January 22, 2015
Planning Board Agenda
Attend or watch the Montgomery County Planning Board Thursday, January 28. View the full agenda for that meeting here.
Winter Fun!

Montgomery Parks Names Best Hills for Sledding in Parks and Launches Super Snowman-Making Contest! Click here for additional Info.

Submission Date for Makeover Montgomery 3 Conference Proposals Extended to January 29

The gathering will be held from May 4 through May 6, 2016 in College Park and Silver Spring, MD. It will bring together planners, architects, developers, real estate professionals, economists, social scientists, ecologists and others to discuss cutting-edge ideas for transforming the suburbs.

The deadline for submitting presentation proposals online has been extended from January 8 to Friday, January 29, 2016 at 5 p.m. The selected presenters will take part in sessions to be held 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. Learn more here.
Community Meeting for Rock Spring Master Plan on January 28 Will Address Parks and Open Spaces, and Transportation Policies

The Montgomery County Planning Department and Montgomery Parks will discuss the Rock Spring Master Plan. at a community meeting Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD).

Montgomery Parks' staff will present information at the start of the meeting about parks and open spaces possible amenities, opportunity areas and roles of County agencies and developers related to these topics.

The second half of the meeting will be dedicated to a discussion about transportation and connectivity. Staff from the Planning Department will present information on transportation policies, land use and transportation modeling, and review connectivity issues identified at previous community meetings.

Learn more about the Rock Spring Master Plan.

Work Session on Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan Will Be Held on February 4 to Address South Bethesda District

The Montgomery County Planning Board will hold a work session for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan on Thursday, February 4 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD). Discussion will focus on zoning and building heights for the South Bethesda District, a residential area of garden apartments, townhouses and single-family homes situated to either side of Bradley Boulevard. For details about the work session, consult the Planning Board Agenda.

The next work session is scheduled for Thursday, February 25, 2016. Consult the Planning Board Agenda webpage two weeks prior to this work session to find out more specifics about the session. Following the work sessions, the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan will be revised at the direction of the Planning Board and reviewed by the Board before being sent to the County Council later this year.

Learn more about the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan.
MARC Rail Communities Plan Moves Ahead with January 28 Planning Board Presentation and Community Workshop in March

The Montgomery County Planning Department is advancing the MARC Rail Communities Plan by presenting the proposed Scope of Work to the Planning Board on Thursday, January 28, 2016. Once approved by the Board, the Scope of Work will provide the basis for the planning effort.

The Master Plan will evaluate land use, zoning, design and access conditions at the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) stations in Boyds and Germantown. This effort will make use of ongoing studies being undertaken by the Maryland Transit Administration and Montgomery County Department of Transportation looking at parking and access issues at MARC stations throughout the County. Learn more here.
Events Celebrate New Planning Department Book on Midcentury Modern Architecture in Montgomery County

The Montgomery County Planning Department is celebrating its new book, Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979, with a series of author talks and book-signing events. The 250-page, well-illustrated book is written by Clare Lise Kelly, a preservation planner and an architectural historian with the Planning Department's Historic Preservation Office. The book includes an inventory of key buildings and communities, and biographical sketches of architects and developers.

I've been researching historic sites for 25 years now and advocating for their preservation, and Montgomery County has one of the strongest preservation programs in the country," says author Kelly.  "The post-war era is a time period that has been little understood and we are raising awareness about the value of buildings in this time period." For her architectural advocacy, the American Institute of Architects' Potomac Valley Chapter honored Kelly with its 2015 Paul H. Kea medal. 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.

