Councilmembers Vote to Create Urban District in Friendship Heights

Montgomery County will have a new urban district. 

County Councilmembers voted unanimously Tuesday to establish an urban district in Friendship Heights on the county’s side.

Council Vice President Andrew Friedson is lead sponsor of the bill to create the district. According to council documents, the district would give funding to The Friendship Heights Alliance, which is a nonprofit working to revitalize the area. 

The bill corresponds with legislation from a Washington, D.C. councilmember to create a “Business Improvement District” in Friendship Heights on the D.C. side, per a release from the Montgomery County Council.

“This is the first of its kind in the region,” Friedson said during a council meeting Tuesday. 

“A bi-jurisdictional effort between Montgomery County and D.C. to fund a joint effort for placemaking, for collaboration and partnerships to strengthen the commercial sector, for the ability to create people-oriented public spaces and support a vibrant business community.”

The other urban districts in the county are in Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton. 

The bill expands the purposes of urban districts, creates a commercial district charge to help fund an urban district and establishes a Friendship Heights Urban District Advisory Committee.

According to Montgomery Planning, Friendship Heights “straddles the border between Washington D.C. and Montgomery County with the intersection of Western Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue at its center.”

“It’s a central location across D.C. and Montgomery County, at a red line station,” Friedson said. “We know that Friendship Heights is a great place but it could be a much better place.”

He introduced the legislation Feb. 28.

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