Montgomery County Planning Board holds Public Hearing on Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan

by MCS Staff
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Community members testified in person or virtually during Public Hearing; four work sessions scheduled in December and January.

Wheaton, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), held a Public Hearing for the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan on December 2, 2021. This plan builds upon the success of the 2000 Silver Spring Central Business District Sector Plan to help the area continue to be a regional destination for the next 20 years while supporting sustainable growth and development in the emerging areas of the downtown and adjacent communities. Community members testified in person or virtually during the Planning Board’s Public Hearing. Some community members provided their comments in writing ahead of the Public Hearing for the Board’s consideration.

Watch the recording of the Planning Board’s Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Public Hearing.

The plan’s Public Hearing Draft includes recommendations for land use and zoning, housing, economic growth, urban design, transportation, parks and public spaces, environmental resiliency, community facilities, and historic resources. As the first Sector Plan to follow the passage of Montgomery County’s Racial Equity and Social Justice Act, equity is woven throughout the plan and the four overarching themes that emerged after engaging with stakeholders:

  • Diversity
  • Resiliency
  • Connectivity
  • Community Health

“We are pleased that so many community members have taken the time to provide feedback on what they want Silver Spring to look like over the next 20 years, not just during the Public Hearing, but throughout the planning process,” said Planning Director Gwen Wright. “The plan’s recommendations address topics we heard about most from the community, such as strengthening the area’s diverse mix of stores, restaurants, and entertainment, as well as enhancing pedestrian and bicycle networks.”

Since kicking off the plan in July 2020, Planning staff have received input from residents, community organizations, property owners, civic associations, condo boards, employers, business owners, students at Montgomery College, and county agency partners. Over 150 community members participated in a series of online workshops during the plan’s Visioning Phase and staff received over 500 comments on the ReactMap, an online mapping tool where community members could submit comments anywhere within the plan area.

The Planning team created an explainer to help community members quickly understand the plan’s goals and draft recommendations ahead of the Public Hearing. This explainer is available in English, Spanish, and Amharic.

The Planning Board will hold work sessions on the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan during its meetings on December 9, 16, and 23 and on January 6, 2022. Community members can watch the work sessions online via live stream on the Planning Board’s website. The community is invited to submit written comments to the Planning Board via email at mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org. Comments received by 6 p.m. on December 7, 2021 will be included as part of the public record.

To stay up to date on the progress of this plan, sign up for our eLetter. You can also reach out directly to the project team with any questions or comments about the plan:

Atara Margolies, lead planner
301-495-4558
Atara.margolies@montgomeryplanning.org

About the Downtown Silver Spring and Adjacent Communities Plan

The 2000 Silver Spring Central Business District Sector Plan established a planning framework for downtown Silver Spring that envisioned a green, transit-oriented and pedestrian-friendly downtown with a strong commercial and residential development market. In the 20 years since the adoption of the downtown Silver Spring Sector Plan, the area has transformed from an area in decline to a vibrant destination for offices, retail, restaurants, and entertainment that is defined by its unique diversity. Montgomery Planning is updating the downtown Silver Spring Sector Plan to guide Silver Spring’s future growth.

Through the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan process, Montgomery Planning will analyze and reevaluate all aspects of the existing plan, consider the recommended changes implemented from the last plan, and assess future needs – all informed by community conversation and input. View the plan’s Scope of Work that the Planning Board approved in June 2020.

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