

In the current episode of our cable show, learn about a plan for a new transit network that is targeted at some of the county's most congested areas, opportunities for county residents to safely recycle confidential documents, a walking tour of Long Branch, a request for a mega-gas station at Wheaton Mall denied by the Board, and a van tour of the Chevy Chase Lake planning area.
Have a Question About Planning?  

Planning Help Center logoWondering about that sign advertising pending development in your community? Curious about how forest conservation works? Residents and others with questions about development, community plans, zoning, transportation, or environmental issues may find the answers they seek on a new Department HELP page. The page features links, an online employee directory and an online question/comment form.
Have a Question About M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks?

Customer Service Center button Have a question about Montgomery Parks? Need to report a problem or maintenance issue in a park? Check out the Department's new, easy to use Customer Service Center and find out how to contact us by phone and email. You'll also find an easy to use online form to submit questions or information about problems in parks.

How Shady is Your Neighborhood?

Planners have analyzed Montgomery County's tree canopy as part of an effort to improve the local climate and energy efficiency of urban areas. The more shade, the less energy required for cooling homes and cars. While much of the county boasts a healthy tree canopy, some urban areas lack shade - right where it is needed most. Now you can analyze your community with our new tree canopy explorer.
Find a Forest Conservation Easement
Do you have a forest conservation easement on or near your property? Easements protect forests on private land by limiting certain activities, part of the Planning Board's emphasis on forest conservation. Now you can locate easement areas using our online tool.
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