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 covers 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 reevaluates the overlay zone, as well as the current underlying zones in Ashton and recommends adjustments to comply with the 2014 county zoning ordinance.
The Ashton Village Center Sector Plan:
- Assesses existing land use conditions.
- Evaluates the Sandy Spring/Ashton Rural Village Overlay Zone in the context of the 2014 Zoning Ordinance.
- Makes recommendations for revising the overlay zone in response to community and landowner concerns.
- Maintains Ashton’s rural character.
- Involves residents and other stakeholders in the plan development and review processes.
- Contains recommendations to improve compliance with Vision Zero goals providing safe connections for all modes of transportation.
- Enhances opportunities to provide walkable, neighborhood-serving development.
News and Events
March 8, 2022: The Montgomery County Council approved Sectional Map Amendment H-144 and the Zoning Text Amendment 21-11 to enact the recommendations of the plan.
January 24, 2022: Montgomery Planning has extended the deadline for applications to the Implementation Advisory Committee (IAC) to February 25, 2022.
January 11, 2022: Montgomery Planning is currently seeking members for the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan Implementation Advisory Committee (IAC). Residents, property owners, business owners, representatives of civic/condo associations, those with design experience and other community stakeholders are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to those from the Ashton area with diverse perspectives and experience. Montgomery Planning anticipates the IAC will have a maximum of ten members who will be appointed by the Montgomery County Planning Board to serve two- to three-year terms.
Responsibilities of the Committee include monitoring the plan’s recommendations, reviewing development proposals in relation to the applicable Sector Plan recommendations, making recommendations regarding the county’s Capital Improvements Program (CIP), and recommending actions to the Planning Board and County Council.
To apply to become a member of the IAC, please submit a letter of interest of no more than 300 words highlighting your interest, background, and expertise. Once the IAC members are appointed by the Planning Board, an orientation meeting will be set up to review roles and meeting frequency. All letters of interest should be submitted no later than Tuesday, January 25, 2022, to the attention of Jamey Pratt at Jamey.Pratt@montgomeryplanning.org or by mail to Montgomery County Planning Department, 2425 Reedie Drive, 13th Floor, Wheaton, MD 20902.
December 14, 2021: The County Council introduced the Sectional Map Amendment and the Zoning Text Amendment for the Sandy Spring-Ashton Overlay Zone and set a public hearing date for January 18, 2022.
November 4, 2021: The Planning Board voted to submit the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan Sectional Map Amendment (H-144) to the County Council.
July 21, 2021: After receiving the Montgomery County Planning Board’s approval of adoption on July 8, 2021, the full M-NCPPC voted to approve the adoption.
June 15, 2021: Following worksessions in April and May, the County Council voted to approved the resolution for the Plan. Next steps: Full M-NCPPC Plan Adoption, Sectional Map Amendment (to apply the approved zones to the Zoning Map), and setting up the Advisory Committee.
March 2, 2021: Planning staff presented a virtual tour and briefing to the County Council followed by the Council’s public hearing on the plan.
January 11, 2021: The Planning Board Draft of the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan is now available. Also check out the Technical Appendix. (Final versions uploaded January 21, 2021 with minor edits and formatting corrections.)
December 3, 2020: The Planning Board held the 3rd work session for the Plan. The main topic was the zoning height for the southeast quadrant of the Plan’s Village Core neighborhood. Staff Report and Presentation.
November 19, 2020: The Planning Board held the 2nd work session for the Plan. Topics discussed: transportation and circulation; community design and design guidelines; and implementation. Staff Report and Presentation.
October 29, 2020: The Planning Board held the 1st work session for the Plan. Check out the Presentation, Staff Report and attachments below. Topics discussed: land use, zoning, and density; open space; historic preservation; and environment.
- Attachment A – Public Hearing Draft Comment Matrix
- Attachment B – Email and Letter Correspondence Received
- Attachment C – Suggested Text Edits to Plan from Correspondence
- Attachment D – Suggested Text to Technical Appendix from Correspondence
- Attachment E – Public Hearing Transcript Final
July 23, 2020: Planning Staff 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.
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.