Zoning rewrite project
SILVER SPRING – Starting September 10, the Montgomery County Planning Board will begin an ambitious schedule of worksessions and public sessions to consider the proposed revision of the Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance. The staff will present a consolidated draft of the Zoning Rewrite in sections to the Board from September through the end of the year, with opportunities for public input along the way.
Throughout the fall, the Board will hold a number of sessions on the draft revisions to the Zoning Code. At public sessions, staff will provide a brief overview, followed by an opportunity for audience input. The Planning Board will then hold worksessions at which they will discuss the draft and any submitted public comments. All meetings are open to the public, and feedback is encouraged at the Zoning Rewrite Project’s online comment board.
The revisions are part of a multi-year effort to rewrite the Zoning Code to modernize antiquated, redundant zoning regulations and create new tools to help achieve goals in community plans. The rewrite effort aims to make the code easier to use. Last rewritten in 1977, the 1,200-page code is viewed as inconsistent and outdated. The revised code is expected to reduce the number of zones, clarify what uses are permitted in each zone, and rethink 1950s-era commercial strips and office parks.
After the Planning Board completes its review, the draft Zoning Code Rewrite will be transmitted to the County Council for consideration in 2013.
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SILVER SPRING – Since October 2010, planners have been revising sections of the Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance as drafts for consideration by county officials, residents and members of an advisory panel. The revisions are part of an ambitious effort to rewrite the Zoning Code to modernize antiquated, redundant zoning regulations and create new tools to help achieve goals in community plans.
Now, planners have released a consolidated draft that combines all of those sections and addresses many of the comments received so far. Their goal: to solicit more input before taking a revised draft of the Zoning Rewrite to the Planning Board for consideration in September and throughout the fall.
Download the consolidated draft at or review a reference copy at the Park and Planning Headquarters Information Counter, the Silver Spring Regional Center, the Mid-County Regional Center or the following libraries: Marilyn J. Praisner (Fairland), Rockville Memorial, Germantown, and Davis. Feedback is encouraged at the Zoning Rewrite Project’s comment board.
The rewrite effort aims to make the Zoning Code easier to use. Last rewritten in 1977, the current 1,200-page code is viewed as inconsistent and outdated. The revised code – which will be considered by the Planning Board in a number of work sessions before going to the County Council for review early in 2013 – is expected to reduce the number of zones, clarify what uses are permitted in each zone, and rethink 1950s-era commercial strips and office parks.
The draft Zoning Code covers what’s permitted in each zone, how one can build, and the process by which development is reviewed and approved. It also reduces or consolidates 123 existing zones into less than 40 proposed zones, working to ensure consistency with current height and density rules as well as recommendations in each community master plan.
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SILVER SPRING – Planners are rewriting the Zoning Code to modernize antiquated, redundant zoning regulations and create new tools to help achieve goals in community plans. Attend one of six open houses scheduled around Montgomery County in April and early May to learn more about the project.
At the open house meetings, attendees can view graphics and other materials that explain what’s being considered, such as potentially reducing the number of zones and how new zones might apply in communities.
Planners have released several draft sections of the proposed Zoning Code, covering what’s permitted in each zone, how you can build, and the process by which development is reviewed and approved. In addition, planners have analyzed how to reduce or consolidate 123 existing zones into 30 proposed zones, working to ensure consistency with existing height and density rules as well as recommendations in each community master plan. Throughout the revised sections, planners have strived to make the code easier to use by adding diagrams and clearer text.
Participants at each open house will see exactly how what’s proposed applies to their neighborhood. Each meeting will provide information on six different master plan areas. See what master plan area applies to your property, or view a list of which master plans will be addressed at the open houses.
In 2007, the Montgomery County Council directed the Planning Department to undertake a comprehensive zoning ordinance rewrite. Last rewritten in 1977, the current 1,200-page code is viewed as hard to use, inconsistent and outdated. Planners began working with Code Studio, a team of nationally recognized consultants; a citizen panel, the Zoning Advisory Panel (ZAP); and other county agencies to improve the zoning code three years ago.
The Zoning Code Rewrite drafts continue to undergo review and revision as people provide input through the Department’s dozens of outreach efforts and as more details are discussed by the ZAP. Planners will release the preliminary draft of a complete, consolidated zoning ordinance this summer. Residents can comment now, over the summer, when the consolidated release goes to the Planning Board next fall and when the County Council holds hearings and worksessions in 2013.
Montgomery County Planning Department
Zoning Rewrite Project Open Houses
5-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 10
Park and Planning Headquarters
8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring
Master plans: Capitol View, East Silver Spring, Forest Glen, Four Corners, North & West Silver Spring, Silver Spring Central Business District, Takoma Park
5-8 p.m. Thursday, April 12
Eastern County Regional Services Center
3300 Briggs Chaney Rd, Silver Spring
Master plans: Cloverly, Fairland, Kemp Mill, Sandy Spring/Ashton, White Oak
5-8 p.m. Monday, April 16
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center
4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda
Master plans: Bethesda Central Business District, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights Central Business District, North Bethesda/Garrett Park, Potomac Subregion, Westbard, Woodmont Triangle
5-8 p.m. Monday, April 23
Upcounty Regional Services Center
12900 Middlebrook Road, Suite 1000, Germantown
Master plans: Agricultural & Rural Open Space, Boyds, Clarksburg, Damascus, Germantown (1989 and 2009)
5-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 24
Wheaton Regional Library
11701 Georgia Avenue, Wheaton
Master plans: Aspen Hill, Kensington/Wheaton, Olney, Upper Rock Creek, Wheaton Central Business District
5-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 1
Rockville Memorial Library, 2nd floor
21 Maryland Avenue, Rockville
Master plans: Gaithersburg & Vicinity, Great Seneca Science Corridor, Shady Grove, Twinbrook, White Flint