and in other news...
All images and information (c) 2010-13 Montgomery County Civic Federation (except where noted). All rights reserved.
Former Inspector General decries "Montgomery County government's culture of secrecy"
In a Washington Post Opinion piece published 9/23/11, former IG Thomas Dagley said "Montgomery County
would benefit from a cultural change that encourages residents and employees to ask tough questions on
difficult issues--and forces leaders to answer." (click to view Washington Post Opinion piece)
Report on Design and Construction Flaws in Silver Spring Transit Center released to public
A report from the contracted inspection team entitled "Silver Spring Transit Center Structural
Evaluation of Superstructure" was submitted to county government on March 15, 2013 and released
to the public on March 19. (click for Dept. of General Services webpage to access report)
TO CONTACT MCCF, send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, or click the 'Contact us' button (box under homepage left side menu).
The March 2014 Civic Federation newsletter is now available
online.(click to view latest newsletter)
County Unveiled New Open Government Data Management Website
This site was established in response to the Open Government Act approved by the County Council on
December 11, 2012, which requires all departments and agencies of county government to compile the data
collected or generated by them onto a single publicly available website. The URL for the new website is:
Zoning Ordinance Revision Project and accompanying District Map Amendment
The Planning Board has completed its work on modernizing and updating the county's zoning code. It conducted
worksessions in February to consider definitions, parking and other outstanding issues, and then held its final public
hearing on the draft revised code on April 23. The Board then undertook an implementation review to make
recommendations to Council on applying zone changes, primarily in non-residential areas, through a District Map
Amendment. Implementation review occurred weekly at the Board through early May, at which time both the draft
revised code and implementation recommendations were transmitted to the County Council.
- On 4/5/13, the Council Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee (PHED) received an update on
- On 5/7/13, ZTA 13-04 (proposed new Zoning Code) and G-956 (District Map Amendment) introduced in County
Council. The Council public hearing was held June 11, 2013, and PHED worksessions took place June 14 through
end of September. (click to view staff packet accompanying introduced ZTA).
- Nov.12 & 14, 2013 - Council held second hearing; December 2 and 9, 2013 - PHED Committee held 2 additional
worksessions, to consider testimony from Nov. hearing
- Jan. 14 & 15, 2014 - Council held worksessions on Code Rewrite, action on DMA postponed until summer (on 14th,
improperly adopted Floreen amendment to CR Zones as a Committee recommendation, to allow height and density
limits to be exceeded to accommodate MPDUs--click for Federation Corner column on this change); Council &
Planning staff crafting text to reflect changes Council made to new Code, due mid-Feb.; final Council action expected
by end of Feb.
(click to access newest version of PHED Committee recommended Zoning Code Rewrite and revised zoning map)
[NOTE: existing area Overlay Zones are contained in "59-4. Euclidian zoning" section of new code]
(click to download Zoning Conversion Table listing existing zones and the new zones proposed to replace them)
MCCF has a weekly column entitled the "Federation Corner" that is published in The Montgomery
Sentinel newspaper. The Sentinel comes out on Thursdays, and is available at newsstands and in
newsboxes at Metro stations throughout the county. Past columns are archived on this website (see
the 'Federation Corner columns' tab in the menu to the left).
Most recently archived column:
01/30/14 County still trying to catch up to growth (click title to view)
Important news updates posted on this website (most recent item first)
A more detailed explanation of each item below appears on the webpage for the committee shown--
access via the "Current Issues" button in the menu to the left, then select a committee.
- posted 2/5/14 for Planning & Land Use (White Oak master plan hearing; view MCCF testimony)
- posted 12/8/13 for Planning & Land Use (MCCF testimony to Council on Clarksburg Master Plan
Amendment for Ten Mile Creek Watershed area)
- posted 12/2/13 for Public Safety (Final Report and Recommendations of County Executive's Task
Force on Boosting the Nighttime Economy)
- posted 11/16/13 for Planning & Land Use (MCCF testimony at Council's second set of public
hearings on the Zoning Code Rewrite and accompanying District Map Amendment rezoning)
- posted 1/31/13 for Utilities (Governor released (Electricity) Grid Resiliency Task Force Report)
- posted 11/16/12 for Planning & Land Use (Council approves 2012 Subdivision Staging Policy)
- posted 5/20/12 for Planning & Land Use (pipeline list of development projects that have been
approved but are not yet built, compiled March 2012)
- posted 11/25/11 for Planning & Land Use (Oct. 28 Joint Letter from County Executive, Council
President and Planning Board to MD Dept. of Planning on September revised draft of "Plan
Maryland" for future state growth)
- posted 10/31/11 for Planning & Land Use (on 10/27 Planning Board approved 2011 Mobility
Assessment Report [including intersection congestion levels] for transmittal to Council; 10/31
Council T&E Comm. held worksession on the report)
County Executive Leggett initiated effort to streamline building and land development
On 1/20/12, County Executive Isiah Leggett unveiled a cross agency initiative to 'green tape' the county's
development approval and building permit processes, to make it less costly and shorten the time for
developers to get approval for new construction projects. (click to view county press release or to view the
DPS webpage for the initiative)
- Proposed Executive Regulations approved that affect Dept. of Permitting Services (DPS) application of the
Fire Safety Code (MCER No. 8-12, 9-12, 10-12, and 11-12). Public comments were due by April 30, 2012.
(click to view proposed DPS Executive Regulations)
- The DPS held a public Streamlining Development Round Table on 5/15/12; a series of worksessions took
place 5/29/12. (click to view email announcing Round Table or upcoming meetings of work groups)
- On 11/27/12 DPS held a Streamlining Development Briefing to update public on the initiative. (click to view
Draft Streamlining Initiative Results)
- In April 2013 a Streamlining Development Executive Committee comprised of government officials and
stakeholders, including the MCCF, was created to oversee implementation of the recommended changes..
12/25/12 Examiner article-"Montgomery County lawmaker pushes 'secret' contract with consultant"
According to this Examiner story, Valerie Ervin has been lobbying her fellow Council members to award a
$1.3m contract to a developer consultant of her choice, to help in streamlining the development approval
process (click to view Examiner article)
1/3/13 Examiner article-"MontCo lawmaker denies 'secret' contract"
In this follow-up Examiner story, Ervin denies she is pushing the $1.3m no-bid contract and says there is
nothing secret about it. But according to a copy of the plan created by the proposed consultant the
document is intended only for the County Council--not the public--unless "a contract is awarded to this offer."
(click to view follow-up Examiner article)
1/4/13 Examiner article-"Union wants Montgomery County planning contract investigated"
MCGEO, the County government employees' union, has called for an investigation of Ervin's push for a
"single source, no-bid contract that would streamline the county's planning processes." (click to view article)
Parents Coalition blogspot posts copy of consultant proposal; says Ervin claims it's not secret
Claiming Ervin states it's not a secret, the Parents Coalition of Montgomery County has posted a copy of the
consultant proposal to streamline development approval. In the plan, the proposed contractor, The Clearing,
includes as a reference their contract to improve the planning process in Calgary, Canada, where Rollin
Stanley is now Planning Director. (click to view consultant's proposal)
|NEXT MCCF MONTHLY MEETING
Monday, March 10, 2014
Program: County FY15 Capital Budget and FY15-20 Capital
Speakers: Glenn Orlin, Deputy Council Staff Director; Office of
Management and Budget Director Jennifer Hughes (or rep.); and
Chief Administrative Officer Tim Firestine (or rep.)
County Council Building - 1st Floor Auditorium
100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland