January 17, 2014
Family Fun Activities for Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend!  

Montgomery Parks has a variety of free activities and programs taking place over the holiday weekend including a free skating show at Wheaton Ice Arena and a free Family Day Open House at Black Hill Visitors Center. For more information visit
Help Clean Up a Park and Stream for Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service 

Join Montgomery Parks this weekend for a day of service in honor of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park and stream cleanups are planned at a variety of locations, and students can earn student service learning hours for participating. More details are available at

Zoning Rewrite Milestone Reached    

The Montgomery County Council expressed significant support for a proposed new zoning ordinance on Wednesday by voting 7-1 in favor of the proposed text in a straw vote taken at the conclusion of their worksessions on the document.  The rewrite, if adopted, would be the most comprehensive update to the law that governs land use in the County in more than 30 years. More details are available here. 


Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Will Not Seek Second Term

Françoise Carrier announces decision to retire from Board after one term


Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Françoise Carrier announced that she will not seek a second term as Chair. Carrier sent an email to the Planning and Parks Department staff on Thursday evening announcing her decision: "It is with mixed feelings that I write to tell you I have decided not to seek a second term as Planning Board Chair. It has been wonderful working with such fine people, and I will always love this agency, but for me, one term feels right."


Appointed in 2010 by the Montgomery County Council, Carrier's tenure has been marked as one of the busiest and most productive terms during the Board's history with the approval of Master Plans such as: Chevy Chase Lake, Takoma/Langley, Glenmont, Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Plan and Long Branch. Carrier also oversaw the zoning code rewrite and is responsible for significant changes to the subdivision staging policy. During Carrier's term, the Planning Board adopted a new Park and Planning Master Plan, the Vision 2030 Strategic Plan for Parks and Recreation; approved park master plans and capital programs; and oversaw the renewed development of the Montgomery Parks Foundation, which successfully cultivates financial support and public engagement of county residents and businesses as donors and advocates.


Carrier will serve until the end of her term, retiring on June 14, 2014. Learn more   


White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan

Attend a meeting of the East County Regional Services Center Citizens Advisory Board to discuss the Planning Board Draft of the White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan.

What: White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan

When: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 7:00 P.M.

Where: East County Regional Services Center 
3300 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring , MD 20904


Learn more about the Master Plan:

Georgia Avenue Baptist Church to Celebrate its Recent Designation as a Historic Site

This Sunday, January 19, representatives of County Council member Nancy Navarro, the Historic Preservation Commission, and the Planning Department's Historic Preservation Office will join members of the Georgia Avenue Baptist Church to celebrate its recent designation as a historic site on the Master Plan for Historic Preservation. At the 11am service, the church will be presented with a plaque to recognize its new historic status. The modernist church was designed by local architect Theodore Bennett (designed 1954; completed 1956).  The education wing, by  Vosbeck-Ward Associates (designed 1961; completed 1962) is clad in locally-made TECFAB panels that were pioneered by architect Charles Goodman. More information on the church's significance is found here. The historic designation was part of the Glenmont Sector Plan, adopted by the County Council in 2013.

Celebrate Black History Month

Each Saturday in February

11420 Old Georgetown Road

North Bethesda, MD 20852  

Open House & Guided Tours - Celebrate Black History Month at Josiah Henson Park. Each weekend in February you can Retrace the footsteps of Reverend Josiah Henson from his enslavement to escape to freedom in Canada. Walk the grounds where Henson toiled as a slave on the Isaac Riley plantation. 

The last weekend in February we will also host a Spoken Word Poetry Event - "Lyrical Rhythms: The Sounds of Freedom"  Create and share your own "sounds of freedom" in the form of original poetry. Please visit for more information visit



Bethesda Downtown Plan   

Get involved with the Bethesda Downtown Plan. The current Bethesda Sector Plan has now been in effect for twenty years and now Montgomery County Planners, with the help of residents and business owners are taking a fresh look at how Bethesda Downtown might evolve over the next twenty years. There are many ways for you to get involved with the process including attending public meetings and workshops, following @bethesdaplanner on Twitter and signing up for the Bethesda Downtown news release list.    


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.

Summer Camp Registration is Open! $25 Discount on Select Camps for Early Birds 
Montgomery Parks has dozens of fun and affordably priced summer camps for all ages and interests at locations across the county. Registration is open and you can save $25 on select camps if you sign up early. To access the searchable database of summer camps please visit or check the online guide at

You're Invited to the Sandy Spring Rural Village Design Workshop

Four-day design charrette hosted by Montgomery Planning wants feedback from residents, business owners

What: Free Four-Day Design Workshop

When: Monday, Feb. 3 through Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014

Where: The Library of the Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring.



The Montgomery County Planning Department will be hosting a design workshop to capture ideas for transforming the heart of Sandy Spring and all residents and business owners are invited to attend.  The results of the charrette, or design workshop, will ultimately help inform the Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan and follow the guidance in the 1998 Master Plan to determine how to best connect the new fire station into a village center concept. Learn more 

The Historic Preservation Staff Conducts Research on Historic Sites in the County

We value our partnership with the Montgomery County Historical Society in a wide range of related projects. Friday, January 10, 2014 is the last day for early registration at the annual History Conference, presented by the Montgomery County Historical Society.  Clare Lise Kelly of our historic preservation office will be speaking on Lost Montgomery, featuring historic sites lost and then found, others brought back to life, and threatened resources not yet surveyed. The full conference schedule is available here. Ms. Kelly has also contributed an article for the current issue of The Montgomery County Story, a Montgomery County Historical Society journal that focuses on the history of the people, places, events, and organizations in Montgomery County, Maryland. Clare's article is on architect V. T. H. Bien, a Takoma Park native, who designed distinctive Colonial Revival houses in the Historic Districts of Somerset, Takoma Park and Greenwich Forest, among other locales. 

Connect With Us on Facebook

Get up to speed on everything you need to know about Montgomery Planning by liking us on Facebook. From news updates, interesting photos and helpful information, the Montgomery Planning FB page is your one-stop shop for all things Planning:


Work With Us

Interested in a career with The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission? Check out our list of rewarding job opportunities here.

Celebrate 15 Years of Weed Warriors 

Ongoing Throughout the Year

The weather outside might be a bit chilly, but the Weed Warriors stay warm with double the activity!


Join us in honor of our 15th birthday with "On the 15s." We're claiming the 15th of every month for invasive eradication efforts. Or join us for one of our regular workdays on the first Saturday of the month. Please visit for more information.

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.
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.

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! 
  • MLK Jr. Day of Service, Montgomery Parks is very excited to once again take part in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and we hope you will be able to join us in celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy of service!  MLK Jr. Day is Monday January 20, but there will be volunteer service events throughout the parks all weekend long. You can find a list of volunteer events by clicking on the link above, or going to, and then clicking on MLK Day of Service Volunteer Opportunities.  

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.
Was infoShare Sent to You By a Friend? 
Anyone with an email address can sign up to receive our weekly newsletter. Invite your friends!
Sidebar promo

FB promo