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. Read about our platform. 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

Chevy Chase Library

Chevy Chase Library needs major repairs, and the county can either renovate the library as-is, or redevelop the library with mixed-income housing. County Executive Marc Elrich has directed the county to renovate the existing library, leaving behind an important opportunity for affordable housing a short walk from a future Purple Line light rail station in a high-demand neighborhood. Read our fact sheet and learn more >>>

Image: Action in Montgomery (AIM)

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 >>>

Latest Happenings

Testimony before the Montgomery County Council supporting the Takoma/Langley Crossroads Sector Plan

Overall, we want to express our support for this thoughtful plan. It addresses the need for transit-oriented redevelopment around the Purple Line and guides the re-creation of an inner suburban district. It provides policy goals to preserve existing affordable housing, increase MPDUs, and retain small businesses. The plan seeks to create interconnected, walk- and bicycle-friendly streets. We appreciate the plan’s aim to create urban parks, green streets, and improved water quality.

Montgomery County: Testimony Regarding the Falkland Chase Plan

We have weighed the concerns expressed by a variety of residents and groups regarding the best course for the Falkland North site. The decision regarding the historic designation of the south and west parcels, and the redevelopment of the existing buildings and grounds of the north parcel will continue to be one of earnest disagreement among some stakeholders. Opponents of redevelopment of the north parcel point to the distinctive social and architectural history of the site and the loss of numerous mature native trees. We acknowledge that these are indeed significant losses. However, we believe that the benefits of the proposed project for Falkland Chase North outweigh these losses, along with the preservation of the historic south and west parcels. After careful review of plans, reports, a brief site visit, and comments from opponents and proponents, we believe that this project has many local, county and regional benefits.

Montgomery County: Testimony regarding the White Flint Development Tax District Transportation Infrastructure Improvements

We would like to express our support for the White Flint Sector Plan and urge the Council and County Executive to create a feasible transportation infrastructure financing plan to move this effort forward without delay. We call on the Council to work with the Executive to establish a financing plan that is fair, accelerates redevelopment, and rightfully places this high value Metro-oriented development plan as a top priority for County and state transportation spending. The urgent need to create a workable, timely transportation financing plan requires us to rethink our spending priorities.

Montgomery County: White Flint Sector Plan

We would like to express our support for the White Flint Sector Plan and urge the Council and County Executive to support it too. We strongly support the County focusing growth here at a Metro station rather than new areas that require major new public infrastructure investments like the Gaithersburg West Plan, which we oppose in its current form. We need to make the distinction – we should focus growth around our Metro stations and revitalize major commercial corridors like Rockville Pike. Conversely, the great amount of development proposed in the Gaithersburg West Plan fosters sprawl, long distance commuting, increased traffic, air and water pollution. Overzoning Gaithersburg West undermines the redevelopment of Rockville Pike and Metro station areas – the very areas where we should be encouraging sustainable, transit-oriented development and great urban boulevards and streets.

Montgomery County: Gaithersburg West

We urge you to oppose the Gaithersburg West Plan. We believe that the major expansion in planned employment proposed in the Plan is detrimental to county residents and poses a serious threat to smart growth in the region. We urge the county to refocus efforts to ensure a quality growth plan for the White Flint Metro station area, and fostering employment growth at existing underutilized Metro stations and along transit corridors in down and east county locations. The Life Sciences Center (LSC) portions of the Gaithersburg West Plan proposes excessive density for the location–far from a Metro station, which will exacerbate the housing-jobs imbalance, and induce sprawl and unnecessary car traffic.