Montgomery County Planning Board to be Presented a Draft of the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan

July 17, 2020

ashton village plan
The meeting will feature opportunities for community feedback on potential community design and development scenarios for the Village Center, residential and commercial uses and open space

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), has released the working draft of the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan and will present the recommendations in the draft to the Montgomery County Planning Board at their July 23 meeting. Planning staff and the Planning Board will set the date for the plan’s public hearing at the meeting.

View the working draft of the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan.

Recommendations envision the area as a compact, low-rise, walkable and bikeable rural village with a mix of land uses. Several key goal areas are reflected in the specific recommendations developed in the draft plan. They include:

  • Preserve the rural character of Ashton supported by clusters of development in the village center.
  • Transition from a vehicle-centric commercial crossroads into a viable, vibrant, rural village center with a variety of travel options.
  • Prioritize walkability and bikeability while ensuring the adequacy of major transportation routes.
  • Highlight the area’s rich history, especially the Underground Railroad and Quaker Cluster of the Montgomery County Heritage Area.

For questions and comments, contact lead planner Jamey Pratt at tel. 301-495-4588; Jamey.Pratt@montgomeryplanning.org. or Ben Berbert at tel. 301-495-4644; Benjamin.Berbert@montgomeryplanning.org.

About the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan

The Ashton Village Center Sector Plan covers approximately 125 acres around the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Olney-Sandy Spring Road (MD 108) and has been focused on land use and zoning recommendations, the pedestrian experience, green spaces and housing.

The plan will evaluate land use, zoning, transportation, environment, design and other relevant issues in Ashton, a historic crossroads community east of Olney. This sector plan follows the 2015 Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan, which evaluated similar issues in the village of Sandy Spring, just west of Ashton.

One important focus will be a review of the Sandy Spring-Ashton Rural Village Overlay Zone in light of Montgomery County’s 2014 comprehensive revision of its zoning ordinance. Zones applied through the revision have enabled finer-grained management of land uses, densities and building heights than was possible under the previous ordinance.

The existing Sandy Spring-Ashton Rural Village Overlay Zone was created to ensure a “village scale” of development in the business districts of both Sandy Spring and Ashton. It limits uses, densities and building heights. The sector plan will reevaluate the overlay zone, as well as the current underlying zones in Ashton and recommend adjustments if needed to comply with the 2014 county zoning ordinance. Learn more about the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan.