Silver Spring Community Invited to Attend Next Round of Virtual Listening Sessions for Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan

August 24, 2020

Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan
Community members encouraged to share ideas, questions and concerns with Montgomery Planning Staff

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), invites residents and business owners of the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan area to participate in the next round of a series of online listening sessions to provide ideas, questions and concerns with Montgomery Planning staff. These virtual sessions will be held on Microsoft Teams. This next round of online sessions follows a series of virtual listening sessions and office hours over the summer.

“We have just started to hear from the community on issues such as affordable housing, access to green spaces and preserving small businesses and we encourage anyone who lives or works in the plan area to tell us what you think at this very early stage of the planning process. We are striving to include all stakeholders to ultimately craft recommendations that truly reflect the needs and aspirations of this vibrant community,” said project manager Atara Margolies.

Listening Sessions
Community members’ participation in the planning process is vital to reflect the needs of the community, anticipates the changes to come, and retains the unique character and diversity that make Silver Spring a great place. Therefore, community members are encouraged to attend two upcoming online listening sessions.

These staff-facilitated sessions will include a short presentation about the background of the sector plan followed by most of the session where participants can share their input about the plan. Participants will be asked to respond to the following questions:

  • What do you like most about living in or near Silver Spring? What do you want to make sure is preserved?
  • What do you think needs improvement in Silver Spring?
  • What do you want to see happen in Silver Spring in the future and why?
  • What is your biggest concern about the future of Silver Spring?
  • What will make this plan a success for you?

To ensure a productive dialogue and safe and secure environment, we are requiring registrations. We will email registrants the link one hour ahead of the start time on the day of the event. Facilitators recommend participants log in 15 minutes prior to the start of the event.

Monday,  October 5, 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. – RSVP for the October 5 online listening session

Tuesday, October 13, 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. – RSVP for the October 13 online listening session

Due to the format of the event, facilitators request that participants join within the first 15 minutes of the event.

Montgomery Planning will also be offering Listening Sessions in Amharic and Spanish in October.  More information to come. If you are interested in participating in those sessions, please email lauren.stamm@montgomeryplanning.org.

Community members who are unable to attend these virtual sessions are encouraged to complete an online survey to share their thoughts about the future of Silver Spring and their engagement preferences for the plan.

Complete the online survey

Contact Montgomery Planning staff with any questions or comments:
Atara Margolies, Project Manager, via phone 301-495-4558 or Email
Leslye Howerton,  Master Planning Supervisor, Downcounty Planning, via phone 301-495-4566 or Email

Equitable Engagement

Named the fourth most culturally diverse location in the US, Silver Spring is home to residents from all over the world. The Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan team will work 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.

About the Plan

The 2000 Silver Spring Central Business District Sector Plan established a planning framework for downtown Silver Spring that envisioned a transit-oriented, green 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, approved by the Planning Board in June 2020.

The Montgomery County Planning Department and Planning Board are Moving

The Montgomery County Planning Department, Department of Parks and Planning Board are moving their headquarters from the downtown Silver Spring area to 2425 Reedie Dr., Wheaton, MD 20902 in late August 2020. Learn more about the new Wheaton Headquarters.