Michaelson Discusses Master Plans

Posted Date: 
March 12, 2013

From left to right: Vice-Chair Gus Bauman, Senior Legislative Analyst with the Montgomery County Council Marlene Michaelson, MCCC President & CEO Gigi Godwin

Vice-Chair Gus Bauman welcomed MCCC Members and introduced the speaker, Marlene Michaelson, Senior Legislative Analyst with the Montgomery County Council.

Michaelson described how the County develops Master Plans for 36 areas, which include planning, zoning, and other locational issues.  Plans are designed to be updated every 10 years,  but sometimes it is much larger an that. Land use issues is often where most citizens interact with County government.

The Council considers plans based on a number of different factors, including pressure from the community and land owners. Schedules usually go out for several years, so when there is an urgent issues, political influences determine where plans line up in the queue. The council has two roles in the early stage of the  process only: scope and schedule because the initial staff work is supposed to be non-political.

Currently, the County is trying to maximize development around transit, which include planned transit like the Purple Line and Corridor Cities Transitway. Michaelson mentioned that 1/3 of the County is reserved for agriculture. Most of the struggles are in the middle areas, which are suburban neighborhoods.

The County is also trying to advance mixed-use development so that people can live near where they work and where they shop, which will also relieve some traffic congestion. This would also create communities where people want to be. She mentioned efforts to do this on both the eastern and western parts of the County.

Michaelson moved on to discussing s pacific master plans. Recently the Council approved master plans on Wheaton, Shady Grove, and various other places currently around transit. Over the next year, the Council will be reviewing plans in locations like Chevy Chase Lake and the Bethesda CBD.

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