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Montgomery County's rural areas encompass the 93,000 acre Agricultural Reserve along with the larger rural communities of Damascus and Poolesville; small crossroad communities such as Beallsville, Sunshine and Dickerson; and areas with mixed open land and housing. The forward-thinking 1964 General Plan focused growth in defined corridors emanating from the population centers in and around the Capital Beltway. Between those corridors, the General Plan called for wedges of low-density residential uses, open space and protected farmland.
The County's Agricultural Services Division was created to support and promote the viability of the agricultural industry in Montgomery County. Agricultural activities occupy about one-third of Montgomery County's land area and the County's diverse agricultural industry - 540 farms and 350 horticultural enterprises - produces more than $287 million in economic contribution and employs more than 10,000 residents.
We create great communities by developing master plans, reviewing applications for development and analyzing various types of information to help public officials plan for Montgomery County's future. Learn more.
The Planning Board meets weekly to review development applications and other projects, and our planners are actively engaged in the community. Learn what planning initiatives are taking place in Area 3: Up-County, Rural Area.
The 2014-2015 Winter Speaker Series held the following session on February 11, 2015, “Creating and Sustaining the County’s Agricultural Reserve.” This session traces the 30-year effort to protect the rural landscape and the working farms of upper Montgomery County. It discusses the technical planning, legal and political challenges that were overcome to establish the Agricultural Reserve in 1980 and sustain a working landscape against continuing efforts to compromise its integrity. Link to original video
The latest episode of Montgomery Plans spotlights our Zoning Code Rewrite, greening the down-county with free trees, a tour of Germantown Town Center three years after the master plan took effect and the latest big decisions of the Planning Board.
The annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale will be held on Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26, rain or shine. This year’s event is slated to be one of the biggest, and most diverse, in the tour’s 26-year history. Visit montgomerycountymd.gov/farmtour for list of farms (pdf) for schedule and the map of farms (pdf) for locations. (press release)
Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board (APAB) oversees the County's Public Policy and programs that protect farmland for future generation and makes recommendations to State and County officials regarding farmland preservation issues. This Board normally meets on the second Tuesday of each monthat the Upcounty Regional Service Center, Germantown, Maryland. Meetings start at 730 pm and are open to the public. Please contact Jonathan Casey for more details.
Agricultural Advisory committee (AAC) Provides liaison between the County Government and the agricultural sector and to coordinate local government services in rural areas and to provide input and recommendation on issues impacting the rural and agricultural areas.This committee normally meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Upcounty Regional Service Center, Germantown, Maryland. Meetings start at 7:00 pm and are open to the public. Please contact Josh Penn for more details.
Rustic Roads Advisory Committee (RRAC) Primary Focus Rustic Roads: Meets 4th Tuesday each month. Please contact Leslie Saville for more details. Rustic and Exceptional rustic roads are preserved under the Rustic Roads Program, which provides a system for evaluating, protecting, and enhancing these scenic roadways. The program includes nearly 100 roads. The Rustic Roads webpage outlines the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee (RRAC) meetings for the rest of the year.
|Area 3||Planner to Call||Telephone|
|Area 3 Chief||Kip Reynolds||(301) email@example.com|
|Administrative Aid||Rebecca Boone||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Master Plan Area||Planner to Call||Telephone|
|Supervisor||Fred Boyd||(301) email@example.com|
|MARC Stations||Roberto Duke||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sandy Spring Rural Village||Kristin O’Connor||(301) email@example.com|
|Agricultural Reserve||Josh Penn||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Leslie Saville||(301) email@example.com|
|Clarksburg||Ryan Sigworth||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Cloverly||Kristin O’Connor||(301) email@example.com|
|Damascus||Mary Beth O’Quinn||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Fairland/Burtonsville||Kristin O’Connor||(301) email@example.com|
|Germantown||Leslie Saville||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Olney||Roberto Duke||(301) email@example.com|
|Potomac Subregion||Fred Boyd||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sandy Spring||Kristin O’Connor||(301) email@example.com|
|Upper Rock Creek||Roberto Duke||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
Forest Conservation Banking/
Water and Sewer Amendments/
Patuxent River Primary Management Plan
|Katherine Nelson||(301) email@example.com|
|Forest Conservation||Josh Penn||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Marybeth O’Quinn||(301) email@example.com|
|Rustic Roads||Leslie Saville||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Elsabett Tesfaye||(301) email@example.com|
|Regulatory Review||Planner to Call||Telephone|
|Supervisor||Rich Weaver||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Subdivision Review||Ben Berbert||(301) email@example.com|
|Subdivision Review||Jonathan Casey||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Subdivision Review||Ryan Sigworth||(301) email@example.com|
|Site Plan Review,
Public Arts Panel Coordinator
|Molline Jackson||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Site Plan Review||Sandra Pereira||(301) email@example.com|
|Forest Conservation Ordinance- NRIs, Exemptions||Mary Jo Kishter||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Transportation Planning||Michael Garcia||(301) 495-4549||Michael.Garcia@montgomeryplanning.org|
*Some jurisdictions within Montgomery County—such as the cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg and some smaller taxing districts such as Poolesville—have independent planning and zoning authority over land within their boundaries. Contact those jurisdictions directly for information about properties within their borders.
Date of last update: July 24, 2015