December 18, 2015
Planning Board Agenda
There is no Montgomery County Planning Board meeting for Thursday, December 24.
NOTICE: Park Permit Office Service Window Scheduled To Be Closed

The Park Permit Office walk up service window will be closed Monday, December 28, 2015 through Thursday, December 31, 2015. The Permit Office Call Center will remain open during renovations to assist park patrons. Click here for more information. 
Planning Board Approves Changes to the Westbard Sector Plan at Final Work Session

The Montgomery County Planning Board held its fourth and final work session on the Westbard Sector Plan at its meeting on Thursday, December 17 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). The Planning Board reviewed and approved changes to language in the Plan that it had requested during the prior three work sessions.

Revisions to the Plan include changes to recommended building heights, the need for community-serving uses, increases in affordable housing requirements and restrictions to commercial uses in areas abutting single-family residential neighborhoods.

The Planning Board voted to accept the Planning Board Draft of the Sector Plan and transmit it to the Montgomery County Council and to the Office of the County Executive. The County Council has tentatively scheduled a public hearing on the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan for Tuesday, January 26, 2016. Learn more here.
Montgomery County Planning Department Celebrates 2015 Accomplishments

The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, presents its 2015 Year in Review. This list represents the most significant accomplishments of the year. View the full list here.
Buy Your Copy of Montgomery Modern Today!

Architectural Historian Clare Lise Kelly's book Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979 makes for a great gift this holiday season. The book is available for purchase in both hard cover and paperback. Learn more about Montgomery Modern here.
Community Offers Ideas about Improving Rock Spring at December 14 Meeting

The Montgomery County Planning Department held a community meeting on December 14, 2015 for the Rock Spring Master Plan. The planner-led discussion at Walter Johnson High School focused on placemaking and urban design strategies in the Rock Spring area of North Bethesda and drew about 40 participants.

Planners began the meeting with a summary of findings from the Technical Assistance Panel review of Rock Spring, conducted by experts from the Washington, DC chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) on December 1 and December 2, 2015. Learn more here.

View the ULI findings from this recent event.
Emerald Ash Borer in Montgomery Parks

A non-native invasive beetle in Montgomery County is wreaking havoc on ash trees, many which are located in stream valleys on parkland. Learn more on the department's plan to address the issue here.
Winter Festivals in Montgomery Parks 

Winter is right around the corner...and we have lots of festivals and events to help you enjoy the season! Check out for a list of major events happening in late November through February. 
Potential for Additional Parks and Open Spaces in White Flint 2 Area Discussed at December 9 Community Meeting in Rockville

The Montgomery County Planning Department held a community meeting to discuss the White Flint 2 Sector Plan on Wednesday, December 9 at Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville) from 7 to 9 p.m. The event focused on existing parks and open spaces in the North Bethesda area, and where additional facilities may be needed.

Approximately 50 people attended the meeting to learn more about open spaces, including plans for a future park at Wall Local Park in White Flint. During the introductory presentation, staff explained the different types of parks that could be considered, including civic greens, urban parks, neighborhood greens and privately provided public-use spaces. Learn more here.
Bicycle Master Plan Advances with December 15 Community Meeting Focused on Life Sciences Center

The Montgomery County Planning Department hosted a community meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 on the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus to update the community on bicycle and pedestrian planning activities in the Life Sciences Center (LSC) area near Gaithersburg.

