Montgomery Parks and Planning departments present Spring 2023 Semiannual Report to the county council

The Montgomery Parks and Montgomery Planning(opens in a new tab) departments presented their Spring 2023 Semiannual Report to the Montgomery County Council on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. The presentations showcased key projects, park activities and plans from the past six months, and initiatives that will be completed over the next six months and beyond. The presentation is given to the County Council every spring and fall and allows County Councilmembers to provide feedback to Montgomery Parks and Planning leadership and staff. Watch the Spring 2023 Semiannual presentation to the County Council here or read highlights available below.

Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Jeff Zyontz began the presentation by highlighting the work of the temporary acting Planning Board. “I’m grateful to Commissioners Cherri Branson, David Hill, and Amy Presley – over the last four months, they were engaged and dedicated to the task they were given, including approving 133 individual regulatory items in addition to recommending approval of master plans for the County Council’s consideration. I look forward to working with the new Planning Board members.”

Acting Montgomery County Planning Department Director Tanya Stern provided the County Council an update on the Planning Department’s Equity in Planning agenda, master planning efforts and other planning initiatives, with a focus on equitable and complete communities and implementation of Thrive Montgomery 2050. “Now that Thrive Montgomery 2050 is adopted, we are focused on working with public and private sector partners on its implementation. This is year one of a multi-decade opportunity to turn Thrive’s policies into reality on the ground, especially fostering complete communities where all residents can equitably access housing, services, amenities, and transportation choices in close proximity.”

Director of Montgomery Parks Mike Riley emphasized the department’s strategic efforts to update and develop new parks and amenities that align with the department’s 2022 Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan.(opens in a new tab) 

“We recently finalized the department’s long-range plan to continue to meet the needs of our growing and changing county by encouraging physical activity, facilitating social interaction, and stewarding environmental resources.  This robust plan was driven by extensive community outreach and sets an exciting course for the future of our parks.”

The Spring 2023 Semiannual presentation highlights the following accomplishments, achieved by Montgomery Planning and Montgomery Parks over the past six months and programs planned for the rest of 2023:

Montgomery Planning highlights

  • Continuing implementation of the department’s Equity Agenda for Planning(opens in a new tab) by using an equity lens for master plans, conducting equitable engagement with the county’s diverse communities, and using tools such as Equity Focus Areas mapping and Trends in Racial & Ethnic Diversity data to inform master planning and implement the goals of Thrive Montgomery 2050.
  • Continuing efforts on equitably engaging the community in the master planning process with plans such as the Pedestrian Master Plan, Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan, Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment, The Great Seneca Plan, and the University Boulevard Corridor Plan.
  • Expediting the development review process by having concurrent application reviews and Planning Board approval, executing Speed to Market projects, and implementing action items from the Fall 2022 Development Review Committee Retreat.
  • Advancing special projects and programs such as the Mapping Segregation Project, Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Project, Incentive Density Guidelines Update, the Friendship Heights Urban Design Study, Reforest Montgomery, Placemaking, and Design Excellence.

Montgomery Parks highlights

  • Secured federal and state fundingto renovate and create new parks, trails and other amenities across the county.
  • Finalized an update to the Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan which will significantly improve pedestrian and bicycle access and interconnectivity throughout the park, as well as add trending amenities, including a world-class, multi-generational action sports park.
  • Increased the number of park activation events such as the Parks Ale Trail festival, comedy nights, free salsa lessons, movie nights and concerts.
  • Several major park projects will come online this year, including Gene Lynch Urban Park, a new park adjacent to the Silver Spring Metro Station which will provide an event lawn area for gathering, public artwork and an elevated seating terrace with bench swings.

 

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FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

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