October 10, 2014
Planning Board Agenda October 16
View the full agenda for the Montgomery Planning Board meeting on Thursday, October 16. Attend, watch or listen live!

Natali Fani-Gonzalez Appointed As New Planning Board Member

The Montgomery County Council votes unanimously


The Montgomery County Planning Board is pleased to welcome Natali Fani-Gonzalez as the newest member of the Planning Board. On Tuesday, October 7, the Montgomery County Council unanimously voted to appoint Natali Fani-Gonzalez to the vacant seat. Born in Venezuela, Fani-Gonzalez, 33, is the founder and principal of the Rockville-based public relations firm, The Matea Group. She is the first Latino and first millennial to serve on the five-member Planning Board, which reviews master plans and policies governing growth and development throughout Montgomery County. Fani-Gonzalez will serve a term through mid-2018 in a part-time position that pays $30,000 annually. 


Learn more about Natali Fani-Gonzalez.

Montgomery Parks and Planning Present Newest Achievements to County Council

New Zoning Ordinance, affordable housing, urban parks and deer management are highlighted in Fall 2014 Semi-Annual Report


Montgomery Parks and Planning, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, presented its Fall 2014 Semi Annual Report to the Montgomery County Council on October 7. The report features accomplishments from the past six months as well as work that will be completed over the next six months. Some of the key initiatives for the Planning Department include implementation of the county's new zoning ordinance and revamping the development review process to be more efficient. The Parks Department highlighted their urban parks initiative and expansion plans for park trails. The 36- page Fall 2014 Semi-Annual Report is available online for review. 


Learn more about the Fall 2014 Semi-Annual Report. 

Interactive Map Reveals Current Development Projects Throughout Montgomery County

New Planning Department online map application allows the public to pinpoint locations and details of plans for neighborhoods.


The Montgomery County Planning Department, now offers an easy way for the public to find detailed information about development projects throughout the county. The Development Finder website, launched on October 7, offers an interactive map of the county and surrounding areas. Users can search by the address or location of the development or enter a simple term like "Wheaton" and be presented with the current projects in that area. Clicking on a specific community on the map also reveals numbered locations of developments that have been approved for construction or are pending approval. A sidebar summarizes the count and list of projects in that area. 


Learn more about the Development Finder map tool.

New Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance Takes Effect October 30, 2014

Updated code improves usability, simplifies development process.


Montgomery County has taken a giant step forward in improving the planning and development process and making the county a more desirable place to live. After years of community meetings, stakeholder discussions, work sessions and redrafting, the Montgomery County Planning Department has completed a new zoning ordinance and a new comprehensive zoning map for the county, both of which were approved by the Montgomery County Council. The new law takes effect on October 30, 2014. It is the most comprehensive update to the County's land use regulations since they were last revised in 1977. Piecemeal updates to the code over the past several decades resulted in a document with more than 1,200 pages, more than 120 zones, more than 400 uses, hundreds of footnotes and many confusing and sometimes contradictory provisions. The new Zoning Ordinance is a vast improvement over the former code in being more user-friendly and up-to-date. It embraces the most current planning concepts and offers new tools to achieve the goals of the county's master plans. The zoning ordinance encourages better development, enhances sustainability, and enables more mixed use zoning. 

Free Trees for Qualifying Property Owners in County's Priority Urban Districts

Planning Department Expands Shades of Green program that provides free trees to eligible property owners in Montgomery County.


The Montgomery County Planning Department is offering free trees to qualifying property owners in certain urban districts of Montgomery County. The Shades of Green program, which was launched in 2012 as a pilot program, is now expanding to some additional areas of the county that have a high level of impervious surface in an effort to enhance the tree canopy cover. 


Learn more about the Shades of Green program.

Special Park Event Showcasing Completed ICC Mitigation Projects!

Peachwood Neighborhood Park Rededication: October 11, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.


Montgomery Parks is hosting a special event on October 11 at 10 a.m. at Peachwood Neighborhood Park in Silver Spring to showcase the completion of an ICC mitigation project. Come learn more about these important environmental projects and take a tour of the renovated park! More details are available here.

Maryland Emancipation Day Celebrations

October 31 - November 2 | Locations and times vary


Each November, Montgomery Parks celebrates the freedom of the enslaved population in Maryland. Among other adventures, you and your family can hike the Underground Railroad, tour1800s log cabins, visit a museum dedicated to the legacy of slavery, enjoy living history demonstrations and eat great food! Events held Saturday and Sunday are FREE, unless otherwise noted, and open to the public. This year's Maryland's Emancipation Day Celebrations are supported in part by Heritage Montgomery. More info here.

Trees Matter Symposium

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 7:30-4pm


Are you an arborist, landscape professional, environmental specialist, or citizen or professional interested in the latest research on trees, maintenance practices and issues, and more? Make plans to attend the 3rd Annual Trees Matter Conference, planned for Wednesday, November 5. Learn from some of the country's leading experts about innovative efforts to plant, protect and preserve trees in urban and suburban settings. More info here.

