January 24, 2022
The Honorable Gabe Albornoz
Stella Werner Council Office Building
100 Maryland Ave
Rockville, MD 20850
Council President Albornoz:
The undersigned organizations urge you to expeditiously schedule work sessions and a vote on Thrive Montgomery 2050 to follow the regional citizens advisory board listening sessions and conclude prior to the County Council’s work on the operating budget. We believe passage of Thrive is of the utmost prudence, given the upcoming budget season, election, and other important priorities that should be addressed before this County Council ends its term.
Thrive is a landmark document that will set the county on a new path toward more sustainable, inclusive land use policies that will help to spur our economy, lower our greenhouse gas emissions, and break down the inequities of the county’s east-west divide. The document as it stands is strong and should be considered an achievement — it reaffirms much of the county’s embrace of walkable, mixed-use, transit-oriented development over the past several decades, while calling to do so even more boldly and urgently, with equity and climate placed at the forefront. Adopting Thrive’s framework now is critical to be able to apply to ongoing and future master plans, zoning amendments, capital investments, and other public policies.
There have now been six formal opportunities for the public to comment on Thrive — at each of which a majority of residents spoke in favor of the plan’s approach to land use and growth. This is in addition to the two years of community outreach and engagement conducted by the Planning Department, which influenced the original direction of the plan and subsequent amendments. With incorporation of this public input, Thrive Montgomery 2050’s positive, sustainable, and equitable vision for planning and community development has remained intact.
Our organizations have separately submitted comments for additional improvements to Thrive and look forward to the County Council’s work sessions to further strengthen this much needed new general plan. It is a plan we support, and we look forward to its swift approval by the end of February and no later than March 15 so that the hard work of implementation may begin in earnest.
Action Committee for Transit
Action in Montgomery
Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County Co-Chairs Barbara Goldberg Goldman and Ralph Bennett
Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing
Audubon Naturalist Society
Coalition for Smarter Growth
Enterprise Community Partners
The Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND)
Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland
Montgomery Housing Alliance
Sierra Club Montgomery County
Washington Area Bicyclist Association
CC: Council Vice President Evan Glass
Councilmember Hans Riemer
Councilmember Will Jawando
Councilmember Andrew Friedson
Councilmember Sidney Katz
Councilmember Craig Rice
Councilmember Nancy Navarro
Councilmember Tom Hucker