Silver Spring Community Invited to Attend Virtual Listening Sessions and “Office Hours” for Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan

July 23, 2020

downtown silver spring
Community members encouraged to share ideas, questions and concerns with Montgomery Planning to mark the start of the sector plan process

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 a series of online listening sessions and virtual “office hours” to provide ideas, questions and concerns with Montgomery Planning staff as they officially kickoff the plan in the community. These virtual sessions will be held on Microsoft Teams. This first round of community engagement follows the Montgomery County Planning Board’s approval of the plan’s scope of work in June.

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 three 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.

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

Monday, July 27, 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. – RSVP for the July 27 online listening session

Wednesday, July 29, 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. – RSVP for the July 29 online listening session

Tuesday, August 4, 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. – RSVP for the August 4 online listening session

Office Hours

In addition to the listening sessions, Montgomery Planning invites residents, business owners and other members of the community to attend weekly online “office hours” during the month of August for one-on-one conversations with a planner, to ask questions or share thoughts about the future of the plan area. Community members can join the sessions at any time between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. each week. Registrations are required to receive the log in information.

Contact Montgomery Planning staff with any questions or comments:

Atara Margolies, Project Manager, via phone 301-495-4558 or Email
Leslye Howerton, Area 1 Master Planning Supervisor, 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.

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 August 2020.  Learn more about the new Wheaton Headquarters.