Nancy Floreen's Montgomery in Focus, July edition

Zoning Code Rewrite FAQs

Nancy Floreen and cameraman.

To make sure you are able to follow along as we continue to work through the Zoning Code Rewrite, we now have a page dedicated to the rewrite where you can get all of the staff memoranda and watch recordings of earlier meetings. Best of all, there is now an FAQ section that answers the questions that have come up most often in testimony and communications from residents. If you are looking for even more background information, check out the overview or the interactive map where you can see how proposed changes would affect your property.

Over the years, the Zoning Code has become overly technical, contradictory in some places and difficult to understand. We aim to make the revised version more transparent, clear and consistent. I encourage you to weigh in as we continue to work through this comprehensive project.

Fireworks on the Fourth

Dog wearing flag bandana.

Montgomery County will again host two Independence Day fireworks displays on July 4--Germantown Glory at the SoccerPlex in the South Germantown Recreational Park, 18041 Central Park Circle, Boyds and Mid-County Sparkles at Albert Einstein High School, 11135 Newport Road, Kensington. Both fireworks displays will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.

Germantown Glory will kick off at 7 p.m. with a concert by Bobby and the Believers. Ample, free parking is available at the park.

Mid-County Sparkles activities begin at 7:30 p.m. with a concert by Quiet Fire Soul. Since there will be no on-site parking at the school or at adjacent properties, except for handicapped parking, shuttle buses will pick up passengers, beginning at 6:15 p.m., at Westfield Wheaton Metro Parking Garage adjacent to the JC Penney Department Store. Overflow parking will be available in the south parking lot by Penney.

Low lawn chairs, blankets and coolers are welcome at both events. Food vendors will be on site. No alcoholic beverages are permitted. The rain date for fireworks only is July 5. No shuttle service will be available on the 5th. For more information, call 240-777-6821 or go to the Recreation Department's Web site.

In addition to the County’s two events, a number of neighborhoods and municipalities are hosting celebrations with fireworks, including Gaithersburg, Rockville, Takoma Park, Poolesville and Damascus. My dog and I will be at Leisure World, Takoma Park, Woodacres, Somerset and Friendship Heights during the day, so stop by and say hello.

Pool Safety Tips

Our fire and rescue officials tell us that drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages one to four and the third leading cause of death among children generally. That’s why they are urging us to take proper precautions around the water and to diligently supervise children when they are around any water sources. The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and the Department of Recreation are joining forces to promote these important safety tips.

Gwen Wright Selected as Planning Director

The Montgomery County Planning Board has selected a new planning director, placing a professional who has held top planning jobs in the City of Alexandria, Virginia, and our own Montgomery County Planning Department at the helm of the county’s 150-member planning department. I look forward to working with Gwen Wright once again beginning July 1.

Ms. Wright was with the Montgomery County Planning Department from 1987 to 2008, most recently as Acting Director of the Department and prior to that as Chief of Countywide Planning. Currently, she is Chief of the Development Division at the City of Alexandria, Virginia’s Department of Planning and Zoning. She has a degree in Architecture and Architectural History from Yale University. Ms. Wright has been a speaker at the national conferences of the American Planning Association and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a university instructor in planning and zoning and preservation, and a board member of the Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions.

As planning director, Ms. Wright will oversee a department responsible for making recommendations to the board on master plans, development applications, forest conservation, historic preservation, and a host of other land-use issues.

Thanks go to Rose Krasnow for her exceptional efforts as Acting Planning Director since last spring. We are extremely grateful for her management expertise, her unfailing professionalism and her willingness to serve in this demanding position.

Fast Fact

Where do you think the new Early Voting Centers should be? Let the Board of Elections know at a public hearing on July 27 10:00 a.m.

Due to the success of early voting in the 2012 presidential election and the need to accommodate more voters in the process, the Maryland General Assembly recently passed legislation, that the Governor signed into law, expanding the number of Early Voting Centers in Montgomery County from five to eight. Montgomery County, due to its size also has the option to seek a ninth site. Learn more.

Green Tip of the Month


To make it even easier to find locally grown products, the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development recently added an interactive map on its Web site of all 22 farmers markets in the County.

Montgomery County is home to more than 500 farms, including 8,000 horses on horse farms; 78 fruit, vegetable, nut, flower and Christmas tree farms; and 80 cattle farms with more than 2,400 cows.

Get your printable brochure of all County farmers markets on the farmers market page. For more information about local farmers markets, call 301-590-2823. Farmers interested in participating in one or more of the markets can call 301-590-2810 for more information.

Let's Talk

Is your community organization hosting a public meeting? Please let me know how I can help. I am happy to assist residents in understanding pending bills or in finding ways to get involved in the political process. Even more important, I want to hear about what matters to you. Send your meeting notices to or call 240-777-7959 if you would like me to address a particular topic with your group.

July 2013

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