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Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Update Project Reaches Key Milestone

The first phase of a project to rewrite and update Rockville’s zoning ordinance is complete, resulting in the production of a zoning diagnostic report that will serve as a road map for the next phase of the project, known as “Calibrate.”

This 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.

The diagnostic report identifies several key focus areas during the zoning rewrite’s Calibrate phase, which will focus on revisions to the city’s development standards and zoning districts.

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 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.

This report will serve as a road map for the Calibrate phase of the project.

The executive summary of the report and full Zoning Diagnostic Report are available for review on the project webpage at www.rockvillemd.gov/2521/Zoning-Ordinance-Rewrite.

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