• Montgomery County Council Gives Preliminary Approval to Comprehensive Zoning Rewrite
  • February 5, 2014
  • Law Firm: Linowes Blocher LLP - Bethesda Office
  • The Montgomery County Council completed its worksessions on the comprehensive rewrite of the Zoning Ordinance introduced by Zoning Text Amendment 13-04 ("ZTA") with a preliminary vote to approve the ZTA as revised during the worksessions. The ZTA completely restructures the current Zoning Ordinance by:

    • replacing many of the existing zones with new zones;
    • providing new development standards and use standards for existing and new zones;
    • establishing new terms and definitions and changing and/or updating existing ones;
    • creating new development approval procedures and due process requirements; and,
    • providing for the transition from the current Zoning Ordinance to the new zones, development standards and approval procedures under the revised Zoning Ordinance, including how existing improvements and entitlements will be "grandfathered."

    Council staff is drafting a resolution reflecting the approved revisions to the ZTA as introduced. It is expected that the approval resolution will be acted on by the Council in February. If finally approved by the Council as currently proposed, the ZTA will be effective on October 30, 2014.

    The Council is still reviewing the District Map Amendment ("DMA") associated with the ZTA that proposes the comprehensive rezoning of many areas of the County to the new zones established in the ZTA. The Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee of the Council is expected to resume its review of the DMA in June or July of this year.

    For some properties, the ZTA and the DMA may have a positive impact or no effect at all, whereas for others, it may result in reduced development densities, lost grandfathering protections and increased development restrictions. Each property should be reviewed independently to assess the impacts of the ZTA and the DMA, once approved.