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Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Takes Effect Next Month

The time for change in the Zoning Ordinance is fast approaching. The New Zoning Ordinance Rewrite (adopted by the District Council in March 2014) will take effect October 30, 2014. The District Map Amendment that rezoned the entire County to implement the Rewrite also will take effect on October 30.

The Planning Board continues to accept applications under the current law. However, the Staff recommends that to be safe, applications seeking to be reviewed under the current Ordinance should be submitted by September 2, 2014. This will allow sufficient time for initial review, resubmission, and further review, so as to be found complete and be “accepted” by October 29. Only then will the current Ordinance continue to apply to those applications. The Planning Board also is accepting applications made under the new standards of the Rewrite (that is not yet in effect), with the understanding that those applications cannot be acted upon by the Board until after October 30.

A broad Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA No. 14-09) has been introduced that is intended to make a number of clarifications and corrections in the Rewrite as it was adopted, and incorporates into the Rewrite those text amendments adopted by the Council since action on the Rewrite. This Amendment also makes some substantive modifications. The public hearing on this Amendment is scheduled for September 9, 2014. Action is planned to occur before October 30, so that all the Amendment elements will be included in the Rewrite when it takes effect. Any additional clarifications or proposals to modify the Rewrite should be submitted as soon as possible.

Bill Kominers is a land use attorney who served on the Montgomery County Zoning Advisory Panel. He represents developers and businesses (particularly biotech companies) before courts and administrative agencies in Maryland and the District of Columbia in proceedings involving rezoning, master plan amendments, subdivisions, adequate public facilities examinations, site plan reviews, special exceptions, variance and building and occupancy permits. For more information about the new zoning ordinance in Montgomery County, contact Bill at (301) 841-3829 or


This content is for your information only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney before acting on any information contained here.


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