December 25, 2015
Planning Board Agenda
There is no Montgomery County Planning Board meeting for Thursday, December 31.
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 Department Announces its 2016 Winter Speaker Series

The Montgomery County Planning Department is sponsoring a three-part Winter Speaker Series in 2016 that will focus on transportation. Smart Moves: New Ideas about Bikes, Cars and Transit will address new approaches to cycling, transit, trails and other alternatives to cars. The ideas generated from the series will help inform the Department's current plans and policies, including the Bicycle Master Plan and Subdivision Staging Policy update.

The Winter Speakers Series is free and open to the public and planning professionals. Credit for certification maintenance (CM) for members of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) attending the series is pending. Learn more here.
County Council Will Hold Public Hearing on the Westbard Sector Plan on January 26 in Rockville

The Montgomery County Planning Board approved the Westbard Sector Plan at its meeting on Thursday, December 17 for transmittal to the Montgomery County Council and Office of the County Executive.

The County Council has scheduled a public hearing on the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan for Tuesday, January 26, 2016 in the Council Hearing Room (100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD). Community members interested in testifying in person must sign up in advance online or call 240-777-7803 for more information.

The Planning Board previously held three work sessions on the Westbard Sector Plan to address schools, transportation, land uses, zoning, open spaces and historic and cultural resources. A fourth work session was held to finalize zoning language for specific properties in the Plan area. The Planning Board's revisions are reflected in the newest draft of the Sector Plan.

These changes affect some building heights, address the need for community-serving uses, increase affordable housing requirements in certain circumstances and add restrictions to commercial uses in areas abutting single-family residential neighborhoods.

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.
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. 
Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan Revised Working Draft Approved by Planning Board on December 17

The Montgomery County Planning Board approved the staff's revised Working Draft of the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan as the Planning Board Draft on its meeting held on Thursday, December 17.

The Working Draft focused on key aspects of the plan including issues such as commercial and residential affordability, as well as much needed public benefits within the Sector Plan area. The Plan addressed issues that were raised by the community over zoning classifications, district boundaries and zoning and density. A public hearing on the Working Draft, now titled the Public Hearing Draft, is scheduled for February 11, 2016. Learn more here.

View the Staff Report for the December 17 Planning Board presentation including errata sheet.
Planning Board Reviews Density and Building Heights at December 15 Work Session for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan

The Montgomery County Planning Board conducted a work session to review the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan on Tuesday, December 15 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring. MD).

View the December 15 Staff Report for the Bethesda Sector Plan work session.

The new Sector Plan recommends increasing density in Downtown Bethesda near identified centers of activity and civic gathering spaces. Staff discussed the design challenges of tall buildings as a result of this increased density. The need for pedestrian-friendly, active ground-floor spaces, low to mid-rise building bases and innovative facades was stressed for the area. 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:
  • Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail work is underway to coordinate the removal of high risk trees and limbs including Emerald Ash Borer infested trees along the Rock Creek Hiker- Biker Trails on Beach Drive.  For more information on tree inspection and maintenance, click here
  • NOTICEBlack 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.
  • 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. The project will require partial closure of the trail for bridge work, stream work and the repaving of the trail leading to bridge. A detour will be posted when trail repaving begins.
  • 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.
  • 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.
For more information on Montgomery Parks Trails please visit
Park Projects:
  • Olney Family Neighborhood Park: Work to connect the community by improving access to the hard surface trails for residents entering from the Treadway side are under way. For more info, click here.
  • Little Falls Parkway (SVU- Area #1): Storm Water Management improvements between River Road and Massachusetts Avenue will affect traffic during non-rush hour times.  Please use caution as alternating lane closures are expected during work hours.
  • NEW: Kemp Mill Urban Park: The Park will be closed this winter season as renovations begin on or about this December. The one year project will improve the overall park access including an updated water feature and expanded playground. Click here for more information.
  • 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.
  • Plumgar Local Park: Playground is closed as part of the Playground Renovation Program. Work is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2016.
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.