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

November 18, 2020

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

WHEATON, 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 two online listening sessions on December 8 and 14 to share ideas, questions and concerns with Montgomery Planning staff. These virtual sessions will be held on Microsoft Teams. This round will wrap up Phase I of the Silver Spring Plan listening sessions and follows a series of virtual listening sessions that took place in the summer and fall. Though this is the final round of listening sessions in 2020, community engagement will continue in early 2021 with the presentation of the Existing Conditions Analysis and Visioning Workshops for Silver Spring downtown and adjacent communities.

“We have heard from over 400 community members about their hopes and concerns for Silver Spring, but we haven’t yet reached all of the diverse communities who live and work in the Plan area,” said Atara Margolies, project manager. “We encourage anyone who lives or works in downtown Silver Spring and the communities nearby to tell us what they think at this early stage of the planning process. We are striving to include all community members to ultimately craft recommendations that truly reflect the needs and aspirations of this vibrant community.”

Listening Sessions

Community members’ participation in the planning process is vital to reflect the needs of the community, anticipate the changes to come and retain the unique character and diversity that make Silver Spring a great place. Therefore, community members are encouraged to attend either of the two upcoming online listening sessions in December.
These staff-facilitated sessions will include a short presentation about the background of the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan, leaving the bulk of the session for participants to share their input about the Plan. Staff will ask participants 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 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. Due to the format of the event, facilitators request that participants log in 15 minutes prior to the start of the event and if that is not possible to join within the first 15 minutes of the event.

Tuesday, December 8, 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. – RSVP for the December 8 online listening session.

Monday, December 14, 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. – RSVP for the December 14 online listening session.

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

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 Division, via phone 301-495-4566 or Email

Equitable Engagement

Named the fourth most culturally diverse location in the United States, 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 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.