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Westbard Sector Plan Preparation Details

PlanWestbard: Retrofitting the Westbard Suburb

In 2014, the County Council approved placement of the Westbard Sector Plan on the Montgomery County Planning Department's FY15 Work Program to plan for Westbard's next twenty years. At the end of a multi-year process, an Approved and Adopted Westbard Sector Plan will be available. That plan replaces the previous effort that was concluded in 1982. The approved and adopted Westbard Sector Plan is available here.

Below is much of the Web content that was developed to guide the 2014 - 2016 effort. Included is meeting information, minutes, and more. This provides a good record of the outreach process, what was discussed in those meetings, and sources information considered during the preparation and review of the 2016 plan.

Development Review Committee

The Development Review Committee (DRC) meeting took place on August 22, 2016, at 9:30 a.m. at Montgomery Planning Headquaters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910). The purpose of the meeting is for staff from Park and Planning and other reviewing agencies (DOT, Permitting Services, utilities, etc.) to provide technical comments pertaining to this Sketch Plan review (including conformance with the recommendations of the Sector Plan) directly to the applicant and raise other issues to be addressed during review of subsequent applications. For a contact list of DRC agencies, click here.
The public may attend DRC, but may not participate. Please direct comments and questions for planning issues to John Marcolin, and for parks issues to Susanne Paul.

View the DRC Comments and Meeting Minutes:

News and Events


Willett Branch Coordination Meetings

The Willett Branch coordination meetings are between Planning Staff, the Little Falls Watershed Alliance, local property owners and local citizens. The purpose of these meetings is to review the progress of the Willett Branch Naturalization project in conjunction with the recently submitted Equity One Sketch Plan.

Review the meeting schedule below (meetings will be held at Montgomery Planning Headquarters, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910).

View the 3-D Massing Diagrams of Westbard

Planning Department Releases Planning Board Draft of Westbard Sector Plan

Westbard Public Hearing DraftThe Montgomery County Planning Board approved the Westbard Sector Plan at its meeting on Thursday, December 17 for transmittal to the Montgomery County Council and Office of the County Executive.

View the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan.

The County Council has scheduled a public hearing on the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan for Tuesday, January 26, 2016 in the Council Hearing Room (100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD). Community members interested in testifying in person must sign up in advance online or call 240-777-7803 for more information.

The Planning Board previously held three work sessions on the Westbard Sector Plan to address schools, transportation, land uses, zoning, open spaces and historic and cultural resources. A fourth work session was held to finalize zoning language for specific properties in the Plan area. The Planning Board’s revisions are reflected in the newest draft of the Sector Plan.

These changes affect some building heights, address the need for community-serving uses, increase affordable housing requirements in certain circumstances and add restrictions to commercial uses in areas abutting single-family residential neighborhoods.

Planning Department Released Public Hearing Draft of Westbard Sector Plan

Westbard Public Hearing DraftThe Board held its public hearing on the Westbard Sector Plan on Thursday, September 24 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD) where the community commented on the Plan’s recommendations. View the afternoon and evening speaker lists.

View the Public Hearing Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan.

The public is also invited to submit comments on the Public Hearing Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan via email to These comments will become part of the public testimony and public record for the Plan.

Following the public hearing, the Planning Board will hold several work sessions on the Sector Plan from October through December 2015 to discuss the community testimony as well as issues Board members want to address.

At the conclusion of the work sessions, the Plan will be revised per the Planning Board’s direction and transmitted to the County Council and County Executive as the Planning Board Draft. The County Council will hold a public hearing on the Planning Board Draft of the Westbard Sector Plan in 2016.

More information.

Planning Department Releases Working Draft of Westbard Sector Plan

Working DraftRecommendations include creating better connections to the Capital Crescent Trail, restoring the Willett Branch stream and encouraging revitalization of older retail areas

The new Sector Plan builds on the assets of Westbard by offering ways to improve its retail and light industrial areas, housing choices and open spaces over the next 20 years. Recommendations in the Plan focus on: 

  • Encouraging more housing choices and revitalizing older retail areas.
  • Emphasizing low-scale development at five to seven stories.
  • Preserving local light industrial uses.
  • Restoring the Willett Branch stream as a public amenity.
  • Creating better access to the Capital Crescent Trail.
  • Establishing new gathering spaces and parks.
  • Enhancing walkability with sidewalks shaded by street trees.

Review the Westbard Sector Plan Public Hearing Draft

Review the Westbard Sector Plan Working Draft Powerpoint presentation (pdf, 27MB) from Thursday, July 16.

