UPDATE: THRIVE 2050 passed! On October 25th, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to approve Thrive Montgomery 2050 – the county’s new general master plan. Thank you for your collective advocacy to make this critical step happen! The Plan is the blueprint. Now the real work begins to create policies and take actions that strike the right balance between urbanism and environmental protection for Montgomery County. Council Thrive resources can be found here. Nature Forward’s Thrive work can be found here.
Montgomery County is a large, beautiful, diverse, progressive county famous for its Agricultural Reserve, stream valley parks, great restaurants, lovely neighborhoods, left-leaning politics, post-war suburban housing stock, and as a home for countless recent immigrants and new arrivals from all over the nation and the world. It was 1964 the last time the county’s general plan was rewritten. Known as the “Wedges and Corridors” Plan, the plan was only partly updated in 1993. Since 1993, and certainly since 1964, the county and world have changed dramatically. In 2019, Montgomery Planning began to rewrite the general plan under the name “Thrive Montgomery 2050.” County Council is now considering a final draft of the plan in the Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee.
It is time to modernize and improve the county’s land use plan to make it be relevant to the times and conditions we live in now. It’s time to make a plan that addresses all the challenges the future holds. ANS believes that while it can still be improved, it is time to pass Thrive 2050 so we can move onto the important work of implementing the plan.
Thrive passing now will allow other pending policies linked to land use, like legislation and important sector plans, to be updated to the new General Plan standards.
ANS has engaged in the Thrive 2050 process since its inception. We hosted: sting virtual and in-person discussions with the public and with representatives of watershed groups. We provided feedback to the Planning Department on its Spanish-language outreach, including inviting Planning Staff to our Long Branch community outreach events, and co-hosting online bilingual webinars. ANS promoted discussion and debate on Thrive 2050’s environmental strengths and weaknesses. We engaged with Thrive through our participation and leadership in many coalitions, including specific outreach to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) groups: the MORE Network, Montgomery for All Coalition, Stormwater Partners Network, and the Montgomery County Forest Coalition.
Read more about why we think it’s time to pass Thrive 2050 in our February 2022 Bethesda Beat Op-Ed calling for improvements and passage of the plan.
Do we think the plan could be better? Of course! After analyzing the new additional THRIVE environmental chapter and Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) Review Report, ANS recommends that the County Council incorporate the following into the final Council version to make it even stronger:
ANS recognizes that Thrive 2050 represents a long-term vision, not a set of implementable policies. Fighting for those policies will be our work for the future. Today, it is time to move forward toward a new general plan vision by passing Thrive 2050. We’ve been waiting since 1964 to strike the right balance between urbanism and environmental protection for Montgomery County. That balance is essential to creating a sustainable future.
We must not delay. Join us and encourage the Montgomery County Council to approve the County’s General Plan Thrive 2050 now.
TAKE ACTION: SEND YOUR LETTER TO COUNTY COUNCIL BEFORE OCTOBER 11TH. URGE THEM TO PASS THRIVE 2050!
Council will have to review and include all recommendations from the public to the final THRIVE draft by October 11th. Use the form below to email your councilmembers in support of passing Thrive today!