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  • Writer's pictureCenter for Local Policy Analysis (CLPA)

Ordinance Spotlight: Expanding the definition "landscape contractor" (MoCo Council)

Recently in the Montgomery County Council President Hucket introduced the bill ZTA-21-08 would expand the definition for what is considered a"landscape contractor."

"Landscape Contractor" is defined in Montgomery County Zoning law as the business of designing, installing, planting, or maintaining lawns, gardens, hardscapes, water features, outdoor structures, decorative features, stormwater and drainage features, or other activities intended to enhance the appearance or usefulness of outdoor areas. Landscape Contractor also means providing snow removal services with vehicles, equipment, and supplies that are stored, parked, serviced, or loaded at the business location. Landscape Contractor includes tree installation, maintenance, or removal. We should note that Landscape Contractor does not include Lawn Maintenance Service, though many would assume that it would be included.

This bill, if enacted, would add the growing of plant materials for the contracting business to the definition of "landscape contractor." It will also permit Landscape Contractor to be used a "limited use" in Agricultural, Rural Residential, Residential Estate, and R-200 (One-Family) zones if certain conditions are met.

Landscape Contractor will be permitted as a "limited use" if there is:

  • A minimum lot area of 2 acres;

  • Building and parking setbacks of 50 feet;

  • a limitation on commercial and motor vehicles

  • No offices operated on-site, and no more than twenty employees may be on-site at any one time

  • Parking lot lighting is controlled by motion sensors during evening hours.

The Council's memo states that this bill intends to create a less "cost-prohibitive process" for landscaping companies while "placing certain limits on the sites where this use is located."

A public hearing for the bill is scheduled for November 30th at 1:30 pm. If you have questions about this ordinance, please contact County Council President Hucker's office.



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