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

Montgomery for All

Montgomery for All is a grassroots, community-led group advocating for sustainable and inclusive land use, housing, and transit policies in Montgomery County, Maryland. Our mission is to create a more affordable, equitable, environmentally sustainable, prosperous county through better land use, housing, and transit decisions. Montgomery for All is organized and supported by the Coalition for Smarter Growth. Learn more >>>

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, 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

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.

Montgomery County: Road Code Testimony

Both the Coalition and the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) were actively involved in the entire process that brought us to this point. We began our engagement in early 2007 when we worked with the County Council to adopt a “Complete and Green Streets” law that gave new emphasis to street designs for all users and reduced polluted runoff. Based on direction for the Council, your staff conducted an extensive workgroup process. Both of our organizations participated in the workgroup.

New “Welcome to Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve” Signs

At 10:30 this morning Montgomery County and State of Maryland officials unveiled new state road signs at the major entry points into the county’s nationally recognized Agricultural Reserve. Now drivers who experience the transition from surrounding suburbs into the 90,000 acre reserve will see “Welcome to Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve” signs to know that they are entering a special place in the Washington DC region.

At $80,000 per Space, Proposed Bethesda Parking Garage Needs a Second Look

In the midst of painful budget cuts and transit fare increases, the Montgomery County Council is on the verge of voting to spend $89 million, or $80,000 per space, for a 1,150 space parking garage in the heart of the walking and biking-oriented Bethesda Row district. The new garage will be adjacent to the Capital Crescent Trail and a block away from the planned South entrance of the Bethesda Metro station. The Council’s transportation committee voted for the garage on Friday, before sending the issue to the full Council.