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The Montgomery County Council is considering significant changes to land-use rules that would allow multi-family housing to be built on residential properties within the Town and other communities surrounding Metro. These zoning changes are set forth in proposed Zoning Text Amendment [https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/Resources/Files/zta/2020/ZTA%2020-07.pdf] (ZTA) 20-07, which was introduced on December 8, 2020 by County Councilmember Will Jawando. The stated purpose of ZTA 20-07 is to provide more housing options within transit-proximate neighborhoods at more price points to alleviate Montgomery County’s affordable and “missing middle” housing shortages.
What Does ZTA 20-07 Propose?
If adopted, ZTA 20-07 will change current County zoning rules to allow duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, and small apartment buildings to be built by right on R-60 parcels (that are 25,000 square feet or less) located within 1 mile of a Red Line Metro station entrance. Nearly all lots in the Town would be eligible for such multi-family structures.
The ZTA proposes that the County’s setback requirements and height limits for single-family houses would apply to the multi-family housing types. It is unclear at this time if the Town’s more restrictive requirements would also apply. For lots within one-half mile of a Metrorail station entrance, the County’s lot coverage limit (which now ranges between 20% and 30%) would increase to 35%, and on-site parking space requirements would be reduced. There would be no limit on the number of dwelling units that could be built on a lot provided that the height, setback, and lot coverage limits are met.
How is the Town Responding to ZTA 20-07?
The Town Council will discuss ZTA 20-07 at its January 13, 2021 Council meeting. So far, the Town Council has agreed to undertake efforts to maintain its existing regulatory authority over all residential development within the Town, regardless of housing type, and the Town Council will further develop its position on ZTA 20-07 based on resident feedback and other information. The Town Council has been meeting with County Councilmembers, Planning Department Staff, and other communities to learn more about and discuss ZTA 20-07. The Town’s Subcommittee on Regional Growth and Development and the Long-Range Planning Committee have reviewed the ZTA and submitted comments to the Town Council. The Town will submit written comments and testify at the Planning Board public hearing on January 28, 2021, and at the County Council public hearing on February 11, 2021.
Learn More About ZTA 20-07 and Provide Your Comments.
To learn more about ZTA 20-07 and/or provide your comments, you may:
Attend the virtual Town Council meeting on January 13, 2021, which begins at 7 p.m.
Attend one of the virtual listening sessions about the zoning proposal led by Town Councilmember Irene Lane on January 14, 2021 at 6 p.m. and on January 18, 2021 at 6 p.m. Please RSVP to the Town at firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] . Send questions and/or comments to:
The Town Council at firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson at MCP-Chair@mncppc-mc.org [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
The County Council at County.Council@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov [mailto:email@example.com]
Sign up to testify at the Planning Board hearing on January 28, 2021, time TBD, and at the County Council public hearing on February 11, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
Stay tuned for more information.