Planning Board holds first work session for Thrive Montgomery 2050

December 18, 2020

Thrive Montgomery 2050
Planning Board provides direction on the organization of the draft General Plan and sets work session schedule; community encouraged to continue to provide comments on draft recommendations

WHEATON, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), held their first work session on Thursday, December 17 for the update to the county’s General Plan, known as Thrive Montgomery 2050. Thrive Montgomery 2050 is a long-range policy framework for guiding future land use and growth. The first work session, held during their virtual meeting, consisted of a discussion of public comments received during the Planning Board’s public hearing on the draft Plan; a proposed outline revising the organization of the draft Plan document, published as the Public Hearing Draft Plan in October; and the schedule of upcoming work sessions in January and February 2021. The work session phase follows a virtual public hearing held on November 19, 2020 where 85 residents testified about the draft plan recommendations. The Planning Board also tentatively scheduled eight additional work sessions in 2021, after which they will transmit the Planning Board Draft Plan to the County Council.

“As we begin holding work sessions, we encourage anyone who is interested in the future of the county to remain involved and send us their comments and ideas,” said Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson. “During this next round of meetings, we will be getting into a much more detailed discussion of the changes needed to make sure that Montgomery County will be the kind of place where our children and grandchildren can thrive.”

“Thrive Montgomery 2050 is about helping Montgomery County retain the high quality of life for which the county is well known and addressing inequities to ensure that all residents can access this quality of life,” said Planning Director Gwen Wright. “We want to make sure we have the right policies in place to bring about economic growth, environmental resilience and community equity for all community members over the coming decades.”

View the December 17 Planning Board meeting staff report on Thrive Montgomery 2050.
View the December 17 Planning Board meeting presentation on Thrive Montgomery 2050.
Watch the December 17 Planning Board meeting on demand.

At the December 17 meeting, the Planning Board approved a new outline for the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Plan document consisting of the following chapters:

Section 1

  • Why do we need a new comprehensive plan for the county?
  • Three overarching objectives
    • Economic performance & competitiveness
    • Racial & Social Equity & Inclusion
    • Environmental resilience & sustainability
  • Other important goals:
    • Elevating design and role of arts and culture
    • Public health and active lifestyles
    • Better access to amenities for high quality of life

Section 2: Thrive Montgomery 2050 Themes

  • Compact Growth: Corridor-Focused Development
  • Complete Communities: Mix of Uses and Forms
  • Transportation and Communication Networks: Connecting People, Places and Ideas
  • Affordable and Attainable Housing: More of Everything
  • Design, Arts and Culture: Adding Value and Building Community
  • Parks and Recreation for an Increasingly Urban and Diverse Community: Active and Social

Section 3: Implementation

Appendix: consolidated Actions Appendix.

Community participation and next steps

Community members can continue to provide comments on the draft Thrive Montgomery 2050 Plan for the Planning Board’s review while they conduct work sessions in January and February 2021. After they vote to transmit the Planning Board Draft Plan to the County Council in early April, the County Council will hold their own public hearing, work sessions and final approval.

Members of the public may submit written comments to Casey Anderson, chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board. The mailing address is 2425 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, Maryland 20902; the e-mail address is mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org; the fax number is (301) 495-1320. Individuals or groups may send comments at any time; comments received by noon of the day prior to each work session will be sent to the Planning Board for review at that work session.

Thrive Montgomery 2050 Planning Board work session schedule

Below is the remaining schedule for the Planning Board’s review of Thrive Montgomery 2050. Please visit thrivemontgomery.com for updates on the specific topics to be covered in future work sessions and check the Planning Board’s website for staff reports for these work sessions.

  • Thursday, January 7: Work session #2
  • Thursday, January 14: Work session #3
  • Thursday, January 21: Work session #4
  • Monday, January 25: Work session #5
  • Thursday, January 28: Work session #6
  • Monday, February 1: Work session #7
  • Thursday, February 4: Work session #8
  • Thursday, February 11: Work session #9
  • 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

For more information, visit thrivemontgomery.com or sign up for our e-letter for updates.

Thrive Montgomery 2050 resources

Below are links to the Public Hearing Draft Plan, Outreach Appendix and at-a-glance information on the plan 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 that was 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.