Nancy Floreen's Montgomery in Focus, March 2017

Apply Now for Planning Board

Nancy Floreen

We’re now taking applications for the Planning Board. This is an important position as the Planning Board serves as the Council’s principal adviser on land use planning and community planning. This means the board is responsible for preparation and amendment of the County General Plan; preparation and amendment of master plans and functional plans; implementation of the subdivision process and a whole lot more.

The Planning Board meets all day every Thursday and often meets on one other evening a week. The entire Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission meets the third Wednesday of every month. On average, a Planning Board member can expect to spend at least two full days a week in scheduled and informational meetings. Additionally, substantial time is required for preparatory work and other activities related to Planning Board responsibilities.

The second term of Marye Wells-Harley (Democrat) will expire on June 14, and she is not eligible for reappointment. Get your application in by April 12. See the full press release.

Revised PHED Schedule for Bethesda Plan

Bethesda Downtown Plan book cover

We have revised the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee's schedule for considering the Bethesda Downtown Plan. The PHED Committee already held worksessions on February 6, 13 and 27. The agendas for the March 2 and March 6 PHED meetings have been switched with each other. The March 6 meeting is not related to the Bethesda Downtown Plan. Here is the updated schedule:

  • March 2, 2:00, Bethesda Downtown Plan, continued
  • March 13, 2:00, Bethesda Downtown Plan, ZTA 16-20--Overlay Zone

All of the committee meetings will be televised live and on demand, so tune in to County Cable Montgomery if you want to follow along. The Council held three public hearings on the Bethesda Downtown Plan on October 18, 19 and 20, but you can still send your comments to We want your input, and we give equal weight to written and oral testimony. You can get agendas and background information at the Council Meeting Portal.

We have not yet scheduled a date for the full Council to consider the Bethesda Downtown Plan.

Preventing Hate Crimes in Our County

Check out the Council's recent panel discussion (February 14, agenda item 6) on County and community efforts to prevent hate crimes and extremism locally.

In 2016, there were 94 reported bias incidents, which is an increase of 42.4 percent over 2015 (66). Of these, 34 percent were reported in November and December.

In 2016, the primary bias motivation was religious bias (40.4 percent of incidents), followed by racial bias (36.2 percent of incidents). The remaining 22 incidents were motivated by biases against ethnicity (12), sexual orientation (6) and gender (4). Of those motivated by race, most were anti-black bias incidents. Those motivated by religion mostly were anti-Jewish. Schools were the targets of 21 incidents: six in elementary schools, two in middle schools, 11 in high schools and two at Montgomery College.

Fast Fact

Nancy Floreen shopping for apples.

As a result of legislation the Montgomery County Council passed last year, the County has launched a strategic plan to address the nearly 78,000 County residents who are unsure where they will get their next meal. Although the Department of Health and Human Service and its non-profit partners already go to great lengths to address food insecurity, the Council identified the need for a comprehensive plan to ensure that we’re deploying our resources efficiently and effectively. The Plan targets a 22 percent reduction in the number of food insecure individuals in three years. That would result in 15,000 more people who will have confidence in their ability to access food. Learn more.

Green Tip of the Month

Take the Parks Department's survey to help planners identify where to develop new parks, how to renovate existing parks and what kinds of programs and amenities you’d like to see in parks. What parks and amenities do you use most? Which ones need to be improved? What’s missing? This is your chance to weigh in.

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.

March 2017

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