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Silver Spring

For more than a decade, planners have been envisioning downtown Silver Spring as an urban center that provides a hub of activity for the surrounding residential communities and beyond. The downtown has evolved into a lively mix of shops, restaurants, offices and civic uses that draws visitors throughout the down county area, especially on weekends.

Planners helped set the stage by drafting community plans that, once adopted by the County Council, allows mixed uses, creates active streetscapes connected to the Silver Spring Metro station, and a comprehensive system of open spaces to invite visitors. The Planning Board-approved site plan for the 22.5-acre parcel owned by the Peterson Companies reinvigorated Ellsworth Drive, creating a center of economic activity between the Discovery Channel headquarters and the Silver Spring Civic Building.

Silver Spring Central Business District Plan

The Silver Spring CBD Sector Plan, approved in 2000, envisions an active downtown serving both the surrounding residential communities and a broader regional market. The plan is organized around six major themes:

  1. Transit-oriented Downtown
  2. Commercial Downtown
  3. Residential Downtown
  4. Civic Downtown
  5. Green Downtown
  6. Pedestrian-friendly Downtown

Major recommendations

  • Encourage appropriate development consistent with the State's Smart Growth Policy.
  • Focus the higher densities near the Core of the downtown.
  • Encourage redevelopment consistent with the approved Urban Renewal Plan for Silver Spring.
  • Use zoning initiatives such as overlay zones to encourage redevelopment in three revitalization areas outside the Core and to encourage new housing development.
  • Provide a balanced transportation system and maximize Silver Spring's role as a transit hub.
  • Provide civic facilities that will help to make the downtown a center of community civic and cultural life

View the Silver Spring-area plans:

Silver Spring Central Business District Sector Plan
East Silver Spring Master Plan
North and West Silver Spring Master Plan
Silver Spring Green Space Guidelines
Long Branch
Takoma Park Master Plan
Takoma Langley Crossroads Sector Plan

M-NCPPC Staff Contact

Dominique Neam

Date of last update: April 30, 2012