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Addressing and Street Naming

An address is used to describe the specific location of a building, an apartment, or a plot of land. The most commonly used way to locate a specific property is the assigned premise address. Premise addresses are used daily by private citizens, postal service, delivery services, utility companies, Police Departments and Fire & Rescue Services to locate specific places. In general, street names are the reference point and the assigned number creates a unique identifier for each building.

Uniformity is a basic requirement to assure that any given property can be quickly and easily located. Since County residents rely on one central Police, Fire & Rescue dispatch center for public safety services, address assignment methodologies must be uniform throughout the County, regardless of whether the addresses are assigned by M-NCPPC or local jurisdictions. A community’s safety and welfare depends on the ability of emergency services to quickly locate every property.Addressing must be given a high priority during the development review process to assure consistency.

Addressing and Street Naming Authority

The Montgomery County Planning Department has been responsible for street names and address numbers in Montgomery County since the 1950’s. All requests for address assignments, address changes, revisions to address plans, and address verifications, as well as requests for street name approvals, assignments or changes, are reviewed by the Development Application and Regulatory Coordination (DARC) Division of the Montgomery County Planning Department for Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). Requests may be approved if the request falls within the guidelines of this Manual in accordance with the following: MD Code, Land Use, § 17-212 – Street names and house numbers; MD Code, Land Use, § 20-202 – Powers and duties; Montgomery County Code, Chapter 50 § 50-26(e) – Street Names; Montgomery County Code Chapter 22 – Fire Safety Code; Section 22-97 – Address Numbers; and Montgomery County Executive Regulation 29-08AM – Fire Department Apparatus Access and Water Supply.

Under Maryland law, M-NCPPC is tasked with naming and renaming any street or highway and numbering and renumbering the houses in the area under its jurisdiction. This authority has been delegated to the County Planning Boards for their respective counties. Furthermore, under Montgomery County law, the Montgomery County Planning Board must approve any street name before it is used. Montgomery County Code, § 50-26(e). The Montgomery County Planning Board has in turn charged the Montgomery County Planning Department with the responsibility for addressing in Montgomery County, including adopting regulations to assure that there are reasonable procedures in place to i) correct mistakes, (ii) remove confusion because of a duplication of street names, and (iii) secure uniformity of street names and numbering of houses. MD Code, Land Use, § 17-212.

The four independent municipalities named below lie within the County but have authority to assign and approve street names and address numbers within the limits of their jurisdictions:

  • City of Gaithersburg
  • Town of Poolesville
  • City of Rockville
  • Town of Washington Grove

Although these municipalities implement their own street naming and addressing systems, coordination does occur between the municipalities and M-NCPPC. All four jurisdictions provide notices of address and street name assignments and changes to one another, as well as to various Montgomery County and State of Maryland agencies, and the U.S. Postal Service. Each jurisdiction has an addressing and street naming protocol in place to avoid duplications and conflicts of street names and addresses among the
jurisdictions. The guidelines in this Manual will be limited to the addressing protocol and regulations applicable to M-NCPPC.


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