Area 3

Montgomery County’s rural areas encompass the 93,000 acre Agricultural Reserve along with the larger rural communities of Damascus and Poolesville; small crossroad communities such as Beallsville, Sunshine and Dickerson; and areas with mixed open land and housing. The forward-thinking 1964 General Plan focused growth in defined corridors emanating from the population centers in and around the Capital Beltway. Between those corridors, the General Plan called for wedges of low-density residential uses, open space and protected farmland.

The County’s Agricultural Services Division was created to support and promote the viability of the agricultural industry in Montgomery County. Agricultural activities occupy about one-third of Montgomery County’s land area and the County’s diverse agricultural industry – 540 farms and 350 horticultural enterprises – produces more than $287 million in economic contribution and employs more than 10,000 residents.

We create great communities by developing master plans, reviewing applications for development and analyzing various types of information to help public officials plan for Montgomery County’s future.

The Planning Board meets weekly to review development applications and other projects, and our planners are actively engaged in the community. Learn what planning initiatives are taking place in Area 3: Up-County, Rural Area.

Advisory Committees

  • Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board (APAB) oversees the County’s Public Policy and programs that protect farmland for future generations and makes recommendations to State and County officials regarding farmland preservation issues. This Board normally meets on the second Tuesday of each month at the Upcounty Regional Service Center, Germantown, Maryland. Meetings start at 7:30 pm and are open to the public. Please contact Jonathan Casey for more details.
  • Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) provides a liaison between the County Government and the agricultural sector, coordinates local government services in rural areas, and provides input and recommendation on issues impacting the rural and agricultural areas. This committee normally meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Upcounty Regional Service Center, Germantown, Maryland. Meetings start at 7:00 pm and are open to the public. Please contact Josh Penn for more details.
  • Rustic Roads Advisory Committee (RRAC): Rustic and Exceptional rustic roads are preserved under the Rustic Roads Program, which provides a system for evaluating, protecting, and enhancing these scenic roadways. The program includes nearly 100 roads. The Rustic Roads webpage outlines the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee (RRAC) meetings for the rest of the year.


Last Updated: July 7, 2017