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Public Outreach on Zoning Code Rewrite to be Held in Fall

Fall is when the Rockville community will have its opportunity to chime in on a project to rewrite and update the city’s zoning ordinance.

A consultant team is developing draft zoning regulations for the current phase of the project based on a diagnostic report that is a result of the team’s analysis of the city’s standing zoning ordinance.

The diagnostic report includes:

  • An evaluation of the zoning ordinance against the objectives of the city’s comprehensive plan and recommendations for revisions to bring them into alignment.
  • A map-based assessment to determine whether existing zoning standards are consistent with the built environment.
  • An organization and consistency analysis to highlight shortcomings in code language and organization.
  • An assessment of administration and procedures to build an understanding of processes, supplemented by interviews with code administrators.
  • A review of waiver and variance applications to identify potentially burdensome or unnecessary regulatory hurdles for residents.

Public outreach meetings are expected to be held in fall to present the diagnostic report and calibration report.

Among recommendations outlined in the report is an emphasis on the need for streamlined development review processes and clearer, more understandable language in the zoning ordinance, ensuring consistency with other sections of the city code. New development and design standards will be necessary to promote housing variety while maintaining compatibility with existing neighborhoods.

The report also proposes new standards for open spaces, neighborhood amenities and specific “community nodes,” per the Rockville 2040 Comprehensive Plan. It recommends a significant focus on development around high-capacity transit stations and reconsidering parking minimums in these areas.

The executive summary of the report and full zoning diagnostic report are available for review on the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite project webpage.

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