In 1965, the Voting Rights Act was passed, the Beatles performed the first stadium concert in the history of rock, and the Washington Hilton opened just north of Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

It was also the last time the City of Gaithersburg performed a comprehensive update of its Zoning Ordinance.

The City has commenced a comprehensive review and overhaul of the City’s Zoning Ordinance to address any inconsistencies within the existing code and modernize and re-organize the code with more tables, illustrations, and graphics to reflect the City’s vision.

To assist them, the City has contracted with a consultant, ZoneCo, LLC, to help the City’s Planning Department with this effort, which is called “Retool Gaithersburg.” Retool Gaithersburg does not propose to make any changes at this time to the City’s zoning map (for example, how any property is zoned specifically). 

“The last comprehensive update to the City of Gaithersburg Zoning Code was in 1965, a time when the City was mostly agricultural,” according to the City’s project website,, where anyone can sign up to receive project updates.

“Since the adoption of Gaithersburg’s original Zoning Code in 1965, the types of businesses, housing, and industrial uses have changed. Zoning rules must support policies to improve quality of life in the City, prepare for new and innovative businesses and construction methods, and be calibrated for the future demands of the City of Gaithersburg.”

The initiative is very early in the timeline, and the entire process is estimated to last approximately 12-18 months with a public hearing phase and adoption estimated in Spring 2024.

Lerch Early land use and zoning attorneys have their fingers on the pulse of this initiative, having participated in an initial focus group with the City Planning Staff and consultant to discuss the scope of the project.

For more information, contact Land Use attorney Stuart Barr at 301-961-6095 or [email protected].