Zoning Changes Would Allow Transit-Oriented Multi-Family Development in Montgomery County

Montgomery County, Maryland wants to put its zoning where its transit is—it's just the latest in a string of transit-oriented land use reforms for the famously suburban county.

December 9, 2020, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Maryland

Bethesda, Maryland in Montgomery County. | Jon Bilous / Shutterstock

"Two new [Montgomery County] bills would allow multifamily housing near Metro stations and protect renters in transit areas from price gouging," reports Briana Adhikusuma.

Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando is expected to propose zoning change to "allow multifamily housing on R-60-zoned residential property within a mile of a Metrorail station," according to Adhikusuma.

"The structures would have to be within the building height, lot coverage, setbacks, minimum lot size and minimum parking requirements allowed in an R-60 zone."

Moreover, additional flexibility will be offered within a half-mile of transit stations, including Missing Middle Housing options, according to the article. Jawando is calling the effort the "More Housing for More People" initiative. The Silver Spring Downtown Plan, as discussed in public hearings in the county during June of this year, also calls for Missing Middle Housing.

More Housing for More People would realign Montgomery County relative to the transit-oriented development incentives found in the counties around Washington, D.C. The effort is just the latest attempt at land use reform in the county. In October, the county council approved a tax incentive for high-rise developments on Metro station properties. In August of this year, the county ended a development moratorium, and in .

In addition to the zoning changes, Jawando is offering additional legislation "to protect renters against rent gouging in transit areas," reports Adhikusuma. More details on that legislation can be found in the source article.

Planetizen shared news this week of Montgomery County's work on a new general plan, called Thrive Montgomery 2050, which, still in early planning stages, calls for more priority on housing supply and Missing Middle Housing as affordability tools in addition to a new approach to the integration of land use and transportation planning.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 in Bethesda Magazine

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

San Francisco Houses

‘Mega-Landlords’ Threaten Housing Stability for Renters

As institutional investors buy up a larger share of single-family homes, the families renting them are increasingly vulnerable to rent increases and eviction.

May 15, 2022 - The Hill

Protected bike lane New York

How To Sustain the E-Bike Boom: Make Riders Feel Safe

Riders of electric and non-electric bikes alike agree that they would ride more if they felt safer on city streets, signaling a need for an increased focus on bike infrastructure.

51 minutes ago - Bloomberg

Urban Solar Power

Zoning Stands in the Way of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is cheap as ever, but zoning isn’t keeping up with the market.

1 hour ago - Popular Science

Walkable DC

Mixed Use Could Lower Neighborhood Crime Rates

New research shows areas with a heavy concentration of commercial offices experience 40 percent higher crime rates than neighborhoods that mix residential and commercial uses.

2 hours ago - Arch Daily

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

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.