SILVER SPRING, MD – On Wednesday, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission approved a new sector plan for Twinbrook, creating a comprehensive guide to the area’s land use, zoning, and transportation system, as well as strategies to protect its historic and environmental resources.
The sector plan, inked by planners last year, was reviewed, modified and approved unanimously by the County Council in November. The final plan positions the community of Twinbrook for a mix of residential, biotechnology and light industrial uses. Located by the Red Line Metro stop of the same name, Twinbrook is well-suited for more housing, particularly as people seek ways to leave their cars behind.
The Twinbrook Sector Plan is the first of a group of new plans – including the communities of Gaithersburg West, Germantown and White Flint – moving forward in the I-270 corridor.
Other highlights of the plan include a focus on outstanding urban design, including high-quality public spaces for the community; a safe, inviting environment for pedestrians, particularly around the Metro; creating a welcoming environment for biotechnology, building on existing government agencies and private businesses; and fostering a mix of new jobs, homes, retail outlets, and technology-oriented business integrated in unique ways.
One of the Planning Department’s key tasks is to write master or sector plans for every area of the county. Each plan is intended to look ahead 15 to 20 years. Master and sector plans establish zoning and are used as guides for funding public improvements and for when policy-makers review applications for development. Planners work with the Planning Board to finalize plan drafts, then transmit them to the County Council for deliberation and eventual approval.
The next step for planners is to revise zoning maps for Twinbrook as recommended in the sector plan. Called a sectional map amendment, the process creates new zones for individual and collective tracts. All property owners affected by any recommended change in zoning are notified individually to testify at the County Council’s public hearing on a proposed Sectional Map Amendment.