Planning Board to be Briefed on Thrive Montgomery 2050 Working Draft at October 1 Meeting

September 24, 2020

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Thrive Montgomery 2050
Staff will virtually present to the Planning Board the first draft of the update to Montgomery County’s General Plan; community invited to provide written comments for October 1 meeting.

Wheaton, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), will present the Working Draft of the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Plan to the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday, October 1 at their virtual Planning Board meeting. This is the first full draft plan presented to the Planning Board during the General Plan Update process and will be followed by a public hearing, work sessions and opportunities for additional public comment. Thrive Montgomery 2050 is the update to Montgomery County’s General Plan, a long-range policy framework for guiding future land use and growth. Montgomery Planning invites community members to provide written comments on the Working Draft of the plan to Staff will ask the Board to schedule the public hearing for Thursday, November 19, 2020. At that time, community members will have the opportunity to provide written, video and audio testimony. The public record will stay open until December 10, 2020.

View the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Working Draft.

View the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Outreach Appendix.

View the Thrive Montgomery 2050 October 1 Planning Board staff report.

“We are on the precipice of change in Montgomery County,” says Planning Director Gwen Wright. “We are changing the way we think about growth and planning for the future with our eyes on the outcomes of equity, economic health and environmental resilience. The Working Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050 represents two years’ worth of work, and the recommendations speak to how we can keep our county thriving for the next 30 years. I’m inviting the community to let us know if we got this right by giving us feedback and signing up to testify at the public hearing.”

Montgomery Planning will submit the final draft of the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Plan to the Montgomery County Council for its review in March 2021. When finalized, this Plan update will outline shared priorities and guide decision making for the next 30 years. Thrive Montgomery 2050 focuses on three primary outcomes: equity, economic health and environmental resilience.

The Thrive Montgomery 2050 Working Draft Plan includes the following overarching themes:

  • Compact form of development/urbanism.
  • Corridors are the place for new growth.
  • We must stop planning for cars.
  • Eradicate greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Attainable housing for all income levels.
  • Evolution of single-family neighborhoods near transit.
  • A diverse county.
  • Champion the importance of place.
  • Regional solutions and strategies.

The Thrive Montgomery 2050 Working Draft follows the June 11, 2020 presentation to the Board of the Plan’s goals, policies and actions.

View the Thrive Montgomery 2050 two-sheeter explainer document for information on the plan at-a-glance.

Community Engagement

Over the summer, Montgomery Planning hosted several virtual community engagement sessions – even during this time of social distancing – to obtain feedback on the draft Thrive Montgomery 2050 Policies and Actions to be included in the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Working Draft Plan. Montgomery Planning 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 Montgomery Planning staff about policy recommendations related to planning for the future of the county’s housing, transportation, economy, environment and more. The community chats followed the Ask Me Anything virtual townhalls that Planning Director Gwen Wright hosted in May. View all of the distance engagement events for Thrive Montgomery 2050.

What’s next?

The Planning Board will review the draft plan, give comments and schedule a public hearing for November 19, 2020. Community members can provide written, audio and video testimony on the Working Draft by signing up to testify with the Planning Board. Community members are encouraged to provide written comments or questions on Thrive Montgomery 2050 by sending an email to: or calling and leaving a message on the Thrive Montgomery 2050 feedback line at: 240-630-2526.

Below is a timeline leading up to transmitting Thrive Montgomery 2050 to the County Council:

  • November 19, 2020: Planning Board holds Thrive Montgomery 2050 Public Hearing. (Public comment period is requested to remain open until December 10, 2020).
  • December 17, 2020 through January 28, 2021: Planning Board holds work sessions.
  • February 11, 2021: Planning Board provides final comments for Thrive Montgomery 2050.
  • March 2021: Planning Board approves Thrive Montgomery 2050 Planning Board Draft for transmittal to the County Council and County Executive.

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.