View the Westbard Sector Plan (pdf, 14MB)

PlanWestbard Community Charrette

Planning staff concluded its weeklong PlanWestbard Community Charrette- as series of intensive workshops- with a final presentation at Westland Middle School on November 18. The purpose of the charrette was to gather ideas and craft a concept framework plan for the Westbard Sector Plan. During the Charrette office hours, planning staff held meetings with various agencies, associations, businesses, and residents of the Westbard community. These meetings were made public so those who were interested had a chance to listen in. The Planning Department staff thanks the numerous residents, property and business owners, and interested citizens who offered valuable ideas about the area, from affordable housing to new streets and parks.

“The community charrette was a great starting point for the plan,” says lead planner John Marcolin. “A lot of valuable ideas emerged to give us momentum in planning Westbard’s future. We encourage the community to continue to give us feedback as we work on refining the plan concepts over the next few months.”

Check out the PlanWestbard community charrette schedule (pdf, 5MB).


Westbard Briefing Book

Westbard Briefing Book New: Check out the Westbard Briefing Book (pdf, 5MB) which summarizes the existing conditions of the Westbard Sector Plan area. This book is intended to be used as a reference for the community who lives, works and shops in the Westbard Sector Plan area in conjunction with the Sector Plan update that began in July 2014.

The 1982 Westbard Sector Plan Boundary

close upOutline of Boundary from 1982 Sector Plan

What Should Westbard Be in 20 Years?

The current Westbard Sector Plan was published in 1982. It is now being updated to keep pace with the times, and changes in the community. There are many ways to get involved with the Westbard process. Stay connected and engaged online and with the planning team. Sign up for the PlanWestbard-E-Newsletter.

Other Studies

Join Us for PlanWestbard! Here is the Schedule 8/27/2014

Remember, there will also be Online Events for you to share your ideas, answer key questions and see what others  are saying using your own lap top, smartphone, tablet or desktop at a time - and place - convenient for you.

Go to the Blue Box on the upper right side of this page to sign up for our e-mail list to receive updates on the following schedule and about Online Events.


Fall 2014

  • September 20: Westbard Food Truck Rally 12pm - 6pm (Westbard Super Giant)
  • September 23: PlanWestbard Kickoff meeting and Existing Conditions,Opportunities and Constraints Workshop. Walt Whitman High School Cafeteria 7PM - 9PM. Check out the powerpoint presentation that was given by staff at this meeting.
  • October 21: PlanWestbard Scope of Work Community Meeting- Walt Whitman High School Caeteria 7PM-9PM. Powerpoint presentation
  • October 30: PlanWestbard Scope of Work to Planning Board
  • November 10-November 14: PlanWestbard Charrette with the entire community.  Westbard Planners from the Montgomery County Planning Department will be working from a rented space in the center of the Westbard Community. We will be in Westbard all day, on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of the PlanWestbard Charrette week. At the PlanWestbard Charrette, there will be separate meetings with different stakeholder throughout the week. Drop-in hours will be publicized closer to the date and will include evening hours for the convenience of the community.
  • Monday November 10: PlanWestbard Visioning Workshop with the Community 7-9 PM Walt Whitman High School Cafeteria
  • November 18: Presentation of PlanWestbard Charrette findings to the Community  incorporating input from the Charrette process into draft recommendations. Westland Middle School Cafeteria 7PM-9PM.
  • December 18: Report to Planning Board on the PlanWestbard Charrette and Outcomes

Winter 2014 through Fall 2015

  • December & January 2014, February, 2015: Staff prepares PlanWestbard Preliminary Recommendations
  • April 22: Planning Staff presents preliminary recommendation to Community at the Walt Whitman High School cafeteria 6:30-8:30PM
  • April 30: Planning Staff presents PlanWestbard preliminary recommendations to Planning Board
  • July 16: Staff Draft Presentation to Planning Board
  • September 24: Planning Board Hearing
  • Fall 2015: Planning Board Workshops
  • 2016: Council Public Hearing and worksessions

Fall 2014 through Fall 2016

  • November 2015 through March 2016: County Council Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee worksessions on the PlanWestbard Planning Board Draft Plan.
  • May 2016: Council Adoption and Resolution
  • May 2016 through September 2016: Planning Commission Adoption and Sectional Map Amendment (SMA). The SMA is a legislative action to make any recommended zoning changes or confirmations.


Aerial View of Westbard

See the Equity One website: 'Westbard Vision'

For information on the 2014 private sector outreach for the Equity One properties:

Wide Angle View of Shopping Center and parking lot

This strip shopping center with surface parking is owned by Equity One and proposed for redevelopment.

Comments & questions

Let us know what you think about the Westbard Plan, PlanWestbard, today or as the update unfolds. Or ask any questions you have.

Connect with us

Sign up: for the PlanWestbard-E-Newsletter
thePlanWestbard Hotlinefor updates on upcoming planning events: 301-495-4567
Follow: updates on Twitter: @planwestbard
Use the hastag: #PlanWestbard
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Staff Contact

John Marcolin, Project Manager


Staff photo

Last updated: September 15, 2016

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