In this paper the growth management system in Montgomery County, Maryland, is reviewed and critiqued with the intent of finding generalizable lessons. An overview of the twenty-year-old system is followed by an analysis of its consequences and implications. The system fails to provide effective price signals, relying instead on proactive command and control policies from the county government. Moreover the system fails to raise sufficient revenue for new infrastructure. It is suggested that an alternative reactive approach, which links the threads of infrastructure financing and adequate public facilities by replacing quotas with a market-based approach of coast-based prices, would be more equitable, efficient, and effective in implementing county goals.