Over 85 Residents Testified on Thrive Montgomery 2050 Draft Plan at Planning Board Virtual Public Hearing

November 20, 2020

Thrive Montgomery 2050
Community invited to provide written comments on update to the county’s General Plan until December 10; Planning Board work sessions scheduled through February 2020

WHEATON, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), held a public hearing for the update to the county’s General Plan, known as Thrive Montgomery 2050, at their virtual meeting on Thursday, November 19. Thrive Montgomery 2050 is a long-range policy framework for guiding future land use and growth. Over 85 residents testified on the Public Hearing Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050, providing feedback to the Planning Board and Montgomery Planning staff on ideas to consider as the draft plan moves through the work session phase of the process. Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson stressed that the public record will remain open until December 10, 2020 and community members can submit written comments by email to mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org.

The next step in the process will be a series of virtual Planning Board work sessions where staff will discuss with the Board the draft plan’s recommendations on specific topics and obtain their detailed feedback for further plan refinement. Each work session will focus on specific chapters and topics in the draft plan.

“The Thrive Montgomery 2050 virtual public hearing demonstrates that we can work together to address the long-term challenges facing our community even as we adjust to the short-term challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson. “We heard thoughtful testimony about what has worked in Montgomery County and what still needs work. Over the next few months, we will integrate and synthesize the ideas that have been put forward to create a plan that shows the path forward for housing, economic competitiveness, equity and environmental resilience in our county.”

“I am so pleased by the number of residents who testified at the public hearing and the fact that we heard from a cross section of community members living in all areas of the county with many different backgrounds, ages and perspectives,” said Planning Director Gwen Wright. “This is what our planning process is all about — engaging residents to participate easily and productively. It is very important to the future of our county that the recommendations in the plan reflect those of the community.”

There are nine themes that form the basis for recommendations in Thrive Montgomery 2050:

  • Create Complete Communities through urbanism and a mix of uses.
  • Achieve racial equity and social justice.
  • Provide attainable housing for all income levels.
  • Rethink single-family neighborhoods near transit.
  • Plan for people instead of cars.
  • Eradicate greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Prioritize great design and the importance of place.
  • Make corridors the place for new growth.
  • Develop regional solutions and strategies.

Below is the remaining schedule for the Planning Board’s review of Thrive Montgomery 2050. The specific topics for the work sessions in January and February will be confirmed with the Board at the December 17 work session. Please visit thrivemontgomery.com or sign up for our e-letter for updates.

  • Thursday, December 17: Work session #1 – Discussion of Plan introduction and rationale
  • Thursday, January 7: Work session #2
  • Thursday, January 14: Work session #3
  • Wednesday, January 20: Work session #4
  • Thursday, January 21: Work session #5
  • Monday, January 25: Work session #6
  • Thursday, January 28: Work session #7
  • Monday, February 1: Work session #8
  • Thursday, February 4: Work session #9
  • Thursday, February 11: Work session #10
  • Thursday, February 25: Planning Board scheduled to approve final recommendations
  • Thursday, April 8: Planning Board scheduled to approve Planning Board Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050 for transmittal to the County Executive and County Council

Following transmittal of the Planning Board Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050, the County Council will undertake its review, including a public hearing of the Planning Board Draft Plan during 2021 prior to the Council’s final approval of Thrive Montgomery 2050.

For at-a-glance information on the plan, visit thrivemontgomery.com where you can view the Thrive Montgomery 2050 two-sheeter explainer document in English as well as in multiple languages.

Community Engagement

Over the summer, Montgomery Planning hosted several virtual community engagement sessions— even during this time of social distancing—on the initial Thrive Montgomery 2050 Policies and Actions Draft released in June to obtain feedback to be included in the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Working Draft Plan that was published in September.

Montgomery Planning held the Ask Me Anything virtual townhalls that Planning Director Wright hosted in May. Planning staff then invited the community to participate in the June Thrive Montgomery 2050 Virtual Community Chats. Each chat offered community members a chance to converse online with Planning staff about policy recommendations related to planning for the future of the county’s housing, transportation, economy, environment and more. View all of the distance engagement events for Thrive Montgomery 2050.

About Thrive Montgomery 2050

During summer 2019, the Montgomery County Planning Department launched the update of Montgomery County’s General Plan, the county’s long-term framework for land use and development. This effort, called Thrive Montgomery 2050, will result in new countywide policies to help Montgomery County thrive in the decades to come by addressing challenges and opportunities. A lot has changed in the county since the General Plan was originally approved in 1964. Thrive Montgomery 2050 will guide future growth in response to the demographic shifts, technological innovations, changing lifestyles and economic disruptions that have taken place in recent decades. The new General Plan will consider many issues framed by three pillars: economic health, environmental resilience and equity. This framework will help guide the recommendations of the plan with input from the community.