We Want to Hear from You on the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite

The Council issued the following press release yesterday, announcing that we will hold a second public hearing to hear from residents about the Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee’s proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite. The date of the hearing will be determined once the PHED Committee has completed its work. The latest draft of the Rewrite can be viewed at www.zoningmontgomery.org, together with an interactive map that allows users to view the current and proposed zoning on each property in the County. Written comments can be submitted at any time by emailing county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov.

The PHED Committee is holding its next worksession on the Zoning Rewrite tomorrow, September 13, at 9:30AM in the Council’s 7th Floor Hearing Room.


Montgomery Council President Navarro Announces Second Public Hearing on Proposed Changes to Zoning Ordinance

Residents Will Be Able to Comment on Changes Suggested by County Council’s PHED Committee

ROCKVILLE, Md., September 11, 2013—Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro announced today that the Council has decided to hold a second public hearing on proposed changes to the County’s Zoning Ordinance. The hearing will be held on a date to be determined once the Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee has completed its recommended draft of the document. This hearing will give residents a further opportunity to comment on Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 13-04 and District Map Amendment (DMA) G-956.

The Council’s PHED Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Floreen and includes Councilmembers Marc Elrich and George Leventhal, held worksessions every week in June and July on the County Planning Board’s recommended Zoning Ordinance Rewrite and is continuing its work in September. The committee is expected to recommend amending many aspects of the text and map, but until it completes its worksessions, its recommendations are tentative.

The Council introduced the Planning Board’s recommendations on May 2 following years of the Planning Board’s extensive work and discussion with community groups and other stakeholders. The Council heard from more than 50 speakers at a public hearing on the Planning Board’s recommendations in January and has received extensive email and other correspondence from County residents as the committee continues to do its work.

The Zoning Ordinance hasn’t been comprehensively updated since 1977 and has grown to more than 1,200 pages over the last 30 years. The goal of the Rewrite is to reorganize and simplify the Zoning Code. Rewriting the code in plain language and reorganizing it into rational sections will enable residents to more easily participate in key land use decisions, and courts and agencies will have clearer rules to apply.

Although the County Charter calls for only one public hearing, the Council decided to hold a second public hearing because it recognizes the significance of the proposed text and map changes. There are few changes proposed for single-family residential properties, but non-residentially zoned properties and their neighbors could be affected. ZTA 13-04 would implement the text changes to the Zoning Ordinance, and DMA G-956 would update the zoning for each property to apply a new zone. The proposed rezoning in DMA G-956 is designed to mirror each property’s current zoning as much as possible.

Residents can see the proposed Zoning Rewrite, along with the tentative changes being considered by the PHED committee, at www.zoningmontgomery.org. Residents also will find an interactive map that enables users to determine the existing and proposed zoning for every property in the County.  Clicking on a particular property will display the development standards (density, height limits and setbacks) for the existing and proposed zone.

Further details on the hearing will be available shortly.

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