Montgomery Planning Department Announces FY18 Work Program

July 25, 2017

Beginning research for a potential General Plan update, projecting traffic generated by mixed-use development and studying agri-tourism among projects approved by County Council

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has secured the Montgomery County Council’s approval to proceed with its ambitious work program for fiscal year 2018 (FY18), which began on July 1, 2017.

The County Council approved the Planning Department’s $20 million budget for FY18 at its meeting on May 25, 2017. These funds support the work program for the Department’s 148 employees. Staff will continue to work on the master plans and projects that are currently in progress, including:

Rock Spring Master Plan

White Flint 2 Sector Plan   

-Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Area Minor Master Plan Amendment   

Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan

MARC Rail Communities Plan

Bicycle Master Plan

Master Plan of Highways Technical Update

Co-location of Public Facilities StudyRetail Trends Study

-Employment Trends Study

Highlights of major new plans and projects to be undertaken by the Planning Department in FY18 include:

Research for updating the Montgomery County General Plan: The guiding land use policy for the county was last refined in 1993 and needs to be updated in response to recent changes in development patterns, demographics and transportation modes. This research project will analyze the county’s residential market, housing and economic trends, and economic development indicators to pave the way for revisions to the General Plan in fiscal year 2019 and beyond.

Montgomery Hills/Forest Glen Sector Plan: This plan will examine density and zoning along the heavily trafficked Georgia Avenue corridor near the Capital Beltway in coordination with road improvements planned by the Maryland State Highway Administration.

Roadway Functional Classification System: This project will update the existing functional classification system, which defines how traffic uses a road in urban, suburban and rural settings. A second classification system will be added to consider how people, not just vehicles, use a road.

Agri-tourism Study: Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve is a national model for creating sustainable and economically viable farms and open space. The growing economy of agri-tourism in the rural parts of the county, including breweries, micro-distilleries, culinary destinations and farm-to-table movement, will be analyzed. The study will examine land use and zoning strategies for developing a comprehensive, countywide approach to this issue.

Study of Traffic Generation from Mixed-Use Development: Estimating the amount of traffic generated from mixed-use development projects in an accurate way is the goal of this study. Research shows that traffic studies typically overestimate the impact of mixed-use development by 35 percent. This study will apply a new tool to different plan areas to more precisely predict traffic generation.