- Greg Lane
County Council unanimously approves Thrive Montgomery 2050 plan
As dozens of community members booed, the County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt the Thrive Montgomery 2050 plan, an update to the county’s general master plan that is expected to guide development for the next 30 years.
Broadly speaking, supporters of the plan say Thrive will help create more affordable communities and better living environments countywide through its focus on such areas as increasing housing and amenities and providing a better park system. Critics of the plan say it will lead to the displacement of middle- to low-income communities, and that it could lead to greater environmental impacts because of increased development.
Chapters related to racial equity and social justice, economic development, and the environment were added to the plan after the County Council hired a consultant to review and conduct more outreach on Thrive Montgomery 2050.
The plan focuses on topics such as where growth should occur in the county, what type of housing is needed, what new communities should look like, how to grow arts and culture countywide, transportation networks, and the future of county parks. The issues of growth and housing have generated opposition from some community members, and County Executive Marc Elrich has repeatedly stated his opposition to the plan, urging the council not to adopt the proposal, which is the result of years of work by the county Planning Department and the council.
Community members in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting in the council’s meeting room in Rockville held signs with messages opposing the plan or urging the council to pause the vote.