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Thrive Montgomery 2050

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Planning Board approves Thrive Montgomery 2050

The Thrive Montgomery 2050 plan is an update to Montgomery County’s leading planning policy document, the General Plan. The last time this plan was updated was in 1993. Currently, the Montgomery County Council is reviewing the following documents, approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board in April 2021.

View the PHED Committee Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050

View the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Explainer (August 2021): English | አማርኛ | 汉语 | Español | فارسی | Français | 한국어 | Tiếng Việt

View Thrive Myths vs. Facts

Today’s challenges

Today Montgomery County finds itself facing new challenges and changing circumstances that require us to rethink approaches that served us well in the past. Montgomery County has tremendous assets, including a highly educated workforce, proximity to the nation’s capital, and a culture of openness to newcomers, but we also are struggling to attract businesses and house our residents, grappling with a legacy of racial and economic inequality, and facing the effects of climate change. As a group our residents are older, more diverse, and less likely to live in traditional family arrangements. We have evolved from a bedroom community to a complex jurisdiction with major employment centers, urban hubs, mature residential neighborhoods, and rural landscapes.

With 85 percent of our land already developed or otherwise constrained, accommodating even the relatively modest growth expected over the life of this plan is an ambitious undertaking.

The demographic characteristics of Montgomery County residents have changed. With 85 percent of our land already developed or otherwise constrained, accommodating growth will be a challenge. This plan outlines strategies to accommodate growth in ways that not only make room for new residents but also improve the quality of life for the people who are already here.

While the Wedges and Corridors Plan was visionary, its implementation also had some unintended consequences such as inequitable investment between the eastern and western parts of the county, excessive reliance on automobiles, and zoning of more than one-third of the county exclusively for single family homes. Discriminatory land use and planning-related practices, including the legacy of redlining and racial covenants combined with exclusionary zoning, produced inequitable patterns of development.

While the end of de jure racial discrimination eliminated many legal barriers to equity, social and economic obstacles remain. For Montgomery County to continue to thrive, we must be prepared to make difficult decisions and take bold steps to prepare for the future. Thrive Montgomery 2050 is the vehicle for assessing these shifts and adapting our approach to planning for the next 30 years.

Last Updated: August 2, 2022