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Sectional Map Amendment (SMA) Process

Damascus Master Plan Update

May 25, 2006: Unanimously approved by the County Council.

The process for enacting the Sectional Map Amendment (SMA) for the Approved and Adopted Damascus Master Plan is underway. This is the next step in the legislative approval process, and implements the zoning changes recommended in the Master Plan. This process began after the approval and adoption of the Master Plan by the County Council on May 25, via Resolution #15-1485. Upcoming actions include:

  • The Montgomery County Planning Board is scheduled to adopt the Plan by Resolution No. 06-48 and request introduction of the SMA by the County Council at their June 15, 2006 meeting. This report will be posted on the Planning Board website. The staff is mailing notices to all affected property owners.
  • The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is scheduled to adopt the Plan on June 20, 2006 by Resolution No. 06-11.
  • The Montgomery County Council will introduce the Sectional Map Amendment (G 854) on June 20, 2006 to implement the zoning recommendations in the Master Plan. A public hearing on the SMA is scheduled at the County Council for July 25, 2006. The Council staff will also send notices to all affected property owners. Anyone can comment a the public hearing, and can request zoning that differs from what is recommended in the Master Plan.

If you wish to speak regarding the modifications in the SMA or any other zoning change, please plan to attend or submit your comments in writing to the County Council. In summary, the SMA reflects the following changes recommended in the Master Plan:

Town Center

  • All properties in the Town Center will change from current zoning to either the MXTC Zone (Mixed-Use Town Center) or the MXTC/TDR Zone (Mixed Use Town Center / Transferable Development Rights)

Transition Area

  • Several existing residential neighborhoods directly adjoining the Town Center will be changed from the RE-2C Zone to the R-200 or RE-1 Zone to reflect existing lot sizes in those neighborhoods
  • Seven property groups near the Town Center will be changed primarily from the RE-2C Zone to the RNC/TDR Zone (Rural Neighborhood Cluster / Transferable Development Rights)
  • An area northeast of the Town Center between Ridge Road and Howard Chapel Drive will be changed from the RE-2C Zone to the RC Zone (Rural Cluster)
  • Four properties directly east of the Town Center near Damascus Elementary School will change from the RE-2C to the R-90 Zone

Rural Area

  • Properties currently zoned R-200 or C-1 in the rural communities of Etchison, Browningsville, and Purdum will be changed to the Rural Village Center Overlay Zone.

The SMA also makes slight adjustments to zoning boundaries on some properties as it makes the transition from hand-drawn zoning maps to digital maps, and a few corrective amendments reflecting mistakes found while preparing the SMA. These changes impact approximately 2.5 total acres are not substantive changes in that they do not change the current intended zoning classification of any property.

If you have any questions regarding the SMA, please call Leslie Saville at 301-495-2194, or via email at She can review the Sectional Map Amendment with you personally regarding specific properties. The SMA Map, Report, and Index will also be posted on the Damascus Master Plan website, and it can be reviewed at the Information Counter, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, 8787 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring.

For any other questions regarding the Master Plan approval process or elements of the Master Plan please contact:

Judy Daniel

Malaika Abernathy

Date of last update May 31, 2006