Planning Commission discussing Development Plans for Downtown and Lincoln Park

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Proposed north elevation (street facade) for 50 Monroe Place, an 81-foot-high/7-story building with underground parking.

On Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., the Rockville Planning Commission will be considering three new development projects that could add two houses and 310 apartments to the city in downtown and Lincoln Park.  Here’s what’s on the agenda:

1. 304 Frederick Avenue in Lincoln Park:  JJ Realty of Bethesda proposes to create two residential lots from a 11,428-square foot lot, which will require a waiver to allow a minimum lot area below 6,000 square feet in a R-60 zone. Because this subdivision consists of fewer than 3 lots, it is exempt from the APFO.

2. 50 Monroe Place in Downtown Rockville (currently a vacant lot adjacent to the Americana Centre):  RST Development proposes the development of an 81-foot-high/7-story building with 1300-sf restaurant, 8000-sf office for non-profit organizations, 70 apartments, and an underground garage on a half-acre of land located on the south side of Monroe Place, with a request to reduce the parking requirement from 91 to 40 spaces because of its proximity to public transit. The property is zoned Mixed Use Transit District (MXTD).  A majority of the apartments will be priced affordably and 25 percent of the total units will be for adults with developmental disabilities. This project is subject to the APFO, but with the opening of RMES #5 in August 2018, capacity in the Richard Montgomery Cluster Area will be adequate.

3. 220 Middle Lane in Downtown Rockville (between Town Square and Choice Hotels):  FP Rockville III Limited Partnership is exploring the redevelopment of the property with a 85-foot high, mixed-use building containing up to 240 apartments, up to 8500-sf of retail space, and a parking structure on 1.35 acres.  In 1999, the Planning Commission approved this property for a 620,000-sf office and retail building called Rockville Metro Plaza Phase III, which was never constructed.  The property is zoned Planned Development-Metro Center (PD-MC). The property owner may also seek to reduce the parking requirements because of the site’s proximity to public transit.

Don Hadley continues to serve on the Planning Commission even though his term expired in November 2015 (that’s more than two years ago).  Mayor Newton has achieved a new record for extending appointments to her friends and supporters on the City’s boards and commissions! Perhaps it’s time that the City Council adopt an ordinance to conclude a commissioner’s service when their term expires, rather than allow it to continue forever if the Mayor fails to nominate a successor.  This isn’t fair to the dozens of other citizens who have applied and want to serve the community.

Have comments or concerns about these projects or the Planning Commission? Send an email to the Planning Commission or speak up at their meeting.

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