People can have their say on the future of downtown Bethesda at a workshop this weekend.

Planners have scheduled a workshop Saturday for local residents, developers and Planning Department staff. Small groups are expected to work together to develop their ideas for the future of downtown Bethesda.

The Montgomery County Planning Department is in the early stages of updating the 20-year-old Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan, which covers 451 acres in downtown Bethesda. The plan guides zoning and development decisions in the area between the National Institutes of Health to just south of Bradley Boulevard.

Earlier this month, the Montgomery Planning Board approved a preliminary outline of the plan, The Gazette reported. Through the update, planners are expected to look at how to promote sustainability in downtown Bethesda, which includes economic sustainability, environmental friendliness and a good social atmosphere.

The workshop is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School cafeteria. Participants are asked to register to ensure enough materials are available.

More information on the workshop and the Bethesda plan update is available at