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Council Committee Continues Zoning Review Today

The Montgomery County Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee at 9:30 a.m. on July 12, will continue its extensive review of the first proposed major changes in the County Zoning Ordinance since 1978. At Friday’s worksession, among the items to be discussed are proposed regulations offered by the Department of Permitting Services (DPS) regarding the sale of seasonal outdoor items—such as holiday trees and pumpkins—in certain areas.

The PHED Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Floreen and includes Councilmembers Marc Elrich and George Leventhal, will be meeting regularly through September to review the changes in the zoning ordinance that have been suggested by the county’s Planning Board. The committee will use the worksessions to make recommendations to the full Council, which will eventually decide what changes will be implemented.

The PHED Committee will meet in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. Both sessions will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcasts also will be streamed through the County Web site at

Detailed information about the zoning rewrite can be found at a new site that is part of the Council home page at: .

DPS is proposing standards for the sale of season outdoor items that would require sellers to acquire a permit from DPS granting permission for sales of up to 45 days. The property used for the sales must be vacant or used for nonresidential purposes.

The committee also will look at having better descriptions of non-residential buildings that would be located within residential zones. These buildings could include a medical/dental office or a charitable-use building.

The central topic on Friday will be Overlay zones—zones that also would apply to areas that have already been given other zoning designations. Where new master plans only recommend deleting Overlay zones, the proposed ordinance would delete them (examples of current Overlay zones can be found in Wheaton and Route 29/Cherry Hill).  New Overlay zones are proposed for Transfer Development Rights receiving areas and regional malls.

The PHED Committee will continue its review of zoning changes on July 19. Among the topics scheduled to be addressed at that worksesssion is floating zones.

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