Local master plans addressed on April 16 include: Bethesda-Chevy Chase Master Plan (Bethesda Central Business District, Friendship Heights Central Business District, Westbard); North Bethesda/Garrett Park Master Plan (White Flint, Twinbrook), and the Potomac Subregion Master Plan.
In 2007, the Montgomery County Council directed the Planning Department to undertake a comprehensive Zoning Code rewrite. Last rewritten in 1977, the 1,200-page code is considered hard to use, inconsistent and outdated. Planners are working with Code Studio, a team of nationally recognized consultants; a citizen panel, the Zoning Advisory Panel (ZAP); and other county agencies on this project.
Planners have released several draft sections of the proposed Zoning Code, covering what’s permitted in each zone, how you can build, and the process by which development is reviewed and approved. In addition, planners have analyzed how to reduce or consolidate 123 existing zones into 30, working to ensure consistency with existing height and density rules as well as recommendations in each community master plan. Throughout the revised sections, planners have strived to make the code easier to use by adding diagrams and clearer text.
The new Zoning Code drafts will continue to undergo review and revision as people provide input through the Planning's outreach efforts and as more details are discussed by the ZAP. Planners will release the preliminary draft of a complete, consolidated zoning ordinance this summer. Residents can comment now, over the summer, when the consolidated release goes to the Planning Board next fall, and when the County Council holds hearings and worksessions in 2013.