Community Invited to Testify at June 4 Planning Board Presentation of Silver Spring Downtown Plan’s Boundary Options

June 1, 2020

downtown silver spring
Planning Board requested re-examination of the sector plan boundary area at March 26 meeting

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), will present the Silver Spring Downtown Plan Scope of Work to the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday, June 4 at a virtual Planning Board meeting. The Planning Board requested staff prepare these options during the March 26, 2020 staff presentation of the Draft Scope of Work. The community is invited to provide testimony at the June 4 Planning Board meeting and may sign up online. They can also submit comments about the plan via email. These comments will become part of the public testimony and public record for the plan. The deadline to sign up to testify and/or submit comments is Wednesday, June 3 at 12 noon.

View the June 4 Silver Spring Downtown Plan Planning Board agenda items:

Staff Report – Silver Spring Downtown Plan Boundary Expansion Discussion
ATTACHMENT 1 – Addendum to the Scope of Work (5/28/2020)
ATTACHMENT 2 – Scope of Work (3/26/2020)

The approval of the scope of work is the first step in the master planning process. The scope of work includes the goals of the plan, areas of focus, boundary areas and timeline. Once the Planning Board approves the scope of work, the planning team will start engaging the community and study existing conditions of the area. Be sure to sign up for the Silver Spring Downtown Plan eletter for the latest updates.

Equitable Engagement

Named the fourth most culturally diverse location in the US, Silver Spring is home to groups from all over the world. The Silver Spring Downtown Plan team will work hard to engage all communities so everyone has the opportunity to fully participate in the sector plan process. As part of our planning framework, equity will be woven through all parts of the plan.

Community members’ voices and participation in the process is vital to planning that reflects the needs of the community, anticipates the changes to come, and retains the unique character and diversity that make Silver Spring a great place.

The Silver Spring Downtown Plan will follow a process prioritizing community input and feedback. Community engagement will begin with a series of listening sessions to better understand the hopes, needs and concerns of the entire community before planning specific engagement opportunities. Listening is one of four phases and will inform how Montgomery Planning can partner with and engage community members during the next three phases. The four phases of the plan include:

  • Listening/Collecting
  • Visioning/Imagining
  • Refining/Shaping
  • Sharing/Updating

Why Update the Plan Now?

Silver Spring’s revitalization since 2000 resulted in an economic and retail center that draws downtown residents and other consumers to a variety of local and ethnically diverse venues from day to night all week long. In the last decade, numerous high-rise apartment buildings have sprung up, adding thousands of housing units to the downtown Silver Spring area.

Since 2000, three Silver Spring planning efforts were completed:

Plans are designed with a 20-year timeframe and the changes coming to Silver Spring in the near future compel us to reconsider Silver Spring through a new planning effort. The key reasons to update the plan now include:

  • Addressing the impacts of the new Purple Line in Downtown Silver Spring and the surrounding community – the Purple Line is already under construction and will position Silver Spring as a key node on the east-west light-rail network, with two stops in downtown Silver Spring and another just outside the downtown area.
  • The region’s housing shortage – particularly in affordable housing – necessitates looking at new opportunities in downtown Silver Spring.

Stay informed: Sign up for the Silver Spring Downtown Plan eletter to get updates.

For more information about the Silver Spring Downtown Plan, contact:

Atara Margolies – Project Manager 301-495-4558 Email
Leslye Howerton – Area 1 Master Planning Supervisor  301-495-4566 Email