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Development Review

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

About Development Review in Takoma Park

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. Some projects in Takoma Park require a preliminary plan or site plan review, a public process administered by the Montgomery County Planning Board in coordination with City staff and City Council. The site plan application review process and timeline is outlined in this gantt chart.  For information about how to get involved in Montgomery County’s Development Review process, check the County site.

Active Projects under Review in Takoma Park

Information on the location, specifics, and status of active projects can be located using Montgomery County’s Development Finder.

Development Review in Takoma Park

Type of PlanPlan NumberAddress / LocationStatusDescription / Update
Preliminary Plan 120170120Ethan Allen and Jackson AvenueApproved (01/25/2018)Proposal to subdivide 1 lot into 2 new lots (for 2 houses). Council adopted Resolution 2017-32.
Preliminary Plan120160170430-434 Ethan Allen AvenueIn ReviewProposal to subdivide 3 existing lots into 5 new lots (2 existing houses, 3 proposed).
Site Plan8201201606413 Orchard AvenueIn ReviewProposal to construct two-story commercial building for a warehouse. Takoma Park City Council adopted Resolution 2016-23 in support of the application on July 20, 2016.
Pre-Application720150050415 Ethan Allen AvenueIn ReviewProposal to re-subdivide a lot and a part of another lot into two buildable, single-family lots. One existing house is to remain, and one new house is to be built.
Preliminary PlanMR20180367611 Piney Branch RoadApproved (09/13/18)Takoma Park Middle School expansion by Montgomery County Public Schools. Council supports the expansion and adopted Resolution No. 2012-42 on 09/12/18
Site Plan8201300806450 New Hampshire AvenueApproved with conditions (10/30/2014)Proposal to construct two-story commercial building
Table: Development Review in Takoma Park. Details ongoing and recently approved projects in Takoma Park.

Renovating Property in the Historic District

Established in 1992, the Takoma Park Historic District is the largest historic district in Montgomery County, consisting of both residential and commercial areas of “Old Takoma”. 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 a property within 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 in the Public Works Department.

Development 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. Most improvement projects require Montgomery County permits for construction, renovation, or demolition, issued by the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (DPS). 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