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Community outreach in Westbard

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Communications is never as important as when you’re dealing with communities concerned about the impact of development on their neighborhoods. For two years we’ve been engaged with the Westbard community, helping to keep them informed about the review process for the 1982 Westbard Sector Plan (the oldest in Montgomery County) and Equity One’s plans to redevelop Westwood Shopping Center, built in 1959.

This week the County Council approved a sector plan update that includes a modern vision for redevelopment for all of Westbard, more affordable housing, restoration of Willett Branch, and pedestrian and safety improvements among other enhancements.

There is always two sides to any debate, but we were able to share knowledge and facilitate dialogues toward consensus with homeowners associations, civic groups, merchants and hundreds of individuals. In the end, more than 600 letters in support of Equity One’s plans were submitted to county officials, helping to demonstrate a desire for a new neighborhood hub in Westbard.