Who We Are
The agriculture study committee monitors actions that affect Montgomery County’s agricultural land and rural open space preserved through the 1980 Master Plan: the 93,000 acre Agricultural Reserve. We meet monthly or as necessary to review meetings and discussions by government agencies that pertain to issues affecting the Reserve. Meeting times are flexible and depend upon the time availability of committee members.
What We Do
During the past 2 years the county planning department has conducted a study of agritourism to identify "ways to enhance the economic opportunities in the county’s award winning Agricultural Reserve." The committee will review the study’s defined goals and the various solutions recommended to accomplish the goals. After discussion to inform our members, the committee will comment where appropriate. Another focus for the Ag Committee is to study the issues regarding farm labor housing that came before the planning board early this summer. The study committee will monitor county action regarding this and other topics that come before the Council (such as commercial solar fields) to ensure that the 1980 Master Plan for the Preservation of Agriculture and Rural Open Space continues to be properly implemented.
What We’re Keeping an Eye On
ALERT: ZTA 20-01- Zoning Text Amendment to allow commercial scale solar development in the Agricultural Reserve.
I. LWVMC: The League is a strong supporter of efforts to mitigate climate change, including the expansion of solar power generation. Currently, however, the Montgomery County Council is considering ZTA 20-01 that would allow Agricultural Reserve (AR) farmland to be used for commercial solar development. LWVMC has been a strong supporter of the AR and has a policy position, readopted in 2019 that includes “support for current restrictions on uses permitted in the Agricultural Reserve (AR).” The proposed zoning amendment (ZTA 20-01) has the potential to allow the loss of farmland for farming. The Agriculture Committee has reviewed ZTA 20-01 and is continuing to monitor its path as it moves to the County Council. Read the Ag Committee statement here.
II. Agricultural Community Objections to ZTA 20-01: "The agricultural groups and committees have remitted their concerns to the Council on this ZTA, all are opposed to it for the following reasons:" Read the agricultural community’s reasons here.
II. See LWVMC Testimony on Solar Fields in the Ag Reserve
07/15/20 Commercial Solar Production in Agricultural Reserve
06/24/20 Objection to Current Schedule for Discussions of ZTA 20-01
02/25/20 Solar Fields in the Ag Reserve 2020-02-25
Other Issues of Interest
- Planning Board Agenda
- County Council Agenda
- Food Security Activity
- The County Climate Study
Contact: Margaret Chasson – [email protected], 301-942-0497