Montgomery Planning Board chairwoman seeks something new -- Gazette.Net


Saying it’s time for a new challenge, the chairwoman of Montgomery County’s Planning Board will not seek a second term when her appointment ends in June.

Francoise Carrier said Monday there’s no overriding reason for her decision to leave the planning board. She just believed one term was enough, she said.

While she called the job fascinating, Carrier said it was time to find something new.

Montgomery presents a lot of planning challenges, with a mix of rural, suburban and urban communities in a county that’s constantly changing, she said.

The county will need good planning guidance as those changes continue, Carrier said.

Councilwoman Nancy Floreen (D-At Large) of Garrett Park, chairwoman of the council’s Planning, Housing & Economic Development Committee, said Monday she thought Carrier had done a tremendous job chairing the Planning Board and helping guide it through several master plans and the ongoing rewrite of the county’s zoning ordinance.

The rewrite has been an enormous job, complicated by the fact that the county switched planning directors in the middle of the process, Floreen said.

Floreen said everyone would have to “see what happens” in terms of finding a successor to Carrier.

The chair of the five-member board is appointed by the County Council and serves four-year terms, spokeswoman Bridget Schwiesow said.

The job will be posted, and people will be able to apply for the opening, she said.

Carrier was appointed as chairwoman of the board by the County Council in 2010, succeeding two-term chairman Royce Hanson.

Her term has included the approval of master plans in places such as Chevy Chase Lake, Takoma/Langley, Glenmont, Long Branch and the Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Plan.

During her term, the board also adopted a new Park and Planning Master Plan, approved park master plans and capital programs and supervised the renewed development of the Montgomery Parks Foundation to develop financial support from county residents and businesses.

Carrier graduated from Stanford Law School with a background in economics and land use law, and before joining the Planning Board worked as a director and hearing examiner for Montgomery County’s Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearings.