Silver Spring Downtown Plan Scope of Work Approved by Planning Board

June 4, 2020

downtown silver spring
Approval of Scope of Work includes expanded plan boundary and marks the official 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), received approval on the Silver Spring Downtown Plan Scope of Work by the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday, June 4 at a virtual Planning Board meeting. The Board voted to move forward with Option D: Walkshed Expansion for the Silver Spring Downtown Plan boundary. This is an expansion within the half-mile/ten-minute pedestrian walkshed from the future Silver Spring Library Purple Line Station. This expansion option generally includes whole blocks that are within the walkshed, extending into the neighborhoods of Woodside, Woodside Park and East Silver Spring.

View the June 4 Silver Spring Downtown Plan Planning Board agenda items:

Staff Report – Silver Spring Downtown Plan Boundary Expansion Discussion
ATTACHMENT 1 – Addendum to the Scope of Work (5/28/2020)
ATTACHMENT 2 – Scope of Work (3/26/2020)

“I’m pleased that the Board approved the official start of the Silver Spring Downtown Plan,” said Planning Director Gwen Wright. “We are looking forward to a collaborative and exciting engagement process with the residents and business owners of the plan area.”

The approval of the scope of work is the first step in the master planning process. The scope of work outlines the purpose of the plan, elements to explore, boundary areas and timeline. With the approval of the scope of work, the planning team will start engaging the community and studying existing conditions of the area. The community is invited to review the FAQs on the plan website, request a meeting with the planning team and encouraged to sign up for the Silver Spring Downtown Plan eletter for the latest updates. The revised Scope of Work, including the now approved Plan Boundary (Option D) will be uploaded to the website in the coming days.

Equitable Engagement

Named the fourth most culturally diverse location in the US, Silver Spring is home to groups from all over the world. The Silver Spring Downtown 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.

The Silver Spring Downtown 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

Why Update the Plan Now?

Silver Spring’s revitalization since 2000 resulted in an economic and retail center that draws downtown residents and other consumers to a variety of local and ethnically diverse venues from day to night all week long. In the last decade, numerous high-rise apartment buildings have sprung up, adding thousands of housing units to the downtown Silver Spring area.

Since 2000, three Silver Spring planning efforts were completed:

Plans are designed with a 20-year timeframe and the changes coming to Silver Spring in the near future compel us to reconsider Silver Spring through a new planning effort. The key reasons to update the plan now include:

  • Addressing the impacts of the new Purple Line in Downtown Silver Spring and the surrounding community – the Purple Line is already under construction and will position Silver Spring as a key node on the east-west light-rail network, with two stops in downtown Silver Spring and another just outside the downtown area.
  • The region’s housing shortage – particularly in affordable housing – necessitates looking at new opportunities in downtown Silver Spring.

Stay informed: Sign up for the Silver Spring Downtown Plan eletter to get updates.

For more information about the Silver Spring Downtown Plan, contact:

Atara Margolies – Project Manager 301-495-4558 Email
Leslye Howerton – Area 1 Master Planning Supervisor  301-495-4566 Email