Adequate Public Facilities

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The City has adopted an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance to control and manage growth in an orderly, efficient, cohesive and safe manner consistent with the economic and land use planning policies of the City and for the health, safety and welfare of the public. The Ordinance provides a mechanism and standards to evaluate and ensure that traffic, school, sewer, water, and fire protection facilities are adequate, or will be adequate to serve the needs generated by land use development during the development approval process. The Ordinance provides for the phasing or staging of development and ensures that premature development does not occur. Finally, the Ordinance requires that development approvals are not rendered by an approving authority without a determination of the adequacy of public facilities.

The Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance requires the review of four key public services: traffic capacity, school capacity, water and sewer capacity, and fire and emergency response. The review for adequacy of capacity of all public facilities is performed at the time of schematic or preliminary plan review. Traffic capacity, water and sewer capacity, and fire and emergency response is reviewed again at final site plan. In addition, on July 1 of each year, staff prepares a memo reviewing the adequacy of school capacity for those MCPS schools that serve residents of the City. A copy of the current and prior year memos may be found in the Related Documents section included on this page.