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Old 03-29-2012, 12:05 PM
Howard Hartman Howard Hartman is offline
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Default Zoning Rewrite Project Open Houses throughout April/May to Provide Update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2012


Zoning Rewrite Project Open Houses
throughout April/May to Provide Update

SILVER SPRING – Planners are rewriting the Zoning Code to modernize antiquated, redundant zoning regulations and create new tools to help achieve goals in community plans. Attend one of six open houses scheduled around Montgomery County in April and early May to learn more about the project.

At the open house meetings, attendees can view graphics and other materials that explain what’s being considered, such as potentially reducing the number of zones and how new zones might apply in communities.

Planners have released several draft sections of the proposed Zoning Code, covering what’s permitted in each zone, how you can build, and the process by which development is reviewed and approved. In addition, planners have analyzed how to reduce or consolidate 123 existing zones into 30 proposed zones, working to ensure consistency with existing height and density rules as well as recommendations in each community master plan. Throughout the revised sections, planners have strived to make the code easier to use by adding diagrams and clearer text.

Participants at each open house will see exactly how what’s proposed applies to their neighborhood. Each meeting will provide information on six different master plan areas. To see what master plan area applies to your property, go to montgomeryplanning.org/gis/interactive/masterplans.shtm. For a list of which master plans will be addressed at the open houses, see below or go to zoningmontgomery.org.

In 2007, the Montgomery County Council directed the Planning Department to undertake a comprehensive zoning ordinance rewrite. Last rewritten in 1977, the current 1,200-page code is viewed as hard to use, inconsistent and outdated. Planners began working with Code Studio, a team of nationally recognized consultants; a citizen panel, the Zoning Advisory Panel (ZAP); and other county agencies to improve the zoning code three years ago.

The Zoning Code Rewrite drafts continue to undergo review and revision as people provide input through the Department’s dozens of outreach efforts and as more details are discussed by the ZAP. Planners will release the preliminary draft of a complete, consolidated zoning ordinance this summer. Residents can comment now, over the summer, when the consolidated release goes to the Planning Board next fall and when the County Council holds hearings and worksessions in 2013.

The open houses:

5-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 10
Park and Planning Headquarters
8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring
Master plans: Capitol View, East Silver Spring, Forest Glen, Four Corners, North & West Silver Spring, Silver Spring Central Business District, Takoma Park

5-8 p.m. Thursday, April 12
Eastern County Regional Services Center
3300 Briggs Chaney Rd, Silver Spring
Master plans: Cloverly, Fairland, Kemp Mill, Sandy Spring/Ashton, White Oak

5-8 p.m. Monday, April 16
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center
4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda
Master plans: Bethesda Central Business District, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights Central Business District, North Bethesda/Garrett Park, Potomac Subregion, Westbard, Woodmont Triangle

5-8 p.m. Monday, April 23
Upcounty Regional Services Center
12900 Middlebrook Road, Suite 1000, Germantown
Master plans: Agricultural & Rural Open Space, Boyds, Clarksburg, Damascus, Germantown (1989 and 2009)

5-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 24
Wheaton Regional Library
11701 Georgia Avenue, Wheaton
Master plans: Aspen Hill, Kensington/Wheaton, Olney, Upper Rock Creek, Wheaton Central Business District

5-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 1
Rockville Memorial Library, 2nd floor
21 Maryland Avenue, Rockville
Master plans: Gaithersburg & Vicinity, Great Seneca Science Corridor, Shady Grove, Twinbrook, White Flint

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