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Posted on: August 24, 2020

Subdivision Staging Policy -- Updates & Impacts

By County law, Montgomery County’s Subdivision Staging Policy (SSP), to be renamed County Growth Policy, must be updated every four years, The final stage in the quadrennial update of Montgomery County's Subdivision Staging Policy (SSP) is underway.  Following the public hearing held on September 15, two County Council committees began reviewing the Planning Board's draft SSP.  In the next several weeks, these committees will determine their recommendations about how to deal with school overcrowding and changes to taxes (impact taxes and recordation taxes).  The County Council will vote on the new policy by November 15.

The Montgomery County SSP (to be renamed County Growth Policy) is used in conjunction with County Master Plans to determine whether public facilities, such as public schools and transportation systems, are sufficient to support new development. The SSP imposes taxes to fund the new development, and if public facilities are found to be insufficient, it outlines remedial actions.

The Town’s Subcommittee on Regional Growth and Development reviewed the Planning Board’s draft SSP and submitted recommendations for Town Council action.

The Town’s key positions, outlined in a letter and testimony provided to the County Council, include: 1) continue residential housing moratoria (now triggered when schools are overcrowded) for one year while a task force consisting of residents, planning staff, and MCPS develops an effective replacement tool to control school overcrowding; 2) conduct a comprehensive fiscal study of the impacts of proposed policy changes on total revenues; 3) continue use of the motor vehicle adequacy test near Metrorail and Purple Line stations because traffic congestion still matters.

The County Executive and the Montgomery County Council of PTAs also have reviewed and commented on the Planning Board’s draft and raised some of the same objections as those raised by the Town. In the coming weeks, further discussions with County Council members will be ongoing, and the Town intends to submit a second letter to the County Council. Residents are encouraged to review the SSP documents and submit comments to the County Council.

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