September 11, 2015
Planning Board Agenda
Attend or watch the Montgomery County Planning Board Thursday, September 17. View the full agenda for that meeting here.

Montgomery County Planning Department Announces Calendar of September Events


The Montgomery County Planning Board is pleased to announce its calendar for September 2015. These events offer ways to engage with planners and Planning Board members, and help shape the future of communities within Montgomery County. Review the full list of events below and go online to for more details on projects and plans. View the full list here.

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

Gwen Wright, Director of the Montgomery County Planning Department, 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. Learn more here.
County Residents Invited to Comment on Digital Feedback Map of County Roads and Bikeways to Help Advance Bicycle Master Plan
The Montgomery County Planning Department launched its Bicycle Master Plan with community meetings in September so the public can learn more about the goals and methods of this Countywide effort.

The first public meeting was held on September 8 in Burtonsville, MD and the second event was held on September 9 in Germantown. Three subsequent meetings will take place during September and October in Silver Spring, Wheaton and Bethesda.
The different locations allow County residents to pick the one that is most convenient for them so they can more easily participate in the planning process. Visit the Bicycle Master Plan web page for more information about these kickoff meetings. Learn more here.

The Bicycle Master Plan Scope of Work was also presented to the Planning Board during their September meeting. Learn more here.
September 17 Work Session on Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan Will Address District-by-District Land Use and Zoning
Staff from the Montgomery County Planning Department will meet with the Planning Board on September 17 to discuss the district-by-district zoning recommended for established and emerging centers outlined in the Public Hearing Draft of the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan.

Districts that will be discussed include Bethesda Row, Woodmont Triangle, Pearl and Wisconsin Avenue as time permits. This second work session follows the overview of the Plan presented to the Board in July and the public hearing about the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan held in June. Learn more here.
3rd Annual Friendship Picnic

Join Montgomery Parks and the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights on Sunday, September 20, 2015 at Wheaton Regional Park for the 3rd Annual Friendship Picnic. The event brings together and celebrates the diverse communities of Montgomery County to share their cultures, traditions and faiths. Food, beverages and entertainment for the entire family will be provided. For more information, click here.
hike, bike, roll, stroll, run, ride.... Got trails?
We need your help to make our trail system the best it can be as we update the Countywide Park Trails Plan.

Please join us at a public meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 7:00 PM to "Tell us what you think!" about the future of trails in Montgomery Parks. We are doing a comprehensive amendment to the Countywide Park Trails Plan introducing a new "Loops and Links" trail system designed to service as many trail users as possible and result in a system that is more buildable and longer lasting. Learn more at
Community Meetings
  • The community is invited to provide input at the September 24 Planning Board Meeting, on the proposed renovations to Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park. Comments and questions may also be submitted online, via email and by mail. For more information including the meeting location and how to submit input please click here.
  • SHA Public Meeting Announcement - MD 195- Carroll Avenue Bridge Rehabilitation 
    The Maryland Department of Transportation's (MDOT) State Highway Administration (SHA) is beginning a major rehabilitation project of the MD 195 (Carroll Avenue) Bridge over Sligo Creek and Sligo Creek Parkway this fall. Park Trails will remain open as Sligo Creek Parkway will be used as a detour. Visit for more info.
Bicycle Master Plan Will Launch with Fall Community Meetings
The Montgomery County Planning Department is inviting the community to participate in kick-off meetings during September and October 2015 to learn about the Bicycle Master Plan and how to get involved in planning a bicycle network for Montgomery County. The meetings will be held in five locations so that County residents can pick the one that is most convenient for them to attend.

The Bicycle Master Plan will consider the newest types of bikeways, such as separated and buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities at transit stations. The network will be developed using an evaluation of the varying levels of stress imposed by traffic on cyclists along each roadway in the County. Learn more here.
Annual Pawpaw Festival
It's time to get your paws on some pawpaws! Meadowside Nature Center will celebrate the Annual Pawpaw Festival, Sunday, September 13, 2015 from 12:00 PM - 04:00 PM. Music, storytelling, crafts, games, face painters, raptor talks and most importantly, a pawpaw tasting station. Come get your pawpaw on!
Elevated Levels of Microcystin in Lake Needwood Reported
Park visitors are encouraged to use caution when recreating on or near Lake Needwood and Lake Frank in Rock Creek Regional Park as high levels of Microcystin have been recently reported. Microcystin is a toxic substance produced by seasonal blue-green algae (also known as Cyanobacteria) bloom and may be harmful if digested. Recreational users should take precautionary measures around shorelines and lakes.  Pets should not be allowed to enter or drink water. For more information please click here.

