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Posted on: February 3, 2021

News on Missing Middle Housing and ZTA 20-07

County Proposed Residential Zoning Updates to Accommodate Missing Middle Housing

The Town Council has been closely following the progress of the County’s proposed residential Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 20-07, which would allow Missing Middle Housing (market-rate, house-scale duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, small apartment buildings) to be built by right in single-family neighborhoods within one mile of Metro, including most of the Town and on the 4H property. Based on a recent opinion from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, the Town Council believes that our municipal building regulations will continue to apply to all residential structures within the Town, including any Missing Middle Housing that the County may authorize in the future.

On March 4, the County Council sent a letter to the County Planning Board and Planning Department urging the Planning Board to develop new residential zoning rules that consider both the concepts currently included in ZTA 20-07 and in a new draft ZTA (which would allow the Planning Board to approve Missing Middle Housing on certain residential lots within one-quarter mile of Bus-Rapid-Transit corridors). The County Council hopes to consider the Planning Board’s zoning reform recommendations around the same time that it considers Thrive Montgomery 2050, the proposed County general plan update that espouses the value of Missing Middle Housing across the County.

We anticipate that the Planning Board will transmit its Thrive Montgomery 2050 draft to the County Council on April 8, 2021. As part of a neighborhood coalition, the Town Council submitted a letter on March 18 to the County Council that reflects our serious concerns about the process followed by the County Planning Board in rewriting the public draft of the Thrive Montgomery 2050 general plan.

Town Council Seeks Resident Feedback on Missing Middle Housing

To enable the Town’s continued advocacy with the Planning Board and the County Council, the Town Council hopes to develop a position on Missing Middle Housing based on resident feedback and other information. In particular, the Town Council would like to hear residents’ opinions about three different scenarios for the Town (or other variations that residents would like to see):  

  1. Construction of duplexes and triplexes only on single lots within the current Town building code envelope (i.e. using the same height and setback requirements that apply to a single-family house);
  2. Construction of townhouses on combined lots; or
  3. No Missing Middle Housing development within the Town.

On April 8, from 7-9 p.m., the Town Council will hold a forum to discuss feasible types of Missing Middle Housing and listen to residents' opinions.  In preparation, each resident is encouraged to listen to the March 16 County Planning Board session on Missing Middle Housing.  Following the forum, Councilmember Irene Lane will hold a series of recorded listening sessions for residents to provide feedback.  The listening sessions are currently scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, April 13 at 7 p.m.;
  • Sunday, April 14 at 4 p.m.;
  • Wednesday, April 21 at 1 p.m.; and
  • Monday, April 26 at 7 p.m.

Stay tuned for more details, and please continue to send comments, questions, and RSVP for the listening sessions at townoffice@townofchevychase.org.  Residents also can send comments directly to County Councilmembers:

Councilmember.Reimer@montgomerycountymd.gov

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