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At this year's Maryland Association of Counties Winter Conference, I was asked to speak to our role as legislators in leading the charge for smart growth. As I thought about this presentation, I asked myself what is the biggest lesson I have learned over the past eight years as we in Montgomery County have sought to implement smart growth principles.  And the answer I would offer is simply this – change is hard, and changing a deeply rooted culture is even harder. The whole speech can be found here.

Councilmember Berliner Calls on County Executive to Not Drive Uber & Lyft Out of County

Today, I urged County Executive Leggett not to drive away Uber, but to use this moment as an opportunity to embrace the innovation that Uber has started, and give all taxi companies in the county the ability to compete and to improve service for consumers and drivers. My committee will hold hearings this fall on how we can create policies in Montgomery that support successful and innovative taxicab service for the 21st Century.

My letter to County Executive letter can be viewed here. Additionally, the letter sent from Art Holmes to Uber can be found here


Bethesda Downtown Plan

After 20 years, the Bethesda Master Plan is getting a fresh new look. With the help of residents, businesses, and community groups, the Montgomery County Planning Department is looking to create a more modern Downtown Bethesda, while enhancing what has made this part of of our community such a success. The work on the Plan will be organized around three themes: social sustainability, economic sustainability and environmental sustainability.

To begin this undertaking, the Planning Department and Parks Department collected information on the existing conditions found in Downtown Bethesda, including the environmental conditions, the historic resources, demographics and market/economic data (Which can be found in the Bethesda Briefing Book). With all of this information, the Planning Department will create a work plan and determine the scope of the work needed to properly meet the needs of all parties involved. Throughout the Spring of 2014 the Planning Department held public workshops & community meetings in order to take the current pulse of Bethesda residents, business owners, & stakeholders 

Coming in June 2014, the Planning Department will release its initial staff recommendations. After the initial set of recommendations are completed, the staff will create a draft for the Downtown Plan. After both of these documents are released, public comment will be solicited to help shape the collective vision of Downtown Bethesda. A helpful schedule of these proceedings can be found here

Once the Planning Board reviews and approves a Draft Plan, it will go to the County Council for review. In its review process, the Council will hold another set of Public Hearings in order to hear your thoughts on the plan before the Council. After the public hearings and the review processes of the Executive & Council, the Council will vote on adopting the Master Plan. 

For more information on the Bethesda Master Plan visit

Latest News

Road Repair & Utility Work -  Bradley Boulevard, which is maintained by the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and serves as a primary commuter and transit route through my district, has been the site of an ongoing WSSC restoration project. I recently sent a letter to the SHA and WSSC asking that they reevaluate their permitting process for work along roads such as Bradley Boulevard to ensure that mistakes seen with this project - frequent road closures, nighttime work on the weekends, and the general pace of the utility work - do not happen again. I am grateful that the WSSC responded in a timely manner, stating that that they are moving away from lowest-bid contracting and have recently been utilizing other selection.  


Council Selects Natali Fani-Gonzalez for County Planning Board Seat  - The Montgomery County Council today unanimously named Natali Fani-Gonzalez to a vacant position on the Montgomery County Planning Board. Ms. Fani-Gonzalez, a Kensington resident, was one of 25 applicants for the position. The Council interviewed four of those applicants. She will serve a four-year term. Ms. Fani-Gonzalez is the founder and principal of The Matea Group, a strategic public relations firm based in Montgomery County. “As part of the millennial generation—the largest and most diverse generation in the history of the nation, I will bring a pragmatic vision with a strong social conscience amplified by the use of technology,” she wrote in her letter of application. “Indisputably, the planning of a strong and successful Montgomery County must include the realities of my generation: an innovated, open-minded, achievement-orientated, socially focused, informed and high-tech community.” For more information, please see the Council’s full press release.

Updates On....

Affordable Housing    Artificial Turf    Bag Fee   BCC Middle School    Bikeshare BRAC   

Brickyard School Site    Budget   Bus Rapid Transit   C&O Canal   Chevy Chase Lake    

Complete Streets    Economic Dev.   Education Farmers Markets   Infrastructure   Metro   

N. Bethesda Rec. Center Org. Reform Comm.    Parks and Recreation    Pepco   Public Safety    

Purple Line Residential Energy   Small Business    Snow Removal    Transparency    

Trees Utility 2.0     White Flint   Zoning

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