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County Council Votes to Approve Subdivision Regulations Revision

Revised regulations in County Code clarify language and ensure consistency with new zoning ordinance to improve efficiency of development review

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, secured the County Council’s approval of the comprehensive revision to Chapter 50, the Subdivision Regulations, of the Montgomery County Code on Tuesday, November 15. These regulations guide the transfer and subdivision of land within the county, and were updated by Planning Department staff in collaboration with other county agencies, local legal firms and community members.

The update was not intended to change the basic methods by which land is subdivided. Rather, the new regulations provide a more organized, user-friendly document and simplify the process for certain types of subdivision plans, which will no longer have to be presented to the Planning Board. In addition, review times for subdivision applications will conform to a time frame of 120 days for development review and approval that is significantly shorter than the typical process in the past. A 90-day time limit has been adopted for the review of a record plat application.

Significant changes to the Subdivision Regulations include the following:

-New platting exceptions to permit construction and reconstruction of new detached dwellings as anticipated in the new zoning ordinance.

-Modified application processing, hearing schedule timing and review standards for preliminary plans.

-New provisions related to the creation of private roads.

-Streamlined processing and timing requirements for subdivision record plats.

Background on Subdivision Regulations Revision

This rewrite of the Subdivision Regulations represents the most comprehensive change to Chapter 50 of the County Code in 50 years and was undertaken at the direction of the Montgomery County Council. It responds to the county’s new zoning ordinance, issued in 2014, and streamlines the review and approval process for subdivisions. The Subdivision Regulations govern the application requirements for dividing or assembling property, and ensure the provision of adequate public facilities and improvements to support the resulting lots based on the impact of those actions.

The first draft of the revised regulations was released to the public in 2014 and, after input from community meetings, the draft was presented to the Planning Board in March 2015. After Planning Board work sessions, the refined draft of the regulations was transmitted to the County Council in July 2015. Subsequent public hearings and work sessions held by the Council led to additional revisions and the Council’s vote on November 15, 2016 to approve and adopt the rewrite of the Subdivision Regulations.

Learn more about the Subdivision Regulations Revision.

For questions or more information, please contact:

Catherine Conlon, Supervisor of Development Applications and Regulatory Coordination (DARC)

Phone: 301-495-4542