Skip to the content
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Home / News / In Last Session Before Summer Recess, Montgomery County Planning Board Approves Far-Reaching Plans

In Last Session Before Summer Recess, Montgomery County Planning Board Approves Far-Reaching Plans

SILVER SPRING – In one of its most action-filled and significant meetings of the year, the Planning Board last week approved a countywide growth management policy, a neighborhood plan for Burtonsville and guidelines for implementing a new mixed-use zone.

At its July 26 meeting, the Board also approved five development applications, including a 470-unit project in the Great Seneca Science Corridor area west of Gaithersburg.

By law, the Board must deliver a draft of the Subdivision Staging Policy (SSP), formerly called the Growth Policy, to the County Council by August 1 of every fourth year. The SSP manages growth by setting policies and establishing infrastructure tests to ensure transit service, roads and schools keep pace with development.

The 2012-2016 SSP differs from previous growth policies by introducing a new Transportation Policy Area Review test, which calculates the effects of new development over different periods on transit and roads. The transportation test analyzes congestion and provides tools to match improvements of transit service and/or road capacity with the needs of development.

The County Council will review the policy in September worksessions and act on a new countywide policy in November. The policy will both set payment rates for developers as well as standards for determining whether transportation and schools are adequate in each of the county’s 32 policy areas.

Also at the meeting, the Board approved its draft of a vision for the Burtonsville Crossroads and sent that plan to the Council for review. The plan emphasizes a complete community with a main street, public green and village center while retaining the area’s rural character in the community’s northern tier. The plan envisions a mix of uses in the town center and connections that move local traffic and encourage walking and cycling. It also recommends new mixed-use zoning, a series of street and trail connections, and parks and open space to protect the headwaters of the Patuxent River.

Planners develop master and sector plans to create a framework for each community designed to last 15 to 20 years. Those visions help planners and policy-makers – such as the Planning Board and County Council – develop land use strategies and decide on proposed development.

The Commercial Residential Zones approved last fall are designed to allow a mix of uses to encourage jobs and services where people can live, work, shop and play within a given neighborhood. Planners wrote implementation guidelines for developers building in the CR Zone that will bring about dynamic building projects, handsome streetscapes, public spaces and affordable housing.

The Board approved the new document, which establishes guidelines that detail the standards and requirements for public benefits such as affordable housing or public art, on July 26.

#  #  #