ROCKVILLE, MD – Buckling to pressure from wealthier single family homeowners, the Montgomery County Council voted 5-4 in favor of delaying the vote on Thrive 2050 to the year 2051.
“We totally understand there is a housing crisis here right now,” said County Councilmember Gabe Albornoz. “But in a crisis, the best thing to do is pause, request more studies, accept more redundant public feedback, spend a few years abroad, and come back to it when things have calmed down…which is hopefully after I’ve retired from politics.”
Thrive 2050, the county’s road map for land use planning for the next 30 years, has been in development since 2018 and was submitted to the Council for approval in April 2021. While supporters believe this is a critical time to update the county’s housing and transportation policy, opponents have complained that they have not been given enough time to read the 93-page document while stuck at home binge watching Netflix movies during a pandemic.
“The bottom line is they are rushing approval of Thrive 2050,” said longtime Woodside Park resident Kenneth Durkin. “If I hadn’t been forced to spend the last two years actively campaigning against this bill, setting up town halls, and writing over 200 emails to my representatives, I could have found 45 minutes to actually read what’s in it. It just isn’t fair!”
By delaying the vote 30 years, the council hopes that even higher home values and a larger need for more housing will naturally bring people to support Thrive.
“Sometime in politics, the best solution is a ‘wait and see’ approach,” said Councilmember Sydney Katz. “Hopefully in 30 years, we’ll pass Thrive 2050 and move on to more important political issues in Montgomery County: Thrive 2080.”