Montgomery Parks and Montgomery Recreation Launch ActiveMONTGOMERY


Montgomery Parks, in collaboration with Montgomery County Recreation is launching a new registration system, ActiveMONTGOMERY. The new system replaces ParkPASS and RecWeb, to provide one location, users can access with one username and password to register for classes from either organization. Visit for more information.

Park Projects:
Trail Work in Parks
Bikers and Runners should use caution as improvements are taking place on several trails in Montgomery Parks:
  • Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail between Connecticut Avenue and Franklin Street.
  • Capital Crescent Trail tree work will be coordinated from Dorset Avenue to the DC Line with trail access intermittently being interrupted. Please watch for flaggers and use caution around work areas.
  • Western Piedmont Trail is closed below Hyattstown Mill where the trail crosses Little Bennett Creek for installation of a new bridge. Work is expected to continue for a year.
  • Paint Branch Trail will have restricted use between Randolph Road and Fairland Road due to WSSC work.  
For more information on Montgomery Parks Trails please visit
Brookside Gardens Parking Update
Parking at Brookside Gardens for the Wings of Fancy Exhibit and general garden access may be limited, due to ongoing construction. Visit parking alternatives and the Garden Gateway project for more information.
Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center Scheduled To Be Closed
The Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center will be closed through September 30th for major facility renovations, including the installation of central air conditioning. Click here for more info.
NEW:  Improvements Scheduled for Layhill Village Local Park
Montgomery Parks will begin improvements to Layhill Village Local Park. Portion of the work will require the tennis courts to be temporarily closed.  Access to Recreation Center and playground will not be affected but a part of the parking lot and access to the trail will also be closed through October.  For more info, click here.
Montgomery County Planning Department's First Annual Design Excellence Award Program Celebration to be Held on October 22
The Montgomery County Planning Department  is inviting everyone with an interest in excellent architecture, landscape architecture and urban design to attend "Celebrate Design" on Thursday, October 22 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The winner of the Planning Department's first annual Design Excellence Award competition will be announced during the celebration at the Silver Spring Civic Building (1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD). The event will also include the annual awards ceremony of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Valley Chapter. One of the highlights of the evening will be a presentation on the business case for design excellence by land use strategist Christopher Leinberger, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Learn more here.
Attend the Montgomery Modern Book Launch Party Oct. 30, 7-9 p.m.
The Montgomery County Planning Department is hosting a book launch party for the new book, Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979, written by senior architectural historian Clare Lise Kelly. The book launch, sponsored by the Planning Department's Historic Preservation Office, is free and will be held on Friday, October 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Writer's Center (4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD).

The author will give a presentation and attendees will have an opportunity to purchase a signed book. RSVPs are encouraged but not required. Learn more here.

Register to attend the Montgomery Modern Book Launch Party.
Update to Subdivision Staging Policy To Be Discussed at Open House
The Montgomery County Planning Department is updating the Subdivision Staging Policy (formerly called Growth Policy) for review and approval by the County Council by November 15, 2016. The intent of the Subdivision Staging Policy is to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and roads, are adequate to meet the needs of new development and growth. Learn more here.
The Rock Spring Master Plan Kick Off Meeting Recap
The Rock Spring Master Plan kicked off their work on reimaging the Rock Spring. Watch the recap here.
  • Butterfly Show Volunteers, Brookside Gardens - Click here!
  • Weed Warrior Training Classes (Only 2 more classes left - September & October)- Click here!
  • Nature Ambassadors, Students help at Park Events - Click here!

  • Hot Opportunities - these events are a lot of fun and we need your help! - Click here!