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Montgomery Planners Release Consolidated Zoning Rewrite Project Draft, Solicit Feedback

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 Last rewritten in 1977, the current 1,200-page code is viewed as inconsistent and outdated.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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