Westbard Sector Plan - Stay in the Know 


Stay up to date on the latest Westbard Sector Plan news by staying connected online, or contacting Planning Department staff. Go to www.montgomeryplanning.org/planwestbard

Montgomery Village Plan Photo Contest


Send us your best photos of Montgomery Village for the chance for your photo to be selected to be included in Planning Department documents and promotional materials. Send your photos to MVP@montgomeryplanning.org #MVP

Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan Visioning Workshop Recap and Questionnaire


Check out the video from the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan Visioning Workshop from Sept. 29 and take the questionnaire that will help to guide the planning process. Learn more at www.monntgomeryplanning.org/greaterLP #greaterLP

Check out some of the County's GIGANTIC TREES on the Annual Champion Tree Tour October 21!


Did you know there are more than 300 champion trees in Montgomery County? Champion trees are the largest known trees of any given species located in a specific geographic region. Join Montgomery Parks Forest Ecologist and Montgomery County Forestry Board staff on October 21 for its annual Champion Tree Tour, a full-day tour of some of the giant beauties. More details are available here. Link to video about the Champion Tree Tour.

Review the Westbard Briefing Book


Check out the Westbard Briefing Book which summarizes the existing conditions of the Westbard Sector Plan area. This book is intended to be used as a reference for the community who lives, works and shops in the Westbard Sector Plan area in conjunction with the Sector Plan update that began in July 2014.

Learn about the Kingsley School House at Little Bennett Regional Park


Built in 1893, the Kingsley Schoolhouse is a historical gem - one of the best remaining examples of a one-room schoolhouse in Montgomery County.The restored schoolhouse, located in the secluded 'Froggy Hollow' section of Little Bennett Regional Park, is furnished to look as it did during the 1920's. Tours will be given rain or shine. Find out more about all our historic events and activities at HistoryInTheParks.org.

Fall Parks Guide Available for Pick-up

Pick up your FALL GUIDE today!

What can you do in the Parks this fall? Pick up a copy of the new 2014 FALL GUIDE and find out! Learn to skate...play hockey...take a guided nature hike...make a floral centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table...play Round Robin Doubles...improve your golf swing...celebrate pawpaws...learn to kayak...and so much more!


Guides will be available at Montgomery Parks facilities as well as Recreation Centers, Senior Centers, Community Centers, libraries and county government buildings. You can also subscribe for a full year (5 issues) for just $5! Check out the GUIDE and browse fall programs at MontgomeryParks.org/Fall

White Oak Science Gateway Plan Approved

The White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan was recently approved by the Montgomery County Council and approved and adopted by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. View the approved plan and learn more about the process.

Approved and Adopted Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan Available

Amendment to the Master Plan of Highways available

The Montgomery County Planning Department has made the approved and adopted Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan available on its website. The plan recommends a bus rapid transit (BRT) network throughout Montgomery County that will improve accessibility and mobility on county roads. The plan was adopted on December 18, 2013 by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, as modified by the County Council on November 25, 2013.

View the Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan along with the timeline of the planning process.

Learn About Existing and Proposed Bikeways in Montgomery County

Planning Department's webpage provides map and resource of information


The Montgomery County Planning Department has created a new webpage dedicated to bikeways in Montgomery County. The page allows visitors to view all of the existing and proposed bikeways in the County complete with an interactive map. The bikeways page also features the Silver Spring Bicycle Parking Station Study, which evaluates future demand and potential locations for a bicycle parking station near the Silver Spring Transit Center and the planned connection of the Capital Crescent Trail and Metropolitan Branch Trail. Online visitors can also review "An Assessment of Purple Line Corridor Bicycle and Pedestrian Issues" for the proposed Capital Crescent Trail between Bethesda and Silver Spring and pedestrian issues around the Purple Line. 

Montgomery Parks Reports Elevated Levels of Microcystin at Lake Needwood  

Testing has shown there are elevated levels of microcystin, a toxic substance produced by some species of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), in Lake Needwood that may be harmful to pets swimming in or drinking from the lake. Please take note of the following precautions.

Aberdeen Local Park Trail Improvements

Improvements to the asphalt trail and areas adjacent to the trail  inside Aberdeen Local Park will begin within the next week and last about two or three weeks. During this time there may be intermittent or complete closures of the trail during periods of active construction. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Learn More About Great Art in Our Parks

This month's episode of Parks, Rec 'N Roll focuses on art in parks, including a look inside Brookside Gardens' School of Botanical Art and Illustration and the public art trust which supports the creation of and placement of art in our parks. Don't miss this episode available online here.

Volunteer Opportunities
Montgomery Parks loves to have the community help through volunteering!  This fall we have several events and long term volunteer opportunities.  To see all of our current needs and how you can help, go to www.ParksVolunteers.org.

Some examples of what we are looking for:
Want to help us build a bench out of bottles at Black Hill - Click here!
Work on a Trail? - Click here!
Help out on one of our Halloween Trains? - Click here!
Want to help spread the word about our Gardens and Nature Centers? - Click here!

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.
Community Organization Lists 
Our 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 'mygroup@gmail.com' and update your contact information. 
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Have a Question About M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks?
Have a question about Montgomery Parks? Need to report a problem or maintenance issue in a park? Check out the Department's, 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.
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Have a Question About Planning?
Wondering 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 Department HELP page. The page features links, an online employee directory and an online question/comment form.
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