Montgomery County Planning Board holds two public hearings and is briefed on key county initiatives during June 3 meeting

June 3, 2021

Planning Board takes up update to Environmental Guidelines, the Great Seneca Science Corridor Minor Master Plan Amendment, county’s Vision Zero 2030 Action Plan, and a briefing on the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan; Opportunity to provide written testimony on public hearing agenda items still available.

WHEATON, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), held two public hearings and was briefed on key initiatives by the Montgomery County Planning Department, also part of the M-NCPPC, and the county during its June 3 virtual meeting . These items included:

  • Public Hearing for the Great Seneca Science Corridor Minor Master Plan Amendment. The Planning Board received public testimony on the Public Hearing Draft of the Great Seneca Science Corridor Minor Master Plan Amendment. Ten years have passed since the 30-year vision established in the 2010 Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan (2010 Plan) was approved and adopted. The purpose of this Amendment is to balance support for economic development and opportunity in the county in industries like life sciences with critical transportation connections that service this important hub. The public hearing record will remain open until June 13 for additional written testimony submitted to the Planning Board at  mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org. Planning staff will summarize the public testimony and conduct the first work session with the Planning Board on June 17.
  • Public Hearing for Environmental Guidelines Draft Updates. The Planning Board also held a public hearing on the draft updates to the Environmental Guidelines. The draft updates are primarily to incorporate changes required because of previous County Council and State actions. The updates cover: (1.) changes needed to reflect the environmental provisions in the 2014 Approved and Adopted 10 Mile Creek Limited Amendment to the Clarksburg Master Plan and Hyattstown Special Study Area (“10 Mile Creek Master Plan”); (2.) changes required due to the Council’s subsequent actions to create the Clarksburg East and Clarksburg West Overlay Zones, and the 10 Mile Creek Special Protection Area; (3.) changes needed to incorporate previously approved decisions at the local and State level that have occurred since the last revision to the Environmental Guidelines in 2000, such as other new Special Protection Areas and new State water quality criteria; and, (4.) redrafted figures and maps to provide greater clarity and legibility. The public hearing record will remain open until June 10 for additional written testimony submitted to the Planning Board at  mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org. Planning staff will summarize the public testimony and conduct a work session with the Planning Board anticipated on July 1. Read the staff report.
  • County’s Vision Zero 2030 Action Plan and Work Program Discussion. The Planning Board was briefed on the County Executive’s draft Vision Zero 2030 Action Plan and FY 22-23 Work Program by Wade Holland, the county’s Vision Zero Coordinator, and Planning staff. Vision Zero is Montgomery County’s commitment to eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries by 2030. The plan provides a roadmap for Montgomery County to reach Vision Zero by 2030, and it includes a detailed work plan for the next two years. Specifically, the plan includes 45 action items focused around three themes: complete streets, multimodal future, and culture of safety. Every even fiscal year (FY22, FY24, etc.) the detailed, short-term work plan for the next two fiscal years will be updated so that it can inform the county’s capital improvements program. During the meeting, Planning staff presented their recommendations for the county’s plan, and the Board approved comments to be transmitted to the County Executive’s Office. Read the staff report.
  • Silver Spring Downtown & Adjacent Communities Plan Update. This briefing to the Planning Board included an update on the Visioning Workshops with the community for the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan. Visioning for the plan kicked off in March 2021 with many opportunities for community members to participate in both live sessions and web‐based platforms. In March and April, Planning staff held six live virtual interactive sessions with the community where participants’ comments and ideas were captured in real‐time on “whiteboards” during the session. The videos and PDFs of the whiteboards were then posted on the plan website and shared with the community. In May, four additional “Chat with a Planner” sessions were held to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to meet with members of the planning team to learn about and discuss specific tools, strategies, or policies relevant to the plan. Staff spent May synthesizing the visioning work and emerged with plan themes and a draft Concept Framework Plan. These will serve as the basis for the draft recommendations that Planning staff will be working on over the coming months.  Read the staff report.

About Participating in Montgomery County Planning Board Meetings

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Planning Board has been holding public meetings online. The Planning Board expects to begin in-person sessions at Montgomery Planning’s headquarters (2425 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD) in September.  Community members may sign up to testify and provide comments to the Board during the online meeting on specific agenda items through Microsoft Teams or phone. Written testimony may be submitted in advance of the meeting.

There are many ways to participate in Planning Board meetings:

  • Watch the Planning Board meeting live online and on demand.
  • Listen live over the phone to the Planning Board meeting by calling: 866-774-0898 Password: 24252020
  • Sign up to testify via phone during the Planning Board meeting. To testify, fill out the Sign Up to Testify form by 12 noon on the day before the Planning Board meeting. On the afternoon before the meeting, you will receive an email with a phone number to call during a designated time to provide your testimony for a specific agenda item. Submitting this form online by the deadline is the only way to testify on meeting items.
  • Email your written testimony with comments on specific Planning Board agenda items to mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org by 12 noon on the day before the Planning Board meeting.
  • If you have questions, send an email to mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org or leave a message at 301-495-4605 and a staff member in the Planning Board Chair’s office will contact you.