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Land Use and Zoning Alert – Planning Board Chair and Planning Director Promote Thrive Montgomery 2050

May 5, 2021

The Shulman Rogers Land Use and Zoning Team closely monitors the news from the Montgomery County Planning Board and would like to share an important update with you:

On May 5, 2021, Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and Planning Director Gwen Wright briefed real estate industry professionals about the Planning Board’s draft update to the Montgomery County General Plan. Once adopted, Thrive Montgomery 2050 will update the Wedges and Corridors General Plan in effect and periodically updated since the 1960s.

Thrive 2050 establishes a long-range vision for the County and includes broad, County-wide policy recommendations for land use, housing, the economy, equity, transportation, parks and open space, and the environment. These recommendations will provide guidance for the preparation of future area master plans, County and State capital expenditures, and other public and private initiatives that influence land use and planning in the County.

At this morning’s briefing, Chair Anderson emphasized the urbanism called for in the General Plan Update is not just about the County’s Central Business Districts (Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Friendship Heights), but is instead about encouraging a compact form of development and a diversity of uses and building types throughout the County. The Plan then calls for the creation of transportation networks that will complement these land use strategies.

Planning Director Wright emphasized the need for compact growth and corridor-focused development to help accommodate the 200,000 new residents projected over the Plan’s lifetime. She explained the need for County residents and stakeholders to think differently about how the County grows, and to concentrate future growth in centers of activity and corridors with compact development and redevelopment.

At its most basic, Thrive 2050 outlines growth strategies intended to accommodate new residents while seeking to improve the quality of life for existing residents, businesses and workers. It is an important planning document that, once adopted, will influence how the County grows and responds to growth for years to come. The County Council is scheduled to review and approve the Plan this Fall.

For additional information on Thrive 2050 or for other information about land use regulation, planning and zoning in Montgomery County, please contact Shulman Rogers Land Use attorneys, Todd Brown or Nancy Regelin.