Development Standards

Development Standards  | Header Image

The City of Takoma Park has delegated zoning authority to the Montgomery County Planning Department. Montgomery County’s PDF icon Development Review Manual (PDF) external link icon sets forth administrative standards for timely and comprehensive review of and compliance with plans. Development review is administered by the County in coordination with Takoma Park and may be reviewed by City staff and City Council.

Projects in Your Neighborhood

Most improvement projects require County permits for construction, renovation, or demolition, issued by the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (DPS). Guidance on required permits and records of permitted development activities can be found on their website.

Projects that require a preliminary plan or site plan entail a public process that includes a review by the Montgomery County Planning Board. Information on these projects can be located using the County’s Development Finderexternal link icon

Commercial Construction or Renovation

Development Standards | A group of four persons discusses development standards on a large map.All commercial properties in Takoma Park are subject to the Takoma Park/East Silver Spring commercial revitalization overlay zone (CROZ), which outlines special requirements and provides potential for development flexibility. The CROZ is detailed in Sections 59-C-18.214 through 216 of the Montgomery County Zoning Ordinanceexternal link icon

Commercial developments of more than 1000 square feet always require site plan review. General information about site plan review is detailed in Section 59-D-3 of the Zoning Ordinanceexternal link icon Commercial development of 1000 square feet or less may not require site plan review, in which case, the Montgomery County Planning Board will review plans through the building permit review process.

Many commercial properties also require a preliminary plan of subdivision before a site plan is required. A concurrent process with a pre-application meeting may also be used to reduce time. Montgomery County Planning Department provides guidelines external link icon for preparing preliminary and site plan applications.

Prior to site plan submittal, Montgomery County Planning Department will require a stormwater management concept plan approved by the City Engineer. Contact the City Engineer at:

City Engineer
Phone: 301-891-7633
Email: publicworks@takomaparkmd.gov

Standards and Guidelines

Development and land use within the City of Takoma Park is governed by a number of guidelines and standards adopted or enacted by the Takoma Park City Council, the Montgomery County Council, the Montgomery County Planning Board, and the State of Maryland. The application of such guidelines, and the process by which development proposals are reviewed, varies depending upon the scope of the project, its location, and the initiating party.

The Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance external link icon (Chapter 59 of the Montgomery County Code) is the principal standard used to evaluate proposed developments. See the Resident's Guide external link icon for the basics, or consult the complete ordinance for more detail.

Additional standards, recommendations or guidelines may be applicable:

Board of Appeals

The Montgomery County Board of Appeals (240-777-6600) makes decisions about certain land use issues including special exceptions for permitted uses in a particular zone and variances from the development standards of the zoning ordinance. Permits they may grant include:

  • Variance
  • Special exception
  • Administrative appeal

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