Montgomery Planning Announces its Top 10 Plans and Projects of 2017
December 29, 2017
Planning Department wins national awards, completes research reports on housing and retail, and secures County Council approval of plans for Bethesda
SILVER SPRING, MD â€“ The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce several major accomplishments achieved in 2017 that will benefit communities throughout the county.
Montgomery Planningâ€™s Top 10 Plans and Projects of 2017
- Won national awards from the American Planning Association in May 2017 for the Bicycle Stress Map and the Agricultural Reserve.
- Secured County Council approval of the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan in May 2017; formed the Bethesda Downtown Design Advisory Panel in September 2017 to improve the quality of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture in Bethesda; and established the Bethesda Downtown Implementation Advisory Committee in December 2017 to monitor the progress of projects in the area and ensure they comply with the new plan.
- Completed the Rental Housing Study and presented it to the Planning Board in June 2017. This report shows that the countyâ€™s rental market is short about 20,000 rental units for households earning less than 30 percent of area median income, among other findings.
- Celebrated the July 2017 court ruling allowing the light-rail Purple Line to be built on county-owned land. This decision makes it more likely that the transit-oriented development recommended in several recent master plans will proceed.
- Completed the Retail Market Strategy Study and presented the research to the Planning Board in October 2017. This analysis reveals that retail in the county is balanced and not over-built, although more neighborhood goods and services are needed in most communities.
- Expanded the annual Design Excellence Award competition to honor county projects in two categories â€“ buildings and landscapes. Holy Cross Hospitalâ€™s South Building in Silver Spring and Little Bennett Regional Park Day Use Area in Clarksburg won the top honors. The winners and jury citations were announced at a design celebration in October 2017.
- Secured County Council approval of plans for three communities in close proximity, all located in North Bethesda. The Rock Spring Sector Plan was approved in November 2017 and the White Flint 2 Sector Plan and Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Area Minor Master Plan were approved in December 2017.
- Presented the first draft of the visionary Bicycle Master Plan to the Planning Board in December 2017. A public hearing for the plan will be held in January 2018.
- Briefed the Planning Board on the first draft of the MARC Rail Communities Plan in December 2017. A public hearing for the plan will be held in February 2018.
- Secured Planning Board approval of the update to the Master Plan of Highways and Transitways in December 2017. A public hearing for the plan will be held in February 2018.