Ashton Village Center Sector Plan

The Ashton Village Center Sector Plan will evaluate land use, zoning, transportation, environment, design and other relevant issues in Ashton, a historic crossroads community east of Olney. This sector plan closely follows the 2015 Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan, which evaluated similar issues in the village of Sandy Spring, just west of Ashton. The Ashton Village Center Sector Plan will cover approximately 70 acres around the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Olney-Sandy Spring Road (MD 108).

The plan’s primary focus will be a review of the Sandy Spring-Ashton Rural Village Overlay Zone in light of Montgomery County’s recent comprehensive revision of its zoning ordinance. Zones applied through the revision have enabled finer-grained management of land uses, densities and building heights than was possible under the previous ordinance.

The Sandy Spring-Ashton Rural Village Overlay Zone was created to ensure a “village scale” of development in the business districts of both Sandy Spring and Ashton. It limits uses, densities and building heights. The sector plan will reevaluate the overlay zone, as well as the current underlying zones in Ashton and recommend adjustments if needed to comply with the 2014 county zoning ordinance.

The Ashton Village Center Sector Plan will:

  • Assess existing land use conditions.
  • Evaluate the Rural Village Overlay Zone in the context of the new 2014 zoning code.
  • Make recommendations for revising the overlay zone in response to community and landowner concerns.
  • Maintain Ashton’s rural character.
  • Involve residents and other stakeholders in the plan development and review processes.
  • Develop recommendations to improve compliance with Vision Zero goals providing safe connections for all modes of transportation.
  • Enhance opportunities to provide walkable, neighborhood-serving development.


News and Events

October 24, 2019: Planning Staff will provide a brief synopsis of the previous week’s design workshop and discuss the outline for the plan at the Sandy Spring Museum from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

October 15-16, 2019: The Planning Department will hold an all-day design workshop at the Sandy Spring Museum. The schedule is as follows:

October 15  
9:00 am – 10:00 am 1. Introduction/Plan Purpose

2. Existing Conditions

3. Plan Process

10:10 am – 10:30 am Goals, Analysis Areas, Anticipated Workshop Product
10:30 am – noon Community Priorities: Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) Analysis
Noon – 1:00 pm Break
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Placemaking Principles (Precedents)
2:10 pm – 4:00 pm Mobility: Walk Audit with SHA along MD 108 and New Hampshire Avenue (timed for when Sherwood High School is dismissed).
4:00 – 5:00 pm Community Feedback/Develop Overall Planning Concept
October 16  
9:00 am – 1:00 pm Specific Sites Analysis
1:00 – 1:30 pm Break
1:30 pm – 5:30 pm Document Community Ideas (Closed to Public)
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Discussion, with Public Input, of Priorities, Planning Concepts and Initial Finding

May 23, 2019: The Planning Board approved the Scope of Work for the Sector Plan. The scope outlines the planning framework, development activity, master plan purpose, community outreach and plan schedule for the Sector Plan. Here is the planning team’s PowerPoint presentation. Please note that the schedule for the Plan’s development has been revised. See below for the revised project timeline.

May 16, 2019: About 50 Ashton residents attended the Sector Plan’s Community Kick-off Meeting at the Sandy Spring Museum. Attendees heard a brief presentation from Area 3 Planners on the Plan’s goals, objectives, issues and outreach strategy, and then had an informal opportunity to highlight for the planning team their specific concerns about planning in their community. Take a look at the planning team’s PowerPoint presentation.

Last Updated: September 20, 2019