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Dan Reed reports on a decision in parts of Montgomery County to stop buildings new homes because of a lack of space in local schools.
This summer, Montgomery County’s planning department declared a “moratorium” in several areas, including Silver Spring, Wheaton, and part of Bethesda, because some schools are projected to have more students than there is space. This halts new development in those area until enrollment drops, the boundaries are moved, or additional classroom space can be found.
Reed provides a history of how local officials for student projections so wrong, as detailed also in an article by Katie Shaver for the Washington Post. At least some of the cause is traced to the increasing demand for walkable urban neighborhoods—even in suburban areas. Communities like Silver Spring and Bethesda fit the bill, while communities farther out, like Gathersburg and Germantown aren't drawing like they used to.
The article includes two final calls to action. One calls for a YIMBY movement (i.e., pro-development) for schools, and the other is an appeal to think about homes as a critical piece of infrastructure, like homes, roads, or power lines.