ALERT: Proposed Forest Conservation Legislation

that could have a significant effect on development moving forward

Forest mitigation banks are an off-site method commonly used to meet certain environmental requirements under the Maryland Forest Conservation Act (the “Act”).  A recent Office of the Attorney General opinion established that off-site existing forests encumbered with a protective easement do not qualify as forest mitigation banks.  This strict interpretation of forest mitigation banks has the potential to have significant effect on development moving forward, particularly for developers in heavily urbanized jurisdictions.  House Bill 991 was recently introduced in an … Continue Reading

Update: Silver Spring Downtown & Adjacent Communities Sector Plan

Stacy SilberStacy Silber, Principal

On February 18, Park & Planning Staff briefed the Planning Board on its existing conditions analysis regarding the Silver Spring Downtown Plan Area.   Staff reported that there currently is approximately 24 million square feet of development in downtown Silver Spring and 40 million square feet of currently mapped density through the existing zoning, leaving approximately 16 million square feet of unbuilt capacity.   Staff is beginning to grapple with why there remains such a wide range of unused density, and how … Continue Reading

Attorney Marrisa Rose Joins Lerch Early’s Land Use Practice

Land Use GroupLand Use Group

Lerch Early is pleased to welcome attorney Marrisa Rose as an associate in the Land Use/Zoning practice.

“Lerch Early’s Land Use Practice Group is excited to welcome Marrisa,” said Christopher Ruhlen, chair of the Land Use practice. “We’re looking forward to her becoming an important part of the team serving our clients and the firm.”

Marrisa earned her law degree from The George Washington University School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Policy from the … Continue Reading

UPCOMING EVENT ON FEBRUARY 4: Housing Production and The Impact on Regional Economic Competitiveness

AvatarElizabeth Rogers, Attorney

Last fall, the Land Use Group at Lerch, Early & Brewer held a Regional Housing event, focused on the state of the housing market in the DMV.  The event explored how the Region’s housing market was responding to the housing shortage identified by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the associated housing targets established by local jurisdictions (like Mayor Bowser in DC and the Montgomery County Council), especially in light of COVID-19. 

Lerch, Early & Brewer Land Use Attorney Liz Rogers … Continue Reading

Montgomery County Council to Expand in 2022

Councilmanic Districts to be Revised to Add New Members

Chris RuhlenChris Ruhlen, Principal

In the 2020 General Election, Montgomery County voters approved a fundamental change to the structure of the Montgomery County Council, the legislative branch of the County’s government.  By approving “Question C,” voters have initiated a process whereby the County will create two new councilmanic districts, adding two new members to the Council’s legislative body.  Significantly, this will represent the first change to the Council’s composition in more than 30 years, affecting the disposition of certain land use matters that come … Continue Reading

Thrive Montgomery 2050

Stacy SilberStacy Silber, Principal

The Planning Board held its first worksession, on December 17th, on the “Thrive Montgomery 2050” Plan (i.e. the update to the County’s General Plan). An overview of the Plan can be found here, in our prior blog post.  The Board supported Staff’s recommendations to significantly reorganize the Plan to emphasize (1) Economic Performance and Competitiveness, (2) Racial and Social Equity and Inclusion, and (3) Environmental Resilience and Sustainability.   The Plan will also be updated to … Continue Reading

Rockville 2040: Comprehensive Plan Update

Pat HarrisPat Harris

More than two years ago, the City of Rockville commenced its “Rockville 2040: Comprehensive Plan.”  The first step involved the Planning Commission’s review of Volume 1 of the draft Comprehensive Plan, which was a “30,000 foot view” of planning issues and elements effecting the City.  The substantive recommendations guiding future development within the City are set forth in Volume II of the Plan.  Volume II addresses the key planning issues for each of the City’s 17 Planning Areas and identifies … Continue Reading

Montgomery County Council Adopts 2020-2024 Subdivision Staging Policy

AvatarElizabeth Rogers, Attorney

On November 16, 2020, the Montgomery County adopted the new, four-year Subdivision Staging Policy, to be renamed the Growth and Infrastructure Policy, controlling growth and development for the next four years. Lerch, Early & Brewer was pleased to have had a significant role in working with Park and Planning Staff, the Planning Board, County Council Staff and the County Council itself on a policy that will better accommodate new development.

Most significantly, the new SSP eliminates the school moratorium policy, county-wide. … 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

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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