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A photo captured from the M-NCPPC Wheaton Headquarters looking east during the morning sunrise

A photo captured from the M-NCPPC Wheaton Headquarters looking east during the morning sunrise.

Montgomery Planning’s strategic planning will advance the goals of Thrive Montgomery 2050

By Jason K. Sartori, Montgomery Planning Director

While I had worked at Montgomery Planning for nearly eight years before being appointed director in November 2023, stepping into this role has provided me with a fresh perspective on the department and the communities we serve. I have enjoyed building deeper relationships with Planning staff, Planning Board members, County Council, other government stakeholders, and members of the community who collaborate with us on a range of neighborhood plans and land use policy issues. As I wrote in January, I am optimistic about the opportunities ahead for our county.

One of my first priorities as director was to embark on creating a five-year strategic vision to ensure the department’s work program aligns with the recommendations in Thrive Montgomery 2050, the county’s updated General Plan. We always say that Thrive is a guidebook not a roadmap. Now that we have envisioned where we want to go, we need to figure out how best to get there.

Thrive Montgomery 2050 and Our Strategic Plan



  • Long-range guide for the development of the county
  • Provides direction for decisions about land use, transportation, and related issues
  • Implementation will occur over several decades
Montgomery Planning Strategic Plan

  • Near-term roadmap with clear roles, priorities, and strategies for how the Department will advance Thrive Montgomery 2050 over the next five years.
  • Provides direction for strengthening internal capacity and identifies activities to focus on to advance the Department’s mission
  • Implementation will occur over five years


The recommendations in Thrive Montgomery 2050 plus Montgomery Planning’s Strategic Plan will lead to implementation and impact.

At the end of this strategic visioning process, we will have updated the department’s vision, mission and staff-created shared values that will reflect our commitment to advancing the three goals of Thrive Montgomery 2050 through our work on master plans and development review: racial equity and social justice, environmental resilience, and economic competitiveness.

While this process is mainly internal, we are also soliciting feedback from key government partners and the community, including publishing an online questionnaire that will be open until June 10. I invite anyone who is interested in our work to respond and share the questionnaire with your networks.
Complete our questionnaire
This initiative will help us to think more deeply about our work program, which the County Council approves with every annual budget. It will provide a near-term roadmap for roles, priorities, and strategies to advance Thrive Montgomery 2050 over the next five years. It will also provide direction for strengthening internal capacity and resource allocation to advance our mission.

The results of this work will be reflected in our FY26 budget request. I look forward to sharing this with you. Thank you for your interest in the future of Montgomery County. Please feel free to email me directly with any thoughts or concerns:

Jason SartoriAbout the author
Jason Sartori has been the director of Montgomery Planning since November 2023. He joined Montgomery Planning in 2016 and led the Countywide Planning and Policy Division starting in 2019 before being appointed director by the Montgomery Planning Board. Jason previously served as the Associate Director of the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland.

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