ROCKVILLE, MD – As a counter proposal to Thrive Montgomery 2050, a proposed general plan to update the county’s land use and growth policies for the next 30 years, County Executive Marc Elrich presented his own version for solving the housing crisis: Thrive Montgomery 1950.
“I personally don’t understand the point of ‘Thrive 2050’ being pushed by all these urban planners and pro-housing groups,” said Elrich, who also said he doesn’t understand why jobs are leaving Montgomery County. “Why the heck would we think we’ll thrive in some scary, unknown future when, instead, we can thrive by going back to a time when everything was perfect and we had no housing problems?”
To meet the needs of a growing population nearing 1.1 million, Thrive Montgomery 2050 proposes to increase housing by utilizing “Smart Growth” principles, including higher density construction near public transit, pedestrian-friendly cities to reduce driving, and other radical, un-American things commonly found in numerous successful cities throughout America. By contrast, the main goal of Elrich’s Thrive 1950 plan is to return the population of Montgomery County back to its level in 1950, when there were less than 200,000 residents and all these new people hadn’t yet arrived to ruin our perfect neighborhoods with more traffic.
Elrich claims that Thrive 1950 will achieve its goal by tearing down every multi-family building constructed in Montgomery County within the past 70 years. “Thrive 1950 is really about implementing the law of supply and demand,” said Elrich. “It doesn’t take an economics degree to know that it is much cheaper to demo 300,000 old homes than to build 300,000 new homes. And the resulting diminished supply will be so far outstripped by the huge demand that everyone will have no choice but to leave. Problem solved!”
Unlike the Thrive 2050 plan to “upzone”, or increase density in certain areas, Thrive 1950 proposes only one residential zone for the entire county – R-5000 – which would allow only single family homes with a minimum size of 5,000 square feet on a half acre lot. Accessory apartments would be banned and neighborhood advisory groups would be created to report anyone suspected of being a renter.
While urban planning experts, architects, and environmentalists flatly rejected Thrive 1950 as “a complete joke,” anti-growth groups, such as Entitled People Insisting on Control (EPIC) Montgomery, lauded the plan to return to the ’50’s dream of American Suburbia. “Clearly we need to reverse course, because my little house is now worth over a million dollars,” said Cory Malarkey, who has both “All Are Welcome Here” and “No More People” signs in his front yard. “The best way to provide affordable housing is to go back 70 years when my house was worth $8,000 and my property taxes were aligned with what I believe I should have to pay.”
The Montgomery County Council has scheduled to vote for one of the Thrive proposals this Fall. Details about each proposal can be found on the county government website, but more accurate information provided by reasonable, civil, well-informed experts can be found on various Facebook groups and Twitter accounts.