Montgomery Planning announces series of virtual community Visioning Sessions for the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan

February 25, 2021

Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan

Montgomery Planning will host five Visioning Sessions throughout March and April; participants asked to share their ideas to help ‘sketch’ the future of the plan area.

WHEATON, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), announced the launch of the Visioning phase of the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan (SSDAC). This includes a series of interactive virtual events where the community is invited to collaborate with the Planning team on the future vision for the plan area.

Montgomery Planning will host five virtual community Visioning Sessions throughout March and April on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. During all of these sessions, participants will be asked to share their ideas to help ‘sketch’ the future of the plan area. This information will then be used to inform Planning staff’s recommendations in the SSDAC Plan.  Because of the interactive format, attendance will be capped at 40 people for each session.

This initial stage of sessions will be organized by “Visioning Districts” to help Planning staff focus the discussion on specific areas of the plan with the goal of pulling all work from these sessions into one cohesive vision for the plan area. The map below explains how these “districts,” which are only a tool for the Visioning Sessions, are organized.Map of Silver Spring Districts and workshop dates. South Silver Spring (March 23) includes everything south of Colesville Road and west of the Metrorail, including all of Montgomery College in Silver Spring and Jesup Blair Park down to the border with DC.Metro Center/Ripley District (March 30) includes the parcels around the Transit Center on both sides of Colesville Road, and includes the blocks east and south of the transit center between the Metrorail and Georgia Avenue. Fenton Village (April 6) includes the blocks south of Wayne Ave on either side of Fenton Street. This district extends to Georgia Avenue to the west and down to Montgomery College to the south. Adjacent Communities (April 13) includes the residential blocks of Woodside, Woodside Park, Seven Oaks-Evanswood and East Silver Spring that have been included in the plan boundary. North Silver Spring (April 20) includes all blocks north of Cameron Street but south of Spring Stret, including the Falklands to the west and the Ellsworth shopping area to the west.

To register, click the links below (all events will be held from 7 to 9 p.m.):

March 23 – South Silver Spring
March 30 –  Metro Center/Ripley District
April 6 – Fenton Village
April 13 – Adjacent Communities
April 20 – North Silver Spring

Community members who register for these events will receive a reminder 48 hours before the event with a request to let Planning staff know if they can no longer attend. All sessions will be recorded and posted on the website.

Planning staff recommend that participants join these sessions via computer or tablet, as it will be more challenging to follow the session on a smartphone. Participants will be allowed to join via phone, and facilitators will work to include them in the event, even if they cannot see the screen.

What is Missing Middle Housing? Presentation to the Silver Spring Community from Opticos Design, Tuesday March 16 from 7-9 p.m.

As a kick-off to the Visioning Sessions, Montgomery Planning will hold a virtual event on Missing Middle Housing on Tuesday, March 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. All are welcome to attend, however this presentation will especially be helpful to set the stage for the Adjacent Communities Visioning Session on April 13.

Missing Middle Housing is a range of smaller units in multiunit or clustered housing types, compatible in form and scale with single-family homes that help meet the growing demand for walkable urban living, respond to shifting household demographics, and meet the need for more housing choices at different price points.

This event will feature Tony Perez from Opticos Design who is a Missing Middle Housing expert in working with communities to establish and translate policy direction into clear and implementable development standards. Tony is a leader in advancing the practice of Form-Based Coding and has authored or co-authored over 25 zoning codes and peer-reviewed or contributed to over 20 others, ranging in scale from small to citywide.

Get involved:

Atara Margolies, Project Manager, DownCounty Planning via phone 301-495-4558 or email atara.margolies@montgomeryplanning.org

Leslye Howerton, Master Planning Supervisor, DownCounty Planning, via phone 301-495-4566 or email leslye.howerton@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.

Currently, Montgomery Planning anticipates a two- to three-year-long planning process, which began with approval of the plan Scope of Work in June 2020. Starting this plan during a global pandemic may impact the methods and timing of community engagement. However, we will extend the plan process timeline as needed to ensure thorough engagement of all who live and work in and around downtown Silver Spring. View the plan’s Scope of Work that the Planning Board approved in June 2020.