Visions for Urban Areas in Montgomery County - Next Up: Bethesda Central Business District 11/15 Land Use Seminar
November 15, 2013
“Men come together in cities in order to live; they remain together in order to live the good life.”
So said Aristotle, and so did Montgomery County Planning Director Gwen Wright as developers, property owners, architectural and engineering consultants, real estate brokers, smart growth advocates and lenders joined the attorneys of Lerch, Early & Brewer's land use practice at Columbia Country Club for a discussion on the future of urban areas in Montgomery County. Primarily concentrated around metro stops, these areas drive the economic growth of the County. Transit-oriented development in White Flint, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Gaithersburg, Germantown Rockville, and Bethesda is pivotal to Montgomery County as the area seeks to attract an increasingly diverse, technologically savvy, well-educated population looking for walkable places to work, live, and play.
In 1994, the Bethesda CBD Sector Plan was created as a blueprint for Bethesda's development. Since then, Bethesda has emerged as the economic engine of Montgomery County and a showpiece for mixed-use, transit-oriented development. What's next?
The upcoming Bethesda CBD Sector Plan review is a significant harbinger of planned urban design for the County. The Sector Plan process reevaluates original functions, design goals, and the desired environment. It also provides opportunities for new development and opens debate about what "smart growth" means for Bethesda and Montgomery County's future.
The speakers were:
- Gwen Wright, Director of the Montgomery County Planning Department
- Matt Hopkins, Director of Architecture and Sustainability at Streetsense
- James McCandless, Director of Retail for Streetsense
They addressed the economic and urban development issues raised by the pending Bethesda CBD Sector Plan and the opportunity to increase the diversity of employment, housing, and retail to serve current and future residents. Lerch Early land use attorney Patrick O'Neil moderated the event.