Category: County News

Council Votes to Add More Funding to Assist in COVID-19 Recovery

The County Council this week approved two special appropriations and introduced a third designed to help businesses and organizations recover from the COVID-19 emergency. The council unanimously okayed $14 million to create the Reopen Montgomery Business Assistance Program. The funds will reimburse county businesses and nonprofit organizations reopening expenses incurred to comply with new state and county health regulations due to the crisis.

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New Bill Would Provide Tax Incentive for Housing on WMATA Property

Councilmembers Hans Riemer and Andrew Friedson introduced legislation Tuesday that would extend Metro’s existing property tax abatement for 15 years for new high-rise development. Bill 29-20, the “More Housing at Metrorail Stations Act,” would require the Director of Finance to offer a payment in lieu of taxes for a high-rise building constructed by a private developer on property leased from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority at a Metro station.

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Some Restrictions on Parks, Libraries Lifted This Week

The county’s parks and library branches this week will begin lifting some restrictions imposed as part of the COVID-19 lockdown and offering certain services and amenities. Beginning today (June 29), Montgomery Parks will be reopening playgrounds to patrons under certain guidelines, and library book drops will open for returns (with some exceptions).

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Planning Report Recommends Ways to Increase Comfort Levels Walking to Purple Line Stations

The county’s Planning Department has released a report that analyzed and made recommendations concerning the level of comfort for pedestrians walking to future Purple Line stations. The Purple Line report focuses specifically on the comfort level for pedestrians walking within a half-mile of each station.

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Vandals Deface Confederate Memorial at Grace Church

Vandals defaced a memorial marking the graves of 17 Confederate soldiers buried in Grace Church Cemetery at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Grace Church Road. The bodies were relocated from their original graves near Fort Stevens in Washington, D.C. to the cemetery in 1874, according to “Silver Spring and the Civil War,” written by Woodside Park resident Robert Oshel.

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Part of Georgia Avenue Will Close Temporarily to Allow Outdoor Dining

A portion of Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring will be temporarily closed as of 5 p.m. June 12 to allow restaurants additional space to provide customers outdoor dining. The right lanes of Georgia will be shut down between Silver Spring and Thayer avenues in a pilot project that will run through at least June 21. The pilot, known as Streetdine, is the result of a collaboration between the State Highway Administration, the Silver Spring Urban District, County Council Vice President Tom Hucker (D-District 5) and local business owners.

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County Board Approves Expanded Area for Downtown Planning Study

The Montgomery County Planning Board yesterday unanimously approved a Scope of Work for the Silver Spring Downtown Plan that adds portions of adjacent neighborhoods to the study area. The decision at the virtual meeting adopted staff boundary Option D, an expansion within a half-mile/ten-minute pedestrian “walkshed” from the future Silver Spring Library Purple Line Station.

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Planning Board to Consider Scope of Silver Spring Downtown Sector Plan Work

The Montgomery Planning Board will consider a proposed scope of work for a Silver Spring Downtown Sector Plan at a virtual meeting Thursday, June 4. The work, the first step in the planning process, is intended as an update to the 2000 Silver Spring Central Business District Plan. It includes consideration of the boundaries of the current CBD and whether expansion of the area into the downtown sector plan would be a part of the process.

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