Montgomery County Council Passes Resolution Approving the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan

by MCS Staff

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 26, 2022

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 26, 2022 —The Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution approving the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan. The Plan makes recommendations within the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan area for land use and zoning, housing, economic development, urban design, transportation, parks and public spaces, environmental resiliency, community facilities and historic resources.

The Plan creates a green network of priority streets and public open spaces, providing more opportunities for recreation and social gathering in the downtown. It establishes a Civic Improvement Fund to support more public amenities and recommends creation of a Design Advisory Panel. The Plan is designed to help Silver Spring continue to be a diverse, regional destination that offers an affordable and attractive place to live for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Council President Gabe Albornoz said, “The Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Master Plan is a modern-day footprint for promoting economic development, creating welcoming public spaces, safe pedestrian and transit ways, sustaining our environment and connecting communities.”

“I want to thank all the residents who engaged in the process of drafting the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan,” said Councilmember Tom Hucker. “The Plan includes strong recommendations on tree canopy, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, affordable housing and much more. Ultimately, this Plan is a clear commitment to Silver Spring’s future and takes steps to address its most pressing issues.”

“This Plan takes the best thinking from our professional planners and melds it with all the community input we have received to build on Silver Spring’s existing strengths as a diverse, vibrant downtown,” said Councilmember Hans Riemer, who chairs the Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee. “The Council has improved this Plan by strengthening its support for commercial development in Downtown Silver Spring and adding additional opportunities for the development of affordable housing. The Plan also includes ambitious bike and pedestrian infrastructure and urban parks that will make Silver Spring one of the friendliest downtowns in the region. The inclusion of ‘adjacent communities’ in the Plan led to identifying a number of blocks for targeted rezonings in a way that had broad community support.”

Prior to the vote on the resolution to approve the Plan, the Council held three meetings to review the draft Plan and the recommendations of the PHED Committee. The PHED Committee, led by Chair Hans Riemer and Councilmembers Andrew Friedson (Lead for Parks) and Will Jawando, also met throughout March and April to review the Plan and provide recommendations to the Council.

At its final session on the Plan, the Council voted to modify the Plan boundary for the adjacent communities. The revised boundary retains primarily areas recommended for a change in zoning, such as several blocks that border Fenton Village west of Grove Street. A preliminary map of the modified boundary is included below, with the approved boundary outlined in purple. An official map of the Plan boundary will be available soon.

SSDAC Plan Boundary

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1 comment

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Michael Gurwitz May 30, 2022 - 12:01 pm

Bravo to the County Council for doing this! By reducing the limits of the boundary, the Council has saved many mature trees that would be lost to denser development. Silver Spring needs to save as many of its large trees and their canopy as possible in this time of global warming, and this action by the Council is an important step in doing so.

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