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Development Review

About Development Review in Takoma Park

In the City of Takoma Park, zoning authority lies with the Montgomery County Planning Department. Montgomery County has developed a Development Review brochure (PDF) to help understand the process. For information about how to get involved in Montgomery County’s Development Review process, check the County website.

The City plays an important role in guiding the development review process. The flowchart to the right outlines an overview of the development process. A more detailed site plan application review process and timeline is summarized in this gantt chart timeline (PDF).

Municipality Letters

All construction and development projects will require a Municipality Letter from the City of Takoma Park. Full information on Municipality Letters, as well as City-managed permits, can be found on the Municipality Letters for Construction/Renovation web page.

City Charter & Code

Renovating Property in the Historic District

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. To search for properties listed in the located in the Historic District “Locational Atlas and Index of Historic Sites in Montgomery County” use the Historic Preservation Interactive Map.

Commercial Construction or Renovation

Many commercial properties in Takoma Park are located in the Takoma Park/East Silver Spring commercial revitalization overlay zone (TPESS), which outlines special requirements and provides 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).

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a secondary home co-located on a single residential property with a single-family home. They are generally much smaller than the main house, and can be located within, attached, or standing apart. They are sometimes also referred to as granny flats, in-law apartments, and carriage houses, among others.

Current laws in Montgomery County make ADUs allowable on a wide range of single family residential lots. To create an ADU on your property follows the same development review process as any other building project. Properties located within a historic district require the added step of a Historic Area Work Permit (HAWP), mentioned earlier.

Accessory Dwelling Unites (ADUs)& Takoma Park, Design and Permitting Community Discussion hosted by Montgomery County Planning Department on 12/1/22.

Illustration of different styles of accessory dwelling units.
Montgomery County Accessory Dwelling Unit Styles

Quicklinks

Development Review Flow Chart

Development Standards & Guidelines

Development and land use within the City of Takoma Park is governed by 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 implementation and application of these guidelines varies depending upon the scope of the project, its location, and the initiating party. The City and the Montgomery County Planning Board have a Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) regarding development review (Resolution No. 2001-37).

The Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 59 of the Montgomery County Code) is the primary standard used to evaluate proposed developments., Required permits for construction, renovation, or demolition are issued by the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (DPS). Depending on the scope and location of a proposed project the following standards may apply:

Planning and Community Development Division Sections