Montgomery County Planning Department, MD

Incentive Zoning Analysis

Montgomery County is in the process of adopting a new Commercial-Residential zone to encourage higher-density development at transit locations. The incentive zoning approach establishes a base zone of 0.5 FAR and then allows developers to qualify for density bonuses based on provision of desired amenities. The proposed zone encourages mixed-use development near transit stations; inclusion of affordable and workforce housing, child and adult care centers, community facilities; improvement of pedestrian connections to transit and business centers; green sustainable development; provision of public open space; structured parking at reduced ratios; and quality design. PES and our subconsultants assessed the cost of meeting each criterion for bonus density. PES then used pro forma financial models to test the financial impact of the zoning provisions on prototypical developments on three different sites and compared it to development under the existing zoning code.

Biotechnology Potentials Analysis

As input to the Master Plan for the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center, PES analyzed the near- and long-term potentials for growth in the biotechnology industry. Over the past two decades, Montgomery County has developed a critical mass of biotechnology and related companies centered in Gaithersburg and Rockville for access to the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and other major institutions. The new Master Plan envisions moving from office parks with a series of isolated buildings to a bioscience village that combines offices, retail, housing and hospital facilities in a higher-density pedestrian-oriented environment with transit service. PES examined national and international trends in the bioscience industry, evaluated Montgomery County’s ability to compete for future development and projected future demand for bioscience development in Gaithersburg West.