Planning Board Puts 1 Year Freeze in Place on New Home Construction

The planning board voted on June 20, 2019, to freeze new home construction in about 12% of Montgomery County for one year beginning July 1 because neighborhood schools are too crowded. The areas around four clusters of elementary, middle and high schools and 13 individual elementary schools will fall into moratorium. Most of the schools in moratorium are in the southeastern, more populous areas of Montgomery County, including portions of Bethesda and Silver Spring.

Entire school clusters are placed in moratorium when projected enrollment exceeds 120% of its capacity. Individual schools trigger moratorium when a single school’s projected enrollment is more than 120% of its capacity.

School Clusters in Moratorium

School clusters, groups of elementary and middle schools that feed into nearby high schools, that will spend the next year in moratorium are James Hubert Blake, Montgomery Blair, Albert Einstein and Walter Johnson high schools.

Elementary Schools in Moratorium

The following elementary schools are in the moratorium because they are over the enrollment limit by the stated number of students

• Burning Tree Elementary, Bethesda, 127 students
• Burnt Mills Elementary, Silver Spring, 277 students
• Clopper Mill Elementary, Germantown, 148 students
• Cloverly Elementary, Silver Spring, 143 students
• Farmland Elementary, Rockville, 183 students
• Highland View Elementary, Silver Spring, 114 students
• Lake Seneca Elementary, Germantown, 173 students
• Thurgood Marshall Elementary, Gaithersburg, 179 students
• William T. Page Elementary, Silver Spring, 289 students
• Judith A. Resnik Elementary, Gaithersburg, 154 students
• Sargent Shriver Elementary, Silver Spring, 167 students
• South Lake Elementary, Gaithersburg, 176 students
• Stonegate Elementary, Silver Spring, 161 students

The List Could Have Been Longer

The Planning Board could have placed 14 other schools in the building moratorium because of severe crowding issues, but there are either placeholder or planned addition projects that kept them off the list. Clarksburg Elementary, for example, is at more than 200% of its capacity, but will not be placed in moratorium this year because a new elementary school is opening in the area in 2022 that will pull students from the school and reduce crowding there.

Two school clusters, Damascus and Rockville, and nine more schools are within 40 students of triggering a moratorium, putting increased pressure on the school system to plan and approve projects to ease crowding.

Bannockburn Elementary School, in the Walt Whitman High School cluster, was just one student shy of falling into moratorium this year, while Burning Tree Elementary, just across River Road, is 127 students over capacity.

If you are looking for a new home, based on its school assignment, please give the Lise Howe Group a call at 240-401-5577! We love helping families find the perfect school for their needs!

View All Buying Posts