Montgomery County

Image: Dan Reed

Montgomery is home to a strong school system, well-paying jobs and technology clusters, remarkable diversity, growing urban centers, an expansive park system, and our nationally-heralded Agricultural Reserve. Montgomery County has long been an innovator when it comes to forward-thinking, progressive policy solutions. Among those innovative policy solutions are its inclusionary zoning program, parks and conservation, and transit initiatives.

With the county projected to grow by 230,000 residents over the next 25 years, progressive and innovative smart growth policies are a must-have for the county to handle that growth, generate the tax revenues necessary to maintain high-quality services, and thrive as a sustainable, equitable, and economically-competitive community.

Our Work in Montgomery County, MD


Better Buses

In December 2020, we launched the Montgomery Better Buses campaign with over 20 of our allies. We’re pushing Montgomery County to conduct a comprehensive redesign and reimagining of the Ride On and Metrobus systems, with an improvement and investment plan for the next 15 years. Buses are the backbone of a sustainable, equitable transportation system and a thriving local economy. We seek to make buses: 1) the mode of choice, 2) fare-free, and 3) carbon neutral. Learn more >>>

Image: MW Transit Photos, Flickr

Missing Middle Housing

Allowing for more diverse housing types (duplexes, triplexes, and other small multifamily buildings) is an important strategy to make neighborhoods more economically diverse, improve walkability, and offer a range of housing opportunities for households with different needs. Previously outlawed, the county is now considering ways to make it easier to build different housing types, especially near transit. Learn more >>>

Image: Sightline Institute

Silver Spring Downtown & Adjacent Communities Plan

The SSDAC plan is the new master plan for the Silver Spring central business district and several nearby neighborhoods. The plan can help shape downtown Silver Spring’s future to be one that improves pedestrian and bicycle safety; continues to be racially, ethnically, and economically diverse; is a vibrant commercial center; and more. Learn more >>>

Image: Montgomery Planning

Thrive Montgomery 2050

Montgomery County is updating its General Plan, “Thrive Montgomery 2050.” Thrive will be the blueprint for the county’s growth over the next 30 to 50 years and help to drive the county’s policy agenda. We’re organizing a local grassroots group, Montgomery for All to advocate for a plan that paves the way for a more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable future. Learn more >>>

Image: Montgomery Planning

Past Campaigns


  • Accessory Dwelling Units: We teamed up with Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland to make it easier for homeowners to add an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to their home. We’re continuing our advocacy and outreach by hosting homeowner ADU workshops and pushing for expanding financing tools, especially for low-income homeowners. Learn more >>>
  • Bus Rapid Transit: In 2013, the Montgomery County Council unanimously approved an ambitious 81-mile bus rapid transit system (BRT). We are advocating for a dedicated lane in this first stage by asking the Montgomery County Council to divert $16 million of design funding for the other routes toward building dedicated lanes on US 29. Learn more >>>
  • The Midcounty Highway Extended: The Midcounty Highway Extended, or M-83, is a proposed limited access highway that would connect Montgomery County’s Clarksburg to Gaithersburg, and was initially proposed in the 1960s.  The 6-lane highway, which would run parallel to Route 355 to the east, would harm wetlands, fragile stream valleys, the agricultural reserve, and divide existing neighborhoods in Montgomery Village and Germantown. Learn more >>>

TESTIMONY: Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan

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We support the draft of the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan, although we believe there is room for improvement to think more strategically, creatively, and boldly about certain elements. In general, we are excited that the plan embraces downtown Silver Spring as the right place to grow, and to grow in a way that supports diversity, connectivity, resiliency, and health. 
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RELEASE: CSG Responds to Anti-Housing Protesters at Planning Board

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Montgomery County, Md – “Montgomery County’s Thrive 2050 General Plan update is imbued with the progressive and creative spirit that has long been at the core of the community’s values,” said Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG). “This is why we are so saddened to see the strident opposition to the county’s efforts to address a housing crisis through Thrive 2050 and a separate study of Attainable Housing Strategies.”
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Let’s keep Ride On free!

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Did you know that Ride On has been free since March 2020? We've successfully advocated for the emergency free fare program to be extended twice, and now the County Council is going to decide whether or not to make it permanent. Tell the County Council to keep Ride On free!
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Take Action: How should we live in 2050?

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Do you want to be able to easily walk, bike, or hop on a bus? Wouldn't it be great if it were easy to find a great place to live that doesn't stretch your budget? How can we make sure our neighborhoods are resilient in the face of climate change?
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Thrive Montgomery 2050 banner

Take action on Thrive 2050, new Montgomery County’s General Plan

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Sustainable, efficient, equitable land use is core to a healthy future and ensuring a high quality of life for everyone. For nearly two years, Montgomery County has been working on a new general land use plan called Thrive 2050, a blueprint for how and where the county will grow over the next 30+ years.
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