Ashton Village Center Sector Plan

The Ashton Village Center Sector Plan evaluates land use, zoning, transportation, environment, design and other relevant issues in Ashton, a historic crossroads community east of Olney. This sector plan 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 127 acres around the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Olney-Sandy Spring Road (MD 108).

The plan contains a review of the Sandy Spring/Ashton Rural Village Overlay Zone, which 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 Sandy Spring/Ashton Rural Village Overlay Zone in the context of the 2014 Zoning Ordinance.
  • 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

September 17, 2020: The Planning Board will hold a Public Hearing to receive public testimony on the Public Hearing Draft of the Plan. The Technical Appendix Draft (version 2) is also available.

July 23, 2020: Planning Staff presented presented the Working Draft to the Planning Board, which approved the draft as the Public Hearing Draft and set a public hearing date of September 17, 2020. See also a brief summary of the recommendations.

April 16, 2020: Planning Staff presented Preliminary Recommendations to the Planning Board. View the staff report.

January 29, 2020: The Montgomery County Planning Department hosted a community meeting at the Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department Number 4 (17921 Brooke Road, Sandy Spring, MD). The meeting focused on obtaining feedback from the community on staff-prepared potential development scenarios for the Village Center, including residential and commercial uses and publicly accessible open space. View the presentation or take a look at the design scenarios handout.

October 24, 2019: Planning Staff provided a community briefing of the previous week’s design workshop and discuss the outline for the plan at the Sandy Spring Museum.

October 15-16, 2019: Area 3 staff conducted a two-day workshop at the Sandy Spring Museum with stakeholders in the Ashton community to hear their visions for the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan. (Workshop schedule)

October 15, 2019:

At the beginning of the workshop, staff gave a brief presentation on existing conditions and precedents that may be applicable to the plan area.

In the morning, stakeholders participated in a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis of the Ashton Village Center plan area. Here is a link to stakeholders’ SWOT Analysis.

During the afternoon, the State Highway Administration (SHA) and Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) along with stakeholders and planning staff led a Walk Audit of MD 108 from the Sandy Spring Museum to the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and MD 108 during afternoon dismissal for Sherwood High School. Stakeholders and transportation planners assessed the quality of the walk for pedestrians and noted where there were safety issues and where the pedestrian experience could be improved.

October 16, 2019:

Stakeholders and staff broke out into four groups and developed preliminary ideas for recommendations for the planning area.

In the evening staff presented the initial findings from the two-day workshop and took questions from the community.

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.

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.

Last Updated: August 19, 2020