Where There Aren't Enough Schools for New Homes

Parts of Montgomery County, Maryland have declared a moratorium on new homes because schools are overcrowded.

September 12, 2018, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Bethesda, Maryland

Nicole S Glass / Shutterstock

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.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 in Greater Greater Washington

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

LAX Cars

Car Noise Is Killing Us

It’s not just traffic collisions that kill—a new study from researcher at Rutgers finds that the loud noises emanating from cars has direct impact on heart health in Americans.

May 6, 2022 - Streetsblog USA

Rittenhouse Square, a park in Philadelphia, framed by large buildings.

Parks as a Weapon Against Climate Change

The 2022 ParkScore finds that cities are increasingly employing green space as a tool for mitigating heat and extreme weather effects, but the distribution of parks remains inequitable.

May 16 - Trust for Public Land

View of Louisiana state capitol building and downton Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana Capital Shifting to Electric Transit

The Baton Rouge area is now served by a fleet of nine all-electric buses.

May 16 - American Journal of Transportation

Mount Rainier

New Community Engagement Practices for Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan Update

A major update of Seattle’s comprehensive plan is just getting under way, with new opportunities for local groups to get involved with outreach and engagement.

May 16 - Capitol Hill Seattle Blog

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.