Montgomery Planning is currently undertaking a project to update the Public Benefits Point System for Commercial-Residential and Employment Zones. While this effort will not rezone any parcels or alter existing development, the effort will update the system used to evaluate new development and determine to what extent a development must provide corresponding public amenities. These changes will allow different neighborhoods to evolve with market trends and community needs while still enjoying the benefits of new development alongside what already gives the neighborhood its character. This update will also better align the point system with countywide priorities as envisioned in initiatives like Thrive Montgomery 2050, the Climate Action Plan, and implementation of the county’s Racial Equity law.
How does the current point system work?
The system incentivizes applicants to provide certain public benefits in exchange for obtaining additional density and height for their projects, based on transparent and publicly available evaluation criteria. Projects must achieve a minimum points total depending on their size, intensity, and location and propose public benefits they will provide in line with that score. Applicants may choose from a range of specified public benefits; streetscape improvements are “worth” up to 20 points, for instance, while a major public facility, like a library, could be up to 70 points.
This system ensures the delivery of high-quality public amenities, maintains equity across negotiations for public benefits with applicants, provides transparency and certainty about the review process, and expedites the overall timeline for regulatory reviews.
Last Updated: March 3, 2023
Montgomery County Planning Department
2425 Reedie Drive, 14th Floor
Wheaton, MD 20902