The Montgomery County Planning Department’s Design Excellence Awards have returned for 2021, according to an announcement on the department’s website. “The Montgomery County Planning Department is seeking to recognize exceptional architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism that makes a difference in people’s lives and represents the county’s highest quality of design to the region, state and nation. This year, Montgomery Planning will hold its fifth Design Excellence Awards competition to honor this work.”
The county’s Planning Department staff identified four themes that will guide the next stage in the process of developing a new Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities sector plan. The four themes—diversity, resiliency, connectivity and community health—grew out of a series of online meetings and other conversations during the “visioning” portion of the planning process, which took place in the spring.
The County Council has reappointed Commissioner Tina Patterson to the Montgomery County Planning Board for a second term, recognizing Patterson’s experience in alternative dispute resolution, commitment to economic development and the parks system, as well as her work on racial equity and social justice issues.
The county’s Planning Department has released a study that recommends a series of proposals that could strengthen diverse retailers in three areas. The Retail in Diverse Communities Study looked at three communities—Silver Spring, Takoma-Langley Crossroads, and Wheaton—where local businesses have faced recent challenges not only from the pandemic, but also from redevelopment (primarily Wheaton) and Purple Line construction.
Montgomery Planning staff working on the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan are scheduled to brief the Planning Board on the project at a meeting this morning. The presentation will include an overview of existing conditions data gathering and analysis, providing highlights and major takeaways since the project began seven months ago.