What is zoning? Montgomery planners explain in a video
Montgomery County's communities range from dense urban to extremely rural. Like DC, the county is rewriting its zoning code, and the Planning Department created a video to explain how zoning works.
In the 35 years since the last comprehensive rewrite, the zoning code has grown through countless amendments. New zones were created, text altered, and uses added and subtracted. And there's been one major change: the county has no more space for greenfield development.
When this code made its debut in 1977, the county was still rapidly suburbanizing. But in the last 3½ decades, the county has changed significantly. There's almost no open land left that's not preserved for agriculture. For Montgomery to grow, the county's planners need tools to allow infill and encourage car-oriented commercial centers to redevelop into walkable places.
This is also an opportunity to make the zoning code easier to understand and more accessible to the lay person. Just see the part of the above video where our own Matt Johnson explains the rules for height in one single-family residential zone.
The Planning Department has put a great deal of information about the rewrite effort on a special webpage devoted to the project. And they want your input on the process.
This month, the department is hosting a series of open houses around the county to talk with residents. These meetings are a great way to learn more about the project and tell planners your thoughts on the proposed changes.
Four open houses remain: Monday, April 16 in Bethesda, Monday, April 23 in Germantown, Tuesday, April 24 in Wheaton, and Tuesday, May 1 in Rockville. All of the meeting locations are transit-accessible, and run from 5-8 pm.
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