SILVER SPRING - The public is invited to join a panel of planning experts, developers and civic activists in a community growth policy forum and discussion moderated by Montgomery County Planning Board Chairman Royce Hanson on Saturday, May 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Park and Planning Headquarters located at 8787 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring.
The forum is part of a series of hearings and public events to help the Planning Board gather public input and answer such questions as: how the county should grow, where growth should take place and what public officials can do to sustain and build upon the county’s high quality of life.
Next month, the Board will send recommendations to the Montgomery County Council on ways to direct new development to areas in the county where taxpayer-funded services - such as public transportation, water/sewer, and police and fire services - are already in place. The recommendations may include improving analysis of traffic patterns, restructuring development impact taxes and how to improve community design.
Confirmed panelists include:
· Leonard Bogorad, a national real estate analyst and managing director of a Bethesda consulting firm
· Ralph Bennett, president of a Takoma Park architecture firm
· Georgette “Gigi” Godwin, interim president and CEO, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
· Jim Humphrey, a volunteer advocate who consults on zoning and development issues and serves on the Montgomery County Civic Federation
· Pam Lindstrom, an urban planning advocate at the Sierra Club
· Stuart Rochester, chair of the Fairland Master Plan Citizens Advisory Committee
· Jim Soltesz, president of an engineering consulting firm, who has served on many committees dealing with transportation, school financing and more
· Bob Spalding, a land development project manager for a homebuilder in the tri-state area and a former transportation and land use planner
· Chris Weber, a director at a real estate investment trust that specializes in development of retail and mixed use real estate
Preliminary staff reports about the growth policy recommendations are available at www.mcparkandplanning.org/development/agp/agphome.shtm.
Those interested in county growth issues may listen to a diverse slate of nationally renowned planning experts during the Planning Board’s growth management speaker series that continues through the spring and early summer.