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Press Releases - County Council

Council Passes Zoning Measure to Streamline Processes for Home-Based Businesses

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 13, 2024

From the Office of Council President Andrew Friedson

The Montgomery County Council voted today to enact a zoning measure that would streamline processes to support a variety of local businesses, including home-based businesses focused on child care and health and wellness. The zoning measure and its companion subdivision regulation amendment (SRA) were sponsored by Council President Andrew Friedson. 

“In order to facilitate the private sector investment, we need to support our shared priorities; we must be strategic and intentional; and break away from the same old approaches that lead to the same old results,” said Council President Friedson. “This commonsense reform will streamline bureaucratic processes and help cut unnecessary red tape to support a variety of local businesses, including home-based childcare, retail and service establishments and home health practitioners.”

Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 23-11, Regulatory Approvals - Conditional Use, would take certain uses that are conditional and make them limited, as well as combine other uses to streamline applications that are reviewed by the Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearing (OZAH). ZTA 23-11 will streamline OZAH’s processes by allowing limited use approval in certain zones for businesses including home-based child care, home health practitioners, retail and service establishments, and rural country markets, among other measures. 

The zoning measure will also provide the Hearing Examiner with more flexibility when reviewing applications. SRA 23-02, Preliminary Plan - Approval Procedures, will allow concurrent review of a preliminary plan and conditional use application. 

These zoning changes will reduce unnecessary steps and better synchronize the Hearing Examiner and Planning Department processes.  

Council President Friedson introduced ZTA 23-11 as part of a continued effort to cut bureaucratic red tape and reduce regulatory burdens. Previous streamlining efforts sponsored by Friedson and supported by the Council include ZTA 21-09, which reduced regulatory review processes by 75 percent for priority biohealth facilities, and ZTA 22-02, which streamlined processes to help biohealth facilities build and expand in urban areas including North Bethesda and Silver Spring. Friedson also spearheaded ZTA 23-02, along with Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles, last year to significantly reduce the time it takes to produce new mixed income housing communities. 

The full staff report can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 24-057
Media Contact: Cindy Gibson 240-620-8571
Categories: Andrew Friedson