Montgomery Planning maintains the Montgomery County Burial Sites Inventory, a listing of over 300 cemeteries and burial sites around the county dating from before the arrival of Europeans in Maryland to burial grounds still in use today. However, there are 80 burial sites in the inventory that are no longer visible, and historical records only tell us approximately where they were. This may be because the graves were never marked, or the markers have been moved or have deteriorated. We are looking for these lost burial grounds, and we hope to get some help from modern technology – ground penetrating radar (GPR) – to recover this part of the county’s hidden past.
By James Hedrick, Commissioner, The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Montgomery Parks Summer Adventure Challenge with Kids
I don’t know anything about parks.
I’m a Commissioner on the Montgomery County side of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), and I really don’t know anything about parks.
My background is in affordable housing and development – the planning side of the Commission. Most of what I know about parks is limited to about a decade of taking my kids to parks hoping that they will wear themselves out before bedtime.
Given my need to expand my knowledge of Montgomery County’s parks system, the Commission’s August recess offered a good opportunity to become more familiar with at least … Continue reading
Montgomery County is a great place to live, work, learn, visit, and grow—but residents have different experiences depending on where they live and their socioeconomic background. One of the most important parts of our work planning for the future of every county community is understanding how socioeconomic conditions differ from neighborhood to neighborhood.
What is the Community Equity Index?
The Community Equity Index (CEI) – a new Montgomery Planning tool – is a composite measure of five indicators (defined below) of how the county’s socioeconomic diversity is distributed, or which neighborhoods have concentrated advantage or disadvantage and which neighborhoods are representative of the county’s diversity. The CEI allows Montgomery Planning, our partner agencies, and the public to better … Continue reading
Latest data reflect county’s status as a populous, maturing suburb
Montgomery Planning’s Research and Strategic Projects (RSP) Division is responsible for developing Montgomery County’s long-range forecasts for employment, population, and households as part of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s (MWCOG) Cooperative Forecast Program. The Round 10 forecast was recently completed, and new numbers show over the next 30 years the county is projected to experience growth in population, households, and jobs. The growth rate, however, is estimated to be at a slower pace than previous forecasts, reflecting the county’s status as a populous, maturing suburb. The forecast estimates the county will add 143,000 jobs (up from 493,600 in 2020 to 636,500 in … Continue reading
Distinguished jury to choose 2023 Design Excellence Award Winners
Design excellence in architecture requires balancing the functional goals and artistic vision of a building or landscape to inspire people and support a great community—and, at every scale, it offers the power to help sustain our environmental, social, and economic vitality well into the future.
Montgomery County’s Design Excellence initiatives celebrate architecture and landscapes that make everyday life more beautiful and create spaces that enhance social interaction as well as fulfill specific functions. The annual Design Excellence Awards spotlight our county’s very best designs, and submissions are now open through July 17, 2023. Submit contenders for the two select Awards, one for outstanding Architectural, Urban Design and Landscape design, and … Continue reading
Many real estate analysts and pundits are arguing that offices are becoming obsolete, thanks in large part to workers’ continued post-pandemic demand for hybrid or fully remote work schedules. If this trend persists, planners must grapple with the question: What happens to the vacant space? In this blog, we examine Montgomery County’s office-vacancy trends and the characteristics of highly vacant office space (which we defined as more than 50% vacant). We also look at the possibilities for redevelopment. While vacancy isn’t the only factor affecting possible redevelopment of office space, it is significant and the focus of this blog.
In just the past three years, office-space vacancy has increased dramatically in Montgomery County. Vacancy rates in … Continue reading
This content was originally posted as an opinion piece by guest contributor Miti Figueredo in Greater Greater Washington on March 28, 2023 and is posted to The Third Place with permission.
Around the country, some pandemic-era changes have been widely accepted and made permanent, while others have been abandoned or scaled back. On Thursday, March 30, the Montgomery County Planning Board held a public hearing on whether to keep a half-mile road diet on Little Falls Parkway or end the closure of two lanes to car traffic that made space for walking, biking, and play.
Testing out a road diet on Little Falls Parkway
Last summer, Montgomery Parks implemented a pilot project to study whether Little Falls Parkway … Continue reading
Montgomery Planning is working on their new Pedestrian Master Plan to be presented to the Planning Board this spring. One of the greatest books on walkability and the creation of safe streets is Walkable City: How Downtown can Save America One Step at a Time, by Jeff Speck. This entertaining, informative, and most relevant book celebrated its 10th anniversary this past year. To help achieve Montgomery County’s Vision Zero goals of eliminating pedestrian fatalities through safe streets, Speck’s book provides a vision for creating streets that are safe, comfortable to pedestrians, and interesting—the primary criteria that supports walkability.
In our cities, towns, and neighborhood centers, streets occupy between 20% and 45% of the land. In the … Continue reading
In the coming months, the Montgomery County Council plans to consider a historic amendment to the county’s Forest Conservation Law – the No Net Loss of Forest initiative. Montgomery Planning proposed the initiative in 2022 in consultation with forest conservation experts and stakeholders, and with Planning Board approval.
What is the History of the Forest Conservation Law and the No Net Loss of Forest Initiative?
Montgomery County is known for its accessible parks, peaceful green spaces, and wooded trails that support a high quality of life for humans and wildlife. Approximately 30% of Montgomery County is covered by forest – a point of pride for residents and visitors who reap its benefits every day. The county’s laws, plans, and … Continue reading
One of Montgomery Planning’s mantras of late has been this idea of turning “parking lots to places.” In other words, let’s make better use of underutilized developed land and transform it into something more vibrant with multiple uses for residents and visitors. Inherent in “parking lots to places” is the thought that the “easier” parcels to redevelop – like surface parking lots – will be developed first, given the complexity and time involved in redevelopment of sites with existing uses.
Turning a parking lot into a place is infill development, which takes place on vacant or underutilized developed parcels within an area that have access to existing services. Infill development is beneficial to … Continue reading