Montgomery Council Approves Thrive Montgomery 2050

Montgomery County Council recently approved Thrive Montgomery 2050, a general plan that sets the future development of the county through mid-century. 

Earlier this week, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously on a resolution to approve Thrive Montgomery 2050. For 18 months, Councilmembers have been working with staff and residents to develop a general plan for the County’s future. The Council’s revised version of the Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee Draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050 contains the text and supporting maps for a comprehensive amendment to Montgomery County’s current General Plan (On Wedges and Corridors). Thrive Montgomery 2050 is meant to be a foundational document that provides comprehensive information and tools for the implementation of the plan’s recommendations.

According to the press release:

“Thrive is a compelling vision for Montgomery County’s future and lays a framework to preserve things that make our community great, while meeting the unique needs of our growing County,” Council President Gabe Albornoz said. “We’re grateful to everyone who engaged with us and shared valuable insights that helped inform our decision-making. Throughout this process, the Council has made time to incorporate voices from communities across the County and gather diverse perspectives and input.”

“From the beginning of this process, we have worked in close partnership with community members and the County Council to think about the future of our County,” said Acting Planning Director Tanya Stern. “Thrive isn’t about reinventing the County. It’s about enhancing what’s great, reinforcing what works and rethinking what doesn’t. Using Thrive as a guide will help us realize a more equitable Montgomery County with accessible, mixed-use corridors connecting residents, employees and visitors and more housing and community amenities for all.”

The document provides a framework for Montgomery County’s future growth and encompasses broad, countywide policy recommendations for land use, zoning, housing, the economy, equity, transportation, parks and open space, the environment and historic resources. The plan defines the basic land use policies for all public and private development in Montgomery County.

The revised plan, as approved by the Council, adds three new chapters, one on each of the three overarching objectives of economic health, racial equity and social justice, and environmental resilience. The plan emphasizes improvements in transit, bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure, while balancing the needs of car-dependent residents and industries. Additionally, the plan supports policies to increase energy efficiency, stormwater management and other factors that increase environmental sustainability.

Thrive Montgomery 2050 also promotes housing for all residents by supporting a diversity of housing types to meet the unique needs of residents; supports the strengthening of tenant protections to ensure healthy and fair housing; and supports the creation of neighborhood stabilization strategies for communities of color.