The community event focused on efforts to create new transportation and recreational networks for people who walk and bike. The Draft Life Sciences Center Bicycle Network Proposal aims to create separated bike lanes and provide long-term bicycle parking stations in this district within the Greater Seneca Science Corridor. Separated bike lanes (or cycle tracks) create a low-stress environment for cyclists because they provide physical separation from both traffic and pedestrians. Learn more here.
Public Input Needed on Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan Update

Montgomery Parks is planning updates for Wheaton Regional Park and is soliciting input from the public. To find out more about the plan and how you can share your ideas please visit 
Accessibility Improvements Continues

Accessibility Improvements continues at Potomac Community Neighborhood Park, Pleasant View Local Park, Damascus Regional Park, and Ayrlawn Local Park. For more information on these and other accessibility projects please visit: Accessibility Information for Montgomery Parks webpage.
Garden of Lights Returns to Brookside Gardens

Make a new holiday tradition at the Garden of Lights Walk Through Holiday Light Display starting November 27 through January 3! Tickets are on sale now at Brookside Gardens' Gift Shop. Visit for more information.
Planning Department Seeks Presentation Proposals for Makeover Montgomery 3 Conference in May 2016

The Montgomery County Planning Department invites proposals for presentations at its conference, Makeover Montgomery 3: Balancing Change in America's Suburbs, to be held May 4-6, 2016 in College Park and Silver Spring, Md.

Interested planners, architects, developers, real estate professionals, economists, social scientists, ecologists and others can submit proposals online through Friday, January 8, 2016 at 5 p.m. The selected speakers will present at the Silver Spring Civic Building (1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD) on May 5 and 6. Assistance with travel-related expenses may be available for out-of-town speakers.

Makeover Montgomery 3 is being organized through a partnership between the Montgomery County Planning Department and National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland. The 2016 event follows similar conferences held in 2011 and 2014 by the Planning Department and University of Maryland. Learn more here.
Trail Work in Parks
Bikers and Runners should use caution as improvements are taking place on several trails in Montgomery Parks:
  • NEW: Black Hill Trail Connector Project to build a new shared-use natural surface six-mile trail along the western side of Little Seneca Lake in Black Hill Regional Park is scheduled to begin this fall. Numerous construction phases will take place over the course of the next year until the trail is complete.
  • NOTICE: Black Hill Trail work will close portions of the trail, including bridge work at the Ten Mile Creek tributary to Little Seneca Lake, for repairs. Work areas will close access to the trail head at the end of Ten Mile Creek Road, Osprey Heights Loop, Lake View Loop and Turkey Hill Loop.  The Cool Spring Trail will remain open during the construction which is scheduled to be completed by the Spring 2016.  
  • Rock Creek Trail work continues on the trail in the Rock Creek Regional Park area around Baltimore Road and Norbeck Road begins this October. Project will require partial closure of trail for bridge work, stream work and the repaving of the trail leading to bridge. A detour will be posted when trail repaving begins. Watch for detour signs and use caution around work areas.
  • Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail Storm water management work is scheduled to continue this fall, between Franklin Street and Knowles Avenue. Trail will be intermittingly closed. Please follow detours.
  • 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.
  • Rock Creek Trail Signage Installation for better wayfinding on the trail and adjacent neighborhood trail connectors leading to main trail continues south on the 14 mile Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail. Please use caution around work areas scheduled to go from Rock Creek Regional Park- Lake Needwood to the DC Line. For more information, click here.  
For more information on Montgomery Parks Trails please visit
Park Projects:
  • Sligo Creek Parkway: WSSC Project will require the parking lot on Sligo Creek Parkway south of Wayne Avenue to be closed for 6-9 months. For more info on WSSC projects in the park, please click here.
  • Ellsworth Urban Park:  Park improvements are underway to construct a new Dog Park. Parts of the park will be inaccessible to the public as work includes improved storm water management and better access to park. Tennis Courts and playground will not be affected. Click here for more info.
  • Waters Landing Local Park: Playground renovations are underway requiring playground to be closed this fall. Work will include storm water management and improved access to park facilities. Public should use caution getting to tennis courts and picnic shelter as paths will be repaved. Click here for more info.
View Montgomery Parks Program GUIDES Online
Click here to see all the various programs, classes and events Montgomery Parks has to offer to you and your family. Browse the eGuide from your computer or cell via at Montgomery Parks eGuides.