Planning Board Approves Design Guidelines for the Rock Spring and White Flint 2 Plans

August 7, 2019

rock spring white flint 2 guidelines cover

Recommendations for the design of buildings, streets and public spaces will ensure future development fits into the fabric of each community

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, approved the design guidelines for the Rock Spring Master Plan and White Flint 2 Sector Plan on July 25, 2019.

The Rock Spring and White Flint 2 Sector Plan Design Guidelines aim to ensure that new building projects fit into the character of each area and provide stakeholders with a consistent starting point for reviewing proposed developments. They allow for flexibility in interpreting the standards and proposing creative alternatives to the guidelines that still meet their intent.

One set of design guidelines was developed for both Rock Spring and White Flint 2 since these planning areas are about 1.5 miles apart and share similar challenges and opportunities.

The design guidelines for these areas aim to:

  • Promote the conversion of single-use areas into mixed-use places.
  • Integrate mobility alternatives with a focus on pedestrian and bike connections to amenities and destinations.
  • Design buildings, public spaces and streets for pedestrian interest and comfort.
  • Encourage the use of new school prototypes that employ adaptive reuse, colocation and multi-level designs.
  • Complement urban development with easily accessible, high quality public and private parks and open spaces.
  • Apply sustainable design practices to protect natural resources and improve the health of residents in the plan areas.

The Rock Spring Master Plan envisions 535 acres, now mostly used as an office park, as an employment center that could offer new housing and retail. New development is envisioned along a proposed central circulation spine, which could provide a future transitway for buses and safe routes for pedestrians, bicyclists and cars. The Montgomery County Council approved the plan in November 2017.

The White Flint 2 Sector Plan promotes the transformation of parking lots into places and single-use shopping centers into mixed-use communities along Rockville Pike (MD 355). It recommends integrating new residential and non-residential uses into the Executive Boulevard office park and promoting mixed-use neighborhood centers at the Loehmann’s Plaza and Randolph Hills Shopping Centers. The County Council approved the plan in December 2017.