Development Standards

The City of Takoma Park has delegated zoning authority to the Montgomery County Planning Department. Montgomery County’s Development Review Manual (PDF) 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.

Community members review plans at a charrette.
Community members review plans at a charrette.


Projects in Your Neighborhood

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 Finder.

Most improvement projects require Montgomery 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.

Renovating Property in the Historic District

Established in 1992, the Takoma Park Historic District is the largest historic district in Montgomery County and includes several residential and commercial neighborhoods including Takoma Old Town and Takoma Junction. To search for properties listed in the “Locational Atlas and Index of Historic Sites in Montgomery County” use the Historic Preservation Interactive Map.

A Historic Area Work Permit (HAWP) is required prior to undertaking any proposed changes to the exterior of a structure or to the environmental setting of the site in the historic district. This includes moving, demolishing or altering the exterior of a house, building or other structure. Applications are reviewed by the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and must be approved before a permit for the work may be issued.

Changes to the exterior of any commercial property in the Takoma Park Historic District requires the approval by the City’s Facade Advisory Board (FAB) prior to review by the Historic Preservation Commission.

Commercial Construction or Renovation

Many commercial properties in Takoma Park are subject to the Takoma Park/East Silver Spring commercial revitalization overlay zone (TPESS), which outlines special requirements and provides potential for development flexibility. The TPESS is detailed in Section 4.9.14 of the Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 59 of the Montgomery County Code).

Commercial properties may 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 for preparing preliminary and site plan applications.

Prior to site plan submission, Montgomery County Planning Department will require a stormwater management concept plan approved by the City Engineer through Takoma Park’s Public Works Department.

Standards & Guidelines

Development and land use within the City of Takoma Park is governed by a number of standards and guidelines 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 documents, 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 (Chapter 59 of the Montgomery County Code) is the principal standard used to evaluate proposed developments. The following standards and guidelines may be applicable depending on the scope and location of a proposed project in Takoma Park (in PDF format):

City Charter & Code

Community Development Sections