Montgomery County, Maryland, home to several affluent Washington, D.C. suburbs, wants to attract millenials. It spends over $180,000 educating its young from kindergarten to grade 12 only to lose them to urban settings when they graduate college.
Overshadowed by nearby D.C. in urban amenities, lacking an urban-style transportation network and aging faster than any other county in the metro area, Montgomery's share in the 24-35 age bracket is at 19 percent, while its elderly population grew by nearly 40 percent in the last decade.
A new county has to take root along the old, said County Executive Isaiah Leggett, emphasizing the need to grow the tax base to support the aging population.
Legislative measures under consideration include loosening liquor laws and noise ordinances and developing urban features like outdoor movies and cafes in the hopes that young people will want to live, work and play locally. A new Taskforce on the Nighttime Economy will study how to improve nightlife offerings through more live music venues, bars and restaurants.
New urban-style developments along mass transit in Silver Spring and White Flint (Rockville) will provide both high-end and moderately-priced housing, retail, entertainment and open space for newcomers, but the County still needs to fight the perception that it's a good place to move to after age 35.