February is Maple Sugaring Month at Brookside Nature Center

Every Saturday and Sunday you'll have an opportunity to experience an American tradition: maple sugaring! Join us on Saturdays in February at 10am, 1pm and 3pm or Sundays in February at 1pm & 3pm and watch the whole maple sugaring process from start to finish. See sap drip from trees and taste it. Watch us boil it down into sweet maple syrup, then sample a tasty treat. Join in the fun and activities and learn something new at this family-friendly program! Space is limited so pre-registration is encouraged. $6/person. Register here.  
Community Meeting on Long Branch-Wayne Local Park Renovations: February 9, 2016

Park staff will discuss ideas to renovate the Long Branch-Wayne Local Park at a community meeting on February 9 at 7 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend and provide input to improve the park. More details are available 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.
Accessibility Improvements Continue

UPDATE: Accessibility Improvement work is scheduled at Olney Manor Recreational Park, Potomac Community Neighborhood Park,Pleasant View Local Park, Damascus Recreational Park, and Ayrlawn Local Park. For more information on these and other accessibility projects please visit: Accessibility Information for Montgomery Parks webpage.
Winter Festivals in Montgomery Parks 

Check out www.MontgomeryParks.org/festivals for a list of major events happening in late November through February.
Public Input Needed on Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan Update

Montgomery Parks is updating the Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan and is soliciting input from the public. To find out more about the plan and how you can share your ideas please visit www.ParkPlanning.org
On January 28, Planning Board Will Review Transit, Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Activities in the Life Sciences Center Area

The Montgomery County Planning Department is advancing its bus rapid transit, bicycle and pedestrian plans with progress reports on Thursday, January 28, 2016 to the Planning Board.

The three separate but related presentations will include an update on planning for the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT), Life Sciences Center Loop Trail design guidelines and a separate bike lane network in the area as part of the Bicycle Master Plan. Consult the Planning Board Agenda for details about the session.

This Planning Board presentation follows a community meeting held on December 15, 2015 to discuss new transportation and recreational networks for people who walk and bike in the Life Sciences Center. Learn more here.
Park Projects:
  • Quince Orchard Valley Neighborhood Park:  WSSC work is scheduled to begin this January as part of the WSSC Sewer Repair, Replacement and Rehabilitation Program. Work will also include the removal of the tennis court and hard surface path and allow reforestation to the area. Please use caution around work areas.
  • NOTICE: Falls Road Local Park: The parking lot entrance at Falls Road Local Park will be intermittently closed through need date beginning on or around January 14, 2016 as scheduled construction continues to improve traffic patterns and ADA access.  Alternate parking will be limited to Falls Chapel Way during closure. Click here for more information on the park project.
  • Olney Family Neighborhood Park: Trail work to connect the community by improving access to the hard surface trails for residents entering from the Treadway Road side are under way.
  • Kemp Mill Urban Park: The park is closed for renovations to improve overall access, update the pond and expand the playground. Renovations are expected to be completed by spring 2017.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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
  • Black Hill Trail Connector Project is underway to build a new shared-use natural surface six-mile trail along the western side of Little Seneca Lake in Black Hill Regional Park. Numerous construction phases will take place over the course of the next year until the trail is complete.
  • The pedestrian bridge at the Ten Mile Creek tributary to Little Seneca Lake in Black Hill Regional Park will be closed until spring 2016. There will be no 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. phases will take place over the course of the next year until the trail is complete.
  • Work continues on the Rock Creek trail in Rock Creek Regional Park around Baltimore Road and Norbeck Road. Trails will be partially closed 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 Trail Signs are being installed to improve wayfinding on the trail and adjacent neighborhood trail connectors leading to main trail of the 14 mile Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail.
For more information on Montgomery Parks Trails please visit www.MontgomeryTrails.org.
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.
Watch: The Planning Board Tour of Kensington
The Montgomery County Planning Board recently toured the Town of Kensington to see how some of their approvals have come to life. Watch it here.
Watch: The Latest Edition of Plan-It Montgomery
Learn more about the Design Excellence Award, the latest master plans, and Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson's interview with a Montgomery County legend. All this and more in this edition of Plan-It Montgomery
Watch: Montgomery Modern Initiative Promo
Montgomery Modern explores mid-century modern buildings and communities that reflect the optimistic spirit of the post-war era in Montgomery County, Maryland. Watch here.