Update on COVID-19 Pandemic Procedures – Traffic Counts Allowed

AvatarElizabeth Rogers, Attorney

The Montgomery County Planning Department has adopted a new Traffic Count Data Collection Policy that will allow certain projects that have been stalled, as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, to move forward.

Traffic counts are typically not allowed to be taken during periods of school closure. As such, when the State of Maryland entered a State of Emergency on March 14, 2020, the Montgomery County Planning Department stopped accepting any transportation impact studies using traffic counts taken on or … Continue Reading

Prince George’s Countywide Map Amendment Process Restarts

Vincent BiaseVincent Biase, Attorney

After a six-month delay due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Prince George’s Countywide Sectional Map Amendment (CMA) is finally back on the County Council’s agenda. The County will kickoff the CMA process next month with a Joint Public Hearing on Thursday, November 19 at 5 PM. Those wishing to participate in or view the Joint Public Hearing can do so at the links provided below:

The Joint Public Hearing on the CMA has been … Continue Reading

Upcoming Dates: Montgomery County Subdivision Staging Policy (Growth Policy)

Steve RobinsSteve Robins

As noted in our prior post, the Montgomery County Council has begun its review of the Planning Board’s Final Draft 2020 – 2024 Subdivision Staging Policy.  By law, the Council must approve the SSP no later than November 15.  In order to meet this deadline, the Council has scheduled several worksessions. GO/PHED Committees have held two joint worksession thus far (September 25 and 30), on both the transportation and school elements, including issues involving the SSP and Impact Taxes. … Continue Reading

Proposed Regulatory Extensions – Prince George’s County Council Responds to COVID-19 Impacts on Real Estate and Development Industries

Vincent BiaseVincent Biase, Attorney

On September 22, Council Bills 73-2020 and 74-2020 were introduced to the Prince George’s County Council. In light of the impact of COVID-19 on the real estate and development industries, CB-73-2020 and CB-74-2020 propose to extend the validity periods for approved Preliminary Plans of Subdivision, Detailed Site Plans, and Specific Design Plans. This legislation would effectively accommodate projects in the development pipeline that have been disrupted by Pandemic-related shutdowns and fluctuations in the marketplace by extending applicable approval periods.

Proposed

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Robert A. Gordon Joins Lerch Early Leading New Bankruptcy/Financial Restructuring Practice

Chris RuhlenChris Ruhlen, Principal

Robert A. Gordon has joined Lerch Early as a principal after 14 years as a judge on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland. The move bolsters the ability of Lerch Early’s Land Use group to advocate for its clients in a critical area that will become even more important in the wake of the pandemic.

Before coming to the bench, Robert represented clients in every aspect of commercial litigation and insolvency law, in both federal and state

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Proposed Expansion of Solar Facilities in Agricultural Reserve

AvatarElizabeth Rogers, Attorney

On January 21, 2020, a Zoning Text Amendment (No. 20-01) was introduced by the Montgomery County Council to amend the use standards for Solar Collection Systems.  The ZTA is primarily intended to allow larger solar facilities in the Agricultural Reserve (AR) Zone. 

Currently, a freestanding Solar Collection System is only permitted as an accessory use in the AR Zone.  The proposed ZTA seeks to expand this use allowance, by permitting larger Solar Collection Systems, subject to Site Plan approval by … Continue Reading

Bowie Master Plan Update

Vincent BiaseVincent Biase, Attorney

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is moving forward with its update of the 2006 Approved Master Plan for Bowie and Vicinity. The long-awaited update of the Master Plan kicked off earlier this year with the Prince George’s County Planning Board Initiation in January, followed by the District Council’s approval of prospective goals, concepts, and guidelines for the Master Plan in February.

The update process is currently in its primary Public Participation Phase. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, … Continue Reading

Just Announced: Lerch Early’s Regional Housing Update (online event)

AvatarElizabeth Rogers, Attorney

Last year’s Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments report was clear: The DC Metro Area is facing a housing shortage, needing 320,000 more housing units by 2030 to keep up with growth.

This, of course, was pre-COVID. Now that we’ve settled in, at least a little bit, to our new normal, it’s time to take a look ahead at the single family, multifamily, and senior housing segments in the Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and DC markets: What impact, if any, … Continue Reading

County Growth Policy (formerly, SSP) Update: Planning Board Draft Transmitted to the County Council

AvatarLaura Tallerico

On July 30, the Montgomery County Planning Board (Board) voted to transmit its recommendations for the 2020-2024 Subdivision Staging Policy (SSP) to the County Council. A copy of the Planning Board Draft can be found here. The Board recommends renaming the SSP the County Growth Policy, but its other recommendations will meaningfully impact development in the County. In worksessions, the Board has made significant changes to what was proposed in the hearing draft of the County Growth Policy (Hearing … Continue Reading

Prince George’s County & District Council Update: Transition to Virtual Hearings

Vincent BiaseVincent Biase, Attorney

On July 21, the Prince George’s County Council voted unanimously to authorize the District Council’s transition to virtual hearings. The Prince George’s County Council has been operating remotely for several months now.  But up until just recently, the District Council, which plays a significant role in land use entitlements in Prince George’s County, has been at a standstill, unable to operate virtually. This has had the undesirable consequence of putting a halt to many development projects in the County.  But … Continue Reading