Monday, March 31, 2014

Open Houses on the New Zoning Code

The Montgomery County Planning Department invites you to give feedback on the comprehensive District Map Amendment proposed for Montgomery County. There will be several open houses held throughout the County this spring and all are invited to attend. The new Zoning Code was approved by the County Council in March 2014 after months of worksessions and discussions. The new zoning code will modernize antiquated, redundant zoning regulations and create new tools to help achieve goals in community plans.
Although the new code has already been approved, it cannot go into effect until a new zoning map has also been adopted, since the zoning on many non-residential properties is changing. Over the next few months, Planning Department staff will be focusing their attention on the proposed zoning map and are seeking feedback from affected property owners as well as from residents. Staff will be available and will have interactive maps at each of the open house events to help answer questions about the proposed zoning.
After the spring open houses, staff will bring a revised version of the proposed zoning map to the Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) committee for review. Once the PHED committee completes its review, the full County Council will evaluate the proposed zoning map. It is anticipated that the map will be adopted by Council in the summer or early fall, and that the new code will become effective on October 30, 2014.
Zoning Code Open Houses Details:
April 22 (6-8 p.m.) Rockville Memorial Library
April 24 (6-8 p.m.) Wheaton Regional Library
April 29 (5-8 p.m.) Park and Planning Headquarters, Silver Spring
May 1 (6-8 p.m.) Marilyn J. Praisner Library, Burtonsville
May 5 (6-8 p.m.) Upcounty Regional Services Center, Germantown
May 6 (6-8 p.m.) B-CC Regional Services Center, Bethesda
About the Zoning Code Rewrite:
Montgomery County’s Zoning Code was originally written in 1977. It is the law that governs growth in the county. The comprehensive rewrite of the ordinance started five years ago with the goal of simplifying the complex and outdated code. The Council’s recent approval of the text for the Zoning Code Rewrite will be instrumental in all future planning and development in the County. Planning Department staff is looking forward to embracing a new zoning code: one that is easier to use, encourages better development, enhances compatibility, promotes sustainability, and supports our county master plans. The new zoning code represents a great step forward for Montgomery County to have a more understandable, clear and coherent zoning ordinance that will be easier to use and to enforce. It offers a better organization of uses and zones, clearer procedures for approval and a solid foundation in modern planning and design principles.
Learn more about the Zoning Rewrite and how to get involved in the process.

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