Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
COVID-19 Information Resources
On January 21, Governor Hogan renewed the state of emergency in Maryland due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information on the state’s response to the pandemic can be found here.
Montgomery County’s COVID-19 Information Portal provides the latest news and updates on the number of COVID cases reported in Maryland communities, COVID-19 testing, vaccine distribution, and executive orders and guidance to address the pandemic.
Significant Changes to Land-Use Rules Proposed
Update: Planning Board hearing rescheduled from January 28 to February 4.
What Land Use Changes are Proposed?
The Montgomery County Council is considering significant changes to land-use rules that would allow duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, and small apartment buildings to be built by right on residential properties (25,000 square feet or less) within the Town and other communities surrounding Metro (see Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 20-07). 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 site provided that the height, setback, and lot coverage limits are met.
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.
How is the Town Responding to ZTA 20-07?
The Town Council discussed 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 February 4, 2021 and at the County Council public hearing on February 11, 2021.
Learn More About ZTA 20-07
To learn more about ZTA 20-07 and/or provide your comments, you may:Listen to Town Councilmember Irene Lane’s two virtual community sessions on ZTA-20-07. A recording of the first session is available here and a recording of the second session is available here.View a Power point presentation about ZTA-20-07 that describes it and some of the Town's concerns about it.Read the draft Coalition letter to the Planning Board about ZTA-20-07. The Town has been collaborating with other municipalities, neighborhood associations, and community groups (the Coalition) to coordinate a response to the ZTA. This draft letter does not take a position about the ZTA's objective; rather, it objects to the process being followed. At this time, the Town Council has not developed a position on the ZTA's objective but unanimously objects to the process being followed. The draft letter includes a set of questions developed by the communities in the Coalition about the ZTA.
What Can You Do?
Send questions and/or comments to:
The Town Council at email@example.com
County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson at MCP-Chair@mncppc-mc.org. Comments must be received before noon on February 2; earlier is better than later.
The County Council at County.Council@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov
Our district's County Councilmember Andrew Friedson at Councilmember.Friedson@montomgerycountymd.gov
Sign up to testify at the Planning Board hearing on February 4, 2021, time TBD. You can sign up to testify at the hearing (the deadline to sign up is noon on Wednesday, January 27). Sign up here. All testimony is by phone.
Sign up to testify at the County Council public hearing on February 11, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
Stay tuned for more information.
Council Approves New Gas-Powered Blower Regulations
At its December meeting, the Town Council approved new regulations of gas-powered blowers. The new regulations are in response to resident concerns about noise and other impacts of this type of landscaping equipment. Specifically, they 1) expand quiet hours during which the use of gas-powered blowers is prohibited and 2) implement a ban on the use of gas-powered blowers from January 1 through October 14, effective in 2022. The regulations exempt gas-powered snow blowers and sprayers and do not include a total ban of gas-powered blowers. Montgomery County noise regulations also remain in effect in the Town.
Battery-Powered Blower Rebate Program The Town Council recently approved a rebate program for battery-powered blowers and related equipment that is intended to reduce the noise from landscaping activities. Residents may request a rebate for half the cost of the purchase of a battery-powered blower, batteries, and chargers, up to a maximum rebate of $200 per household. The equipment may be purchased by a resident or by a contractor for use in landscaping activities on the resident’s property. The Council approved $30,000 to fund the program, and these funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis until May 31, 2021. More information about the program and an application form can be found here.
Montgomery County Climate Action Plan Webinar Recording Available
On January 21, the Town's Climate and Environment Committee held its first webinar in the Green Town Series. Adriana Hochberg, assistant to County Executive Marc Elrich, and two of her colleagues gave an overview of Montgomery County's Climate Action Plan and answered questions as the County moves toward finalizing the plan by spring 2021. This was a joint event between the Town and Village of Chevy Chase. A recording is available here.
Winter Clothing Drive Continues Until February 28
The Town continues to donate winter clothing to Interfaith Works, which distributes it to 13,000 income-qualified residents, including nearly 6,000 children. Please donate clean, gently used or never worn clothing, such as coats, gloves, hats, and socks, as well as waterproof winter wear. The 24-hour donation box is on the front porch of Marjorie Shaw and Barney Rush at 6917 Maple Avenue.
Please Clean Up After Your Pet The Town office has received complaints about the improper disposal of dog waste. The Town has installed numerous dog waste stations in Town. A map can be found here. We appreciate your cooperation in addressing this issue.
Please Obey County Leash Laws
The Town office has received calls from residents complaining that dog owners do not observe the County's leash law. Please remember that your dog should always be on a leash when not in a fenced portion of your yard. Even generally well-behaved dogs off leash can be threatening to pedestrians and other dogs on leash. Please observe this law so that everyone can enjoy walks through the Town with or without their dogs.
Town Office Schedule and Updates Related to COVID-19
Town staff continues on a telework schedule. Residents who need to drop off materials to the Town office may use the mailbox located outside the front door to the Town Hall. We will try to process all permits and other applications in a timely manner. Phone calls and email are being monitored and answered as usual. In addition, the Jane Lawton Recreation Center remains closed until further notice. For current Montgomery County closures, please check here.
Residents are encouraged to connect with the Town through the Town Crier email alert system and with fellow residents through the private Town Neighbors listserv. For information on how to join the Town Neighbors listserv, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Both resources offer an important way to stay informed and in touch.
The Town website provides links to official resources for more information on coronavirus preparedness and response.
Important Phone Numbers
Click here for a list of important phone numbers. In case of emergencies, always call 911.
Upcoming Meetings & Events
Click here to view the Town calendar.