County Council to hold public hearing on small cell tower zoning rules; review MCPS capital budget proposal

Residents will have an opportunity to share their opinions on zoning changes under consideration by the County Council to set standards for small cell antennas in the county. The changes would dictate setbacks and establish height limits for small cell antennas on multifamily residential and commercial buildings. The antennas, which telecommunications companies want to install to provide better cell service, would not be permitted on detached buildings, according to the proposed changes. The rules will likely govern the process for installing the antennas in the county after the state legislature dropped a bill that would have preempted the county policy last month. The public hearing begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the County Council Office Building in Rockville. The hearing had to be rescheduled from March 20 due to a snowstorm that day.

The council on Tuesday afternoon will host a work session on the $1.75 billion six-year capital budget County Executive Ike Leggett proposed for Montgomery County Public Schools. The proposed capital budget is about $79 million less than what the Board of Education requested. It includes funding for 53 projects.

Montgomery County Energy Summit Wednesday

The county will be hosting companies and officials involved in the commercial energy industry at an all-day summit Wednesday at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The event focuses on technology and equipment to make commercial buildings more energy efficient. County Executive Ike Leggett and local developer Jeffrey Abramson, a partner at The Tower Cos., will address the attendees to kick off the event. Informational sessions about the county’s green bank, financing solar power equipment and other topics will take place during the event. Tickets are $55 in advance or $65 at the door. Tickets for government and nonprofit employees are $35.

Proposal to develop vacant Silver Spring office building heads to Planning Board

Moonlight Inc., owner of the 850 Sligo Ave. office building in downtown Silver Spring, is planning to turn the vacant office building site into a mixed-use, predominantly residential development with multiple buildings that include up to 85 residential units and 6,900 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

As required by county zoning rules, 12.5 percent of the proposed residential units would be moderately priced. The plan calls for using the existing vacant office building on the site and adding a structure around it with three towers, two of which would be 35 feet tall and a third that would be 60 feet.

The Planning Board is scheduled to review the proposal during its meeting Thursday morning at its 8787 Georgia Ave. headquarters in Silver Spring.

Rainy week predicted

April showers are coming this week. The National Weather Service expects rain Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with highs in the mid-50s to low-60s and nighttime lows in the 40s. The rain should stop on Thursday when a sunny high around 53 degrees is expected, but showers are possible Friday when a high near 57 is predicted.