The purpose of the Growth and Infrastructure Policy (formerly Subdivision Staging Policy) is to establish a process that can give guidance on matters concerning land use development, growth management, and related issues. It includes guidelines for the Planning Board and other agencies in administering laws and regulations that affect the adequacy and timing of public facilities needed to support growth and development, and is to be adopted by the Council every four years. This is the growth policy referred to in Article 28 of the Maryland Code and in Division 50.10. – Section 10.3. and elsewhere in the County Code.
1960 – General Plan
County adopts its General Plan, which identifies goals that require special legislation to achieve – one being the goal of timing the delivery of public facilities and private development.
1973 – Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance
Council adopts the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, to be administered by the Planning Board, with the goal of synchronizing development with the availability of public facilities needed to support the development. This follows a U.S. Supreme Court decision (Golden v. Planning Board of the Town of Ramapo ,1972) that finds adequate public facilities ordinances constitutional.
1986 – Growth Policy
Council enacts legislation during the building boom of the mid-1980s under which a growth policy was adopted. The policy is intended to include criteria and guidance for the administration of the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance.
2010 – Subdivision Staging Policy
Council renames what was formerly called ‘Growth Policy’ to ‘Subdivision Staging Policy’, and calls for an update to be done every four years.
2012 Subdivision Staging Policy
A new transportation test, Transportation Policy Area Review (TPAR), is introduced. TPAR establishes standards for roadway and transit adequacy, measures the impacts of development in each of the county’s 30 traffic policy areas, and determines which policy areas meet those standards.
2016 Subdivision Staging Policy
A new schools test that evaluates capacity at the individual school level is added to the Annual Schools Test. School facility payments are eliminated, and the school impact tax is increased by 33 percent instead. Student generation rates are required to be updated on a biennial basis. The Transportation Policy Area Review is eliminated from the transportation test.
Why do we need a growth policy like the Subdivision Staging Policy?
The Subdivision Staging Policy is a monitoring system. It helps pace new development with the infrastructure needed to support it. The policy relies on the best available planning tools, predictions, and information to signal to planners and elected officials when transportation systems or public school facilities are becoming overcrowded.
What is the relationship between the Subdivision Staging Policy and the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance[APFO]?
The Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance is a set of laws in the Montgomery County Code that requires the government to evaluate public infrastructure capacities and find it to be sufficient to support a proposed development before approving certain plans and permits. The Subdivision Staging Policy supplements the APFO by providing the criteria, guidelines and tools to be used for the capacity analysis.