Planning Board Approves Design Guidelines for the Rock Spring and White Flint 2 Plans

The Montgomery County Planning Board approved the design guidelines for the Rock Spring Master Plan and White Flint 2 Sector Plan on July 25, 2019.

The Rock Spring and White Flint 2 Sector Plan Design Guidelines aim to ensure that new building projects fit into the character of each area and provide stakeholders with a consistent starting point for reviewing proposed developments. They allow for flexibility in interpreting the standards and proposing creative alternatives to the guidelines that still meet their intent.

Free trees for White Flint/North Bethesda/Grosvenor residents

To increase the urban tree canopy, the Montgomery Planning Department has launched Shades of Green, a program that provides free trees and planting for qualifying property owners in North Bethesda, Grosvenor and White Flint.  (Other parts of the County, too, but that’s not our focus.)

Here are the rules:

Trees cannot be planted in street rights-of-way. Rights-of-way are publicly owned lands that typically include streets and sidewalks.

Applicants must complete every field in the tree-planting request form.

Planners will respond to applications within 48 hours.

A site evaluation must be scheduled to confirm adequacy of space and location.

By partnering with property owners to plant trees on their land, planners will beautify urban districts, reduce street and air temperatures, and improve quality of life for all residents.

Shades of Green is financed through the Forest Conservation Fund, made up of contributions paid during the development process as compensation for tree loss when tree-planting on site is impractical.

Urban Parks and Public Spaces Design Guidelines

The Montgomery Planning Department is working on The Urban Parks and Public Spaces (UPPS) Design Guidelines to create inviting, easily accessible, attractive, comfortable, and safe public spaces. When complete, the Urban Parks and Public Spaces Design Guidelines will be a companion document to the Energized Public Spaces Functional Master Plan (EPS) Plan.

The UPPS Design Guidelines will provide overall direction for major features of parks and public spaces design including the recommended size, type of experiences and amenities for each park type should provide.

These guidelines will aim to create places within a short walk where people of all ages and incomes can meet, play, relax, exercise, enjoy nature and more in a range of parks and public spaces where we have the most people.

The guidelines will:

Develop flexible guidelines for urban parks and public spaces

Create a common language for planners, developers and citizens

Integrate lessons learned from case studies.

The public comment period will take place this fall.

Learn more by visiting

Two, yes two, White Flint 2 work session summaries

April 27th Work Session 

The Planning Staff made a presentation to the Planning Board on Transportation and Staging.  You can read the Planning Staff memo here.  Below are a few of our favorite slides, and you can see the entire slide deck here.

There was considerable discussion about the proper place for the circulator/shuttle in the staging plan.  Staff had recommended that the circulator/shuttle be moved to the first stage. There was also discussion about funding for the circulator and what constitutes a shuttle.

The Planning Staff recommended the appropriate measurement for traffic on the western side of White Flint 2 should be the 120-second standard used in White Flint 1 rather than the 71-second standard used in the rest of North Bethesda.


May 4th Work Session

The Planning Staff focused on Design Guidelines during this work session. Here is the staff memo. Mostly the design guidelines echo those of White Flint 1 — short blocks, broad sidewalks, public spaces, introducing activating uses along Route 355, etc. You can view all the slides in their presentation here. Below are a few of our favorite slides.


Two Upcoming Planning Meetings

Grosvenor-Strathmore-Logo_FINAL-1024x399Thursday, July 7, 2016 Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Area Minor Master Plan 7 to 9 p.m. at the Strathmore Music Center’s Comcast Lounge (5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD).

The Planning Department is initiating a Minor Master Plan at Grosvenor metro to explore the potential for development that would advance the public policy goal of transit-oriented development at the metro station.  The planning effort will also explore ways to enhance visibility and connectivity to the Strathmore Music Center, improve pedestrian linkages throughout the area and create a shared identity for this community through public space and art.

4 Sections of the White Flint 2 Sector

Monday, July 11, 2016 White Flint 2 Preliminary Recommendations 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Luxmanor Elementary School

Learn what the Planning Department is initially planning for White Flint 2. What will it look like? How should it be redeveloped? What about the vacant office space on Executive Boulevard? How many residences should be allowed? What community amenities, green spaces, and connections are planed?

White Flint II

White Flint 2

The Montgomery County Planning Department says the plan for White Flint 2 could be ready for Council review by December 2016 with the planning process re-started this June.

The White Flint 2 Sector Plan includes 209 acres and includes a horseshoe-shaped area on either side of Rockville Pike between the White Flint area and the official boundary of the City of Rockville.

“There’s money to be made there,” Councilmember George Leventhal said during the Council’s semi-annual review of the Planning Department’s work schedule. “White Flint 2 has the nearest-term opportunity to grow our tax base significantly. I don’t think it’s especially controversial.”