Planning Board holds second work session for Thrive Montgomery 2050

January 8, 2021

Thrive Montgomery 2050
Board members provide feedback on the revised introduction section of the draft Plan and preview the outline of the revised Affordable and Attainable Housing chapter scheduled for the third work session on January 14

WHEATON, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), held their second work session on Thursday, January 7 on 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 second work session, held during their virtual meeting, consisted of a discussion of the revised introduction of the draft plan, “Section 1—Why we need a new plan.” The revised Section 1 lays out the need for updating the county’s General Plan, the context of where we are, and the rationale for Thrive Montgomery 2050’s approach to achieve our goals for an economically competitive, equitable, and environmentally resilient place over the next 30 years. Section 1 will replace the first 50 pages of the current Public Hearing Draft Plan, including “Introduction”, “Planning Context”, and “A Plan to Thrive”.

The discussion also included a preview of the January 14 work session which will focus on “Affordable and Attainable Housing: More of Everything,” the revised chapter dedicated to addressing housing needs in Montgomery County. The Board also received a summary of the Residential Development Capacity Analysis (RDCA), conducted by the Planning Department to help inform the housing policy recommendations in Thrive Montgomery 2050.  Planning staff will brief the Board on the RDCA during the January 14th Thrive Montgomery work session.

View the Thrive Montgomery 2050 January 7, 2021 Planning Board staff report
View the Thrive Montgomery 2050 “Why we need a new General Plan” section
View the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Affordable and Attainable Housing Outline
View the summary of the Residential Development Capacity Analysis
View the January 7, 2021 Planning Board virtual meeting video

“To create a better future for all Montgomery County residents in our next General Plan, we must first consider our past,” said Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson. “By understanding and addressing our history, we can ensure that Thrive Montgomery 2050 will create more inclusive and prosperous communities with a shared sense of purpose and respect.”

“Thrive Montgomery 2050 is not just about adapting to new realities but embracing them to live up to the General Plan’s name,” said Planning Director Gwen Wright. “In order to ‘thrive’ in the areas of economic performance, racial and social equity, and environmental sustainability, we need to view current and future challenges as opportunities. We cannot do this without a diversity of input and ideas from the entire Montgomery County community throughout the planning process.”

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; the topic assigned for each work session is tentative and may change. Check the Planning Board’s website for staff reports for these work sessions.

  • Thursday, January 14: Work session #3—Affordable and attainable housing: more of everything. Briefing on Residential Development Capacity Analysis.
  • Thursday, January 21: Work session #4—Transportation and communication networks: connecting people, places and ideas. Briefing on Transportation Analysis Report.
  • Monday, January 25: Work session #5—Design, arts and culture: adding value and building community.
  • Thursday, January 28: Work session #6—Compact growth: corridor-focused development.
  • Monday, February 1: Work session #7—Parks and recreation for an increasingly urban and diverse community: active and social.
  • Thursday, February 4: Work session #8—Complete communities: mix of uses and forms. Briefing on Equity Focus Areas analysis.
  • Thursday, February 11: Work session #9—Section 3: Implementation chapter. Briefing on indicators to be included in the Plan.
  • Thursday, February 18: Work session #10— Discuss any follow up items from previous work sessions.
  • 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.

At the December 17, 2020 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 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.