Montgomery County Council Gives Preliminary Approval to Comprehensive Zoning Rewrite

January 17, 2014

The Montgomery County Council completed its worksessions on the comprehensive rewrite of the Zoning Ordinance introduced by Zoning Text Amendment 13-04 ("ZTA") with a preliminary vote to approve the ZTA as revised during the worksessions. The ZTA completely restructures the current Zoning Ordinance by:

  • replacing many of the existing zones with new zones;
  • providing new development standards and use standards for existing and new zones;
  • establishing new terms and definitions and changing and/or updating existing ones;
  • creating new development approval procedures and due process requirements; and,
  • providing for the transition from the current Zoning Ordinance to the new zones, development standards and approval procedures under the revised Zoning Ordinance, including how existing improvements and entitlements will be "grandfathered."

Council staff is drafting a resolution reflecting the approved revisions to the ZTA as introduced. It is expected that the approval resolution will be acted on by the Council in February. If finally approved by the Council as currently proposed, the ZTA will be effective on October 30, 2014.

The Council is still reviewing the District Map Amendment ("DMA") associated with the ZTA that proposes the comprehensive rezoning of many areas of the County to the new zones established in the ZTA. The Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee of the Council is expected to resume its review of the DMA in June or July of this year.

For some properties, the ZTA and the DMA may have a positive impact or no effect at all, whereas for others, it may result in reduced development densities, lost grandfathering protections and increased development restrictions. Each property should be reviewed independently to assess the impacts of the ZTA and the DMA, once approved.

Please contact one of our land use attorneys listed below if you have concerns about how the ZTA and DMA may affect your properties or if you otherwise need any assistance.   

Bethesda Attorneys

Todd D. Brown at 301-961-5218 or

Yum Yu Cheng at 301-961-5219 or

C. Robert Dalrymple at 301-961-5208 or 

Heather Dlhopolsky at 301-961-5270 or

Stephen P. Elmendorf at 301-961-5110 or

Erin E. Girard at 301-961-5153 or

Nathan J. Greenbaum at 301-961-5196 or 

Stephen Z. Kaufman at 301-961-5156 or

Anne M. Mead at 301-961-5127 or

Barbara A. Sears at 301-961-5157 or

Emily J. Vaias at 301-961-5174 or

Scott C. Wallace at 301-961-5124 or


Linowes and Blocher LLP has prepared this e-blast for general information purposes only, and the information contained in it does not constitute legal advice. This e-blast is not an offer to represent you and does not create an attorney-client relationship with Linowes and Blocher LLP or any of the firm's lawyers. You should not act, or refrain from acting, in a manner that changes your legal position based upon any information contained in this e-blast without first consulting with an attorney.