County Council Appoints Transportation Veteran to Planning Board

Gerald Cichy’s priority is development that fits in with existing neighborhoods


Published:

Gerald Cichy during the Montgomery County Council session Tuesday

Montgomery County Council

Gerald Cichy, a former director of the county’s Department of Transportation, will take over for Planning Board Commissioner Amy Presley once her second term runs out in July.

The County Council on Tuesday appointed Cichy to the five-member board over four other finalists. The 77-year-old Rockville man retired last year from a job with the Maryland Transit Administration at the end of a decades-long career in the field that included work on county and state projects such as the Corridor Cities Transitway and Purple Line light-rail.

“My wife and I are pretty vested in the community. I just sort of see this as a way to give back,” Cichy told Bethesda Beat Tuesday. “It’s kind of repurposing your life to some degree, but I have the time.”

The Planning Board post Cichy will take over is officially a part-time job with an annual salary of $30,000. But the five Planning Board commissioners have many duties, including approving development proposals and new zoning through area master plans, and overseeing the budget of the Montgomery Parks department.

Cichy, a Republican, was chosen to replace Presley, also a Republican. No more than three members of the five-member board can be from one political party. Commissioners Natali Fani-Gonzalez and Marye Wells-Harley as well as Chairman Casey Anderson are Democrats. Commissioner Norman Dreyfuss is a Republican.

Cichy’s term will last four years. Commissioners are limited to two consecutive terms.

Cichy served as the director of the county’s Department of Transportation under County Executive Charles Gilchrist from 1979-1984 before moving on to stints  with the Maryland Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation and District of Columbia Department of Transportation.

He said he’s been consulting for the Virginia Department of Transportation since retiring last year and was awarded a patent for a bus rapid transit vehicle with doors that open directly to station platforms. He also got an award from the Federal Transit Administration for his concept of a 200-mile bus rapid transit system that would supplement the D.C. region’s Metrorail system.

Cichy said his philosophy on development is that “the county does need to grow to be viable,” and that more dense redevelopment that has incited controversy in some parts of the county “needs to follow some of the major corridors” outlined in the region’s 1964 Wedges & Corridors planning philosophy.

“If we follow the corridors, the Route 29 and I-95 corridor and the I-270 and [Route] 355 corridor, and we’re able to increase development there, I think we can accommodate additional population in the county,” Cichy said. “I think the younger generation, some of their interests are different than what there was in the past. I think we can blend that with existing communities.”

Back to Bethesda Beat

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Montgomery County Students Outperform Peers on PARCC Tests, Still Struggle to Meet Standards

Local students make some gains in third year of statewide assessment

Another Controlled Blast Planned Along Rockville Pike; Maryland, Virginia, D.C. to Reclaim Metro Oversight Role

News, announcements and other helpful links for Wednesday morning

County Planners Get Proposal for North Bethesda Town Center Apartments

Developer wants to break ground on seven-story building by summer of 2018

Deported From County, Two Brothers Adjust to El Salvador; After Decades, Bethesda Classmates Reunite For Eclipse

News, announcements and other helpful links for Tuesday morning
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »

Beautiful Brick Colonial

Potomac, $1,089,000

Luxury Colonial in Glen Echo

Bethesda, $1,195,000

Renovated Colonial in Potomac Village

Potomac, $1,198,000

Stunning Custom Home With Every Amenity

Chevy Chase, $3,395,000

Great New Price

Potomac, $1,119,000
Edit Module

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit Module