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Press Releases - County Council

Council Enacts Legislation Led by Council Vice President Friedson to Create a New Urban District to Revitalize Friendship Heights

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 11, 2023

From the Office of Council Vice President Friedson

Today, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to enact Expedited Bill 13-23, Montgomery County Urban Districts – Friendship Heights Urban District, which will create an urban district located in the Friendship Heights area of the County. The legislation was spearheaded by Council Vice President Andrew Friedson, who is the Council’s Planning, Housing and Parks Committee chair and the district Councilmember for the area.

“With its central location across D.C. and Montgomery County right at a Red Line Metro station, Friendship Heights has virtually unlimited potential to be a prime location to live and work, play and stay,” Council Vice President Friedson noted. “By bringing together businesses and residents on both sides of Western Avenue through the Friendship Heights Alliance, we can create an attractive and cohesive sense of place that serves the day-to-day needs and desires of both residents and businesses.”

The legislation establishes the urban district that will provide funding for, and support the work of, The Friendship Heights Alliance. This nonprofit organization works on behalf of businesses and residents in Friendship Heights to further economic vitality and strengthen community in the area.

This legislation dovetails with legislation proposed by Washington, D.C. Ward 3 Councilmember Matthew Frumin to develop a Business Improvement District on the D.C. side of Friendship Heights.

"The bi-jurisdictional Friendship Heights Alliance, strengthened as a D.C. BID and Maryland Urban District, will support a robust recovery for the Friendship Heights commercial district," said D.C. Councilmember Frumin. "I look forward to partnering with the Montgomery County Council and the Friendship Heights Alliance to support the local business community along the Wisconsin Avenue Corridor."

The legislation also establishes a five-member Friendship Heights Urban District Advisory Committee, expands the purposes of urban districts in the County, creates a commercial district charge as an additional mechanism to fund an urban district, and generally amends the law concerning urban districts.

The Friendship Heights Urban Advisory Committee members must be appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the Council. The proposed five-member committee will include two commercial property owners nominated by the Friendship Heights Alliance, one residential renter in the district, one residential property owner and one business owner nominated by the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce.

Montgomery County’s other urban districts serve Wheaton, Bethesda and Silver Spring.

The urban district boundaries and more information on the proposed legislation can be found here.

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Release ID: 23-125
Media Contact: Cindy Gibson 240-620-8571
Categories: Andrew Friedson