New Zoning Regs Meant to Make County ‘More Competitive’ in Pursuit of Amazon

The Montgomery County Council will consider procedural changes to the county’s development review in an effort to expedite large company headquarters, including cutting reviews from 120 days to 60 days.

“It is fashioned so that we are competitive in the pursuit for Amazon, there’s no question about that,” Council President Hans Riemer said Monday.

He said the regulations create predictability and reliability.

“It’s a streamlining of the process so that a company could look at the county and say over 10, 15, 20 years, we can do what we need to do in a timely manner,” Riemer said.

The new regs, proposed by County Executive Ike Leggett, will be introduced at Tuesday’s council meeting. A public hearing has been scheduled for May 15.

The regs would cover companies that would bring 25,000 employees in a Metro policy area. Building height could be 100 feet taller, but only if they already were mapped to be at least 150 feet, and ultimately limited to 300 feet. The county Planning Board would have to find that the new height is compatible with the neighborhood.

The proposed zoning regs dominated much of the discussion at Riemer’s regular meeting with reporters Monday.

He said the council would not want to lose any of the public’s goals through cutting the development time in half.

“It is definitely my belief that if we staff it properly, we can do everything faster,” he said. “It would require a different staffing approach. You can’t just use the existing approach and pretend you’re going ot cut it in half. We would have to come up with a special fast lane staffing model to make that possible.”

The bill is not written just for Amazon, Riemer said. “It would remain in the code.”


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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


One Response to “New Zoning Regs Meant to Make County ‘More Competitive’ in Pursuit of Amazon”

  1. Avatar
    On April 10, 2018 at 11:24 am responded with... #

    get a haircut Hans

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