Land Use 2050

Thrive Montgomery 2050 is considering the existing land uses – residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, agricultural and more, in light of anticipated population and employment growth and increased interest in more walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. Here is what we know so far:

  • Montgomery County is still growing: The county is populated by one million people and projected to gain an additional 200,000 residents in the next 25 years. It has settled into a slower growth phase as dwindling supplies of developable land and burdened transportation capacity no longer sustain rapid growth.
  • Undeveloped land is getting scarcer: Only 18 percent of the county is available for development on undeveloped land. This percentage is a huge reduction from the last General Plan revision, when more than 40 percent of the county was available undeveloped land.
  • Residential still king: Comprising more than 32 percent of Montgomery County’s total acreage, residential land uses are the predominant land use category in the county. Single-family homes comprise 92 percent of the total residential acres. Only four percent of areas able to accommodate employment centers.
  • Rural open space serves as national model: The county’s Agricultural Reserve covers 93,000 acres, about a third of the county. It continues to be a national model for agricultural and rural open space preservation and provides significant economic and environmental benefits for the county.

Lunch and Learn:”Growing” Neighborhood Farms

On May 4, Montgomery Planning hosted a Lunch and Learn featuring Hannah Sholder and Kate Medina of the Charles Koiner Conservancy for Urban Farming, shared their vision for an “urban reserve” in Montgomery County – a network of urban farms that connects neighbors with each other through the food they eat, the local food system and nature. Ms. Sholder and Ms. Medina described how an “urban reserve” can address Thrive Montgomery 2050’s framework of economic health, community equity and environmental resilience. They also discussed CKC Farming’s financial, land acquisition and community-based stewardship models to create an “urban reserve” in Montgomery County.

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Last Updated: May 8, 2020