It's been a long wait, but county planners are out with their first zoning revision in 35 years and it envisions a modern Montgomery County that leaves 1950s-era commercial strips and office parks behind.
The draft of the zoning rewrite project—almost two years in the making—is now available for public review, according to a statement Wednesday by the planning department.
"Since October 2010, planners have been revising sections of the Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance as drafts for consideration by county officials, residents and members of an advisory panel," according to the department.
"The revisions are part of an ambitious effort to rewrite the Zoning Code to modernize antiquated, redundant zoning regulations and create new tools to help achieve goals in community plans," the department added. The code has not been rewritten since 1977, and is currently about 1,200 pages long.
The revised code "is expected to reduce the number of zones [from 123 to fewer than 40], clarify what uses are permitted in each zone, and rethink 1950s-era commercial strips and office parks." The "consolidated draft ... addresses many of the comments received so far," the department statement added.
By releasing a consolidation of the zoning rewrite project draft for public comment, planners hope to solicit more input before bringing the draft to the county planning board for consideration in September and throughout the fall.
The draft of the zoning rewrite project may be downloaded at www.zoningmontgomery.org.