Silver Spring Community Invited to Virtually Kick Off the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan with Three Online Listening Sessions

July 1, 2020

downtown silver spring
Community members encouraged to share ideas and concerns with Montgomery Planning in July 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 the residents and business owners of the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan area to participate in a series of online listening sessions in July as part of the kickoff for the sector plan process. These listening sessions follow the approval of the plan’s scope of work by the Montgomery County Planning Board in June.

The Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan will follow a process prioritizing community input and feedback. Community engagement will begin with a series of listening sessions to better understand the hopes, needs and concerns of the entire community before planning specific engagement opportunities. Listening is one of four phases and will inform how Montgomery Planning can partner with and engage community members during the next three phases. The four phases of the plan include:

  • Listening/Collecting
  • Visioning/Imagining
  • Refining/Shaping
  • Sharing/Updating

The dates and access information for the three listening sessions are:

Tuesday, July 21, Noon to 1:15 p.m. 

Monday, July 27, 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.  

Tuesday, August 4, 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.  

“This new plan for the future of downtown Silver Spring begins with listening to community members,” said Planning Director Gwen Wright. “We are committed to creating a plan and engagement process that meet community members where they are and making the plan and engagement process accessible to all members of the community in downtown Silver Spring and surrounding neighborhoods.”

Each session will be 1 hour and 15 minutes and will consist of a short introduction, and then smaller group discussions. During the online event, participants will be asked to share their thoughts about Silver Spring and respond to prompts, such as:

  • What do you like or dislike about Silver Spring?
  • What do you wish Silver Spring had?
  • What hopes and fears do you have about the future of Silver Spring?
  • How do you want to share your thoughts and ideas with staff throughout this process?
  • What are the best ways to stay in touch with you?

Please see the plan FAQs to learn more about the plan and read about Montgomery Planning’s commitment to equitable engagement.

Questions, comments? Contact Montgomery Planning staff:

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

Community members’ voices and participation in the process is vital to planning that reflects the needs of the community, anticipates the changes to come, and retains the unique character and diversity that make Silver Spring a great place.

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.

A lot changed in the last 20 years. 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. 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.