Montgomery Planning to hold virtual event on February 9 on current state of Silver Spring area to inform community’s next 20 years

January 22, 2021

Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities PlanThis event, called Silver Spring Today, will include data and analysis on what exists today in the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan area; sets the stage for the upcoming visioning process with the community.

WHEATON, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), will be hosting a virtual community meeting on Tuesday, February 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. for the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan (SSDAC). The event, called Silver Spring Today: Existing Conditions Analysis Presentation to the Community, is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the work planning staff has conducted since the kickoff of the plan last June.

For the past several months, Montgomery Planning staff has been studying the existing conditions of the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan area to understand what Silver Spring is like today, more than 20 years after the approval of the previous plan for the area. The Existing Conditions Analysis includes data on demographics, land use and zoning, housing, parks and the public realm, transportation, environment, economic development, school and community resources, and historic preservation. This information will provide the context and set the baseline for the visioning phase that will begin in the spring.

“We look forward to sharing this comprehensive summary of our recent work with the community and the Planning Board,” said project manager Atara Margolies. “This presentation is a snapshot of where Silver Spring is today, and it will serve as a helpful foundation for the planning team and the community as we move into the Visioning phase of the plan this March.”

On February 9, planning staff will present a summary of their work to the community and answer the following questions related to each topic area of the plan:

  • Demographics: Who lives in the plan area?
  • Land Use/Zoning: What is the built environment like?
  • Housing: Where do people live? Can they afford to live where they do?
  • Parks and Public Realm: Where does the community gather?
  • Transportation: How do people get around?
  • Environment: How resilient is the plan area?
  • Economic Development: What is the state of the local economy?
  • Schools and Community Resources: How is this community supported?
  • Historic Preservation: What is the history of Silver Spring? What should be preserved for this community?

The Existing Conditions presentation will take approximately the first hour of the event and will be followed by a question and answer session, where the community will have the opportunity to have their questions answered by planning staff.

RSVPs are required for the virtual community meeting, which will be held on the Teams Live platform. The access information will be sent out to those who have registered the day of the event.

This community event precedes the Montgomery County Planning Board briefing in mid- February, where the same presentation will be provided to the Planning Board. This event will also be recorded and made available on the plan’s website, after the presentation to the Planning Board.

The Visioning phase will include a series of interactive virtual events where the community will be invited to collaborate and create a vision for what the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities could be in the future. The Visioning phase is tentatively scheduled to start with virtual meetings in mid-March 2021. More details will be available soon at MontgomeryPlanning.org/silverspring

Virtual Event Details:
Silver Spring Today: Existing Conditions Analysis Presentation to the Community
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 from 7 to 9 p.m.
RSVP to attend the Silver Spring Today virtual community meeting.

Get involved:

Atara Margolies, Project Manager, 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 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.