Category: Development and Planning (Page 1 of 3)

Mayor and Council Provide Feedback on Town Center Recommendations

The Mayor and Council in November discussed, supported and provided direction on several recommendations delivered in a report from an expert panel from the Urban Land Institute on ways to strengthen the vitality of Rockville’s Town Center.

The report, which was discussed at the Nov. 25 Mayor and Council work session, followed the expert Technical Assistance Panel’s intensive two-day study of Town Center in July.

Mayor and Council direction included:

  • Support for beginning a new branding campaign.
  • Support for designing a direct pathway between Montgomery College and Town Center, in coordination with the college and Montgomery County Public Schools, and reaching out to the college to determine whether the shuttle to Metro stations could include a stop in Town Center.
  • Conducting an analysis on potential improvements to roads internal to Town Center.
  • Improvements to Promenade Park, a key entry point to Town Center from the Metro
  • Near-term repairs to signage, as well as, in the longer-term, improving signage to support the branding/messaging effort.
  • Support for sending a letter to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority indicating the importance of improvements to the Rockville station.

To watch the work session, visit www.rockvillemd.gov/AgendaCenter, and select the TV icon next to the Nov. 25 agenda item.

Planning Commission to Hold Public Hearing on Stonestreet Amendment

The City of Rockville’s Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Wednesday, Jan. 8 to hear testimony on the public hearing draft of the Park Road and North/South Stonestreet Avenue Area Comprehensive Master Plan Amendment.

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Planning Commission Begins Work on Second Half of Comprehensive Plan Draft

Document Will Set Vision, Goals for Planning Areas, Neighborhoods

Rockville’s Planning Commission has begun its review of neighborhood-specific sections of the comprehensive plan. This work will guide neighborhood, or planning area, policies and projects throughout the next two decades.

The second component of the City of Rockville’s Comprehensive Plan update, “Volume II: Planning Areas,” was delivered in December to the city’s Planning Commission for its review. Rockville’s Comprehensive Plan sets a vision and goals for the future of the city, with practical policies and actions to achieve those goals.

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Planning Commission to Hold Public Hearing on Stonestreet Amendment

The City of Rockville’s Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Wednesday, Jan. 8 to hear testimony on the public hearing draft of the Park Road and North/South Stonestreet Avenue Area Comprehensive Master Plan Amendment.

The Planning Commission’s meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Testimony on the draft may be provided as follows:

  • In writing to the City of Rockville Planning Commission, c/o Comprehensive Planning, Planning and Development Services, 111 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850.
  • By email to planning.commission@rockvillemd.gov.
  • In person at the Jan. 8 public hearing at City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave.

For more information, contact Andrea Gilles at agilles@rockvillemd.gov or 240-314-8273.

Visit www.rockvillemd.gov/2004/Stonestreet-Corridor to view the amendment.

Small-cell Antenna Installations Begin in Rockville

The installation of small-cell antennas will begin in city rights of way during the next few weeks.

Rockville adopted guidelines and fees for small-cell installations subsequent to a Federal Communications Commission order that went into effect Jan. 14. That order pre-empted many aspects of the city’s ability to regulate the installation of the small antennas used in the wireless network.

Small-cell antennas seek to create a next-generation 5G network that delivers faster internet and increases cell phone service coverage, as well as providing additional capacity for existing 4G networks. They can be a maximum of 3 cubic feet, with up to 28 cubic feet of associated equipment. They are intended to provide additional coverage in areas with a high volume of cell traffic, or to fill in areas with marginal coverage.

The FCC order requires local governments to allow the antennas in public rights of way; to act on applications to install antennas within 60 or 90 days, depending on the type of installation; and to publish aesthetic standards for the installation. It also regulates the fees that local governments can charge.

Fourteen permits for small wireless facilities have been issued so far by the City of Rockville, mainly on city-owned streetlight poles, which will be replaced and reinstalled to match existing poles.

For more information, visit RockvilleReports.com and search for “small cell.”

Urban Land Institute Delivers Report with Town Center Recommendations

A panel of experts from the Urban Land Institute who conducted an intensive two-day study of Rockville Town Center in July has delivered a 42-page report detailing their recommendations on ways to strengthen the vitality of the 200-acre downtown area.

In the report, panelists grouped their analysis and recommendations into four categories: contextualizing Rockville; retail strategy and design; organizing stakeholders; and urgent steps and prioritization.
Among the recommendations made by the panel were: Retaining significant employers; attracting anchor uses; building density in Town Center without compromising character; strengthening relationships and connections with Montgomery College and the Montgomery County Board of Education; hiring a parking consultant; and redesigning both East Middle Lane and North Washington Street to make them friendlier to pedestrians, bikers, drivers and others.

View the report at bit.ly/ULIreport2019.

Technical Assistance Panels — or TAPs — are part of the ULI advisory program, in which several panelists from varying backgrounds and areas of expertise collaborate to tour the study area, conduct interviews, review material provided by staff, conduct their own research, and work on recommendations related to land use and economic development. The Town Center TAP included experts on planning, urban design, retail, real estate, economic development and downtown management.

Rockville Town Center comprises about 200 acres of the city, generally bounded by properties along Fleet Street to the south, South and North Washington streets along the west, and the railroad tracks to the east.

Learn more about the ULI TAP process at washington.uli.org/TAPs.

Funding Approved by Transportation Planning Board Will Help Improve Stonestreet Avenue

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has approved $280,000 to help improve pedestrian and bicycle connections to the Rockville Metro Station.

The grant, which comes from the Transportation Alternatives Program and was approved in July, will fund the design of street and sidewalk improvements along Park Road (between North Stonestreet Avenue and South Stonestreet Avenue) and North Stonestreet Avenue (between Park Road and Lincoln Avenue).

Improvements will include wider sidewalks, a new intersection alignment and bike lanes. The project is based on recommendations in the recently completed Stonestreet Corridor Study, which featured extensive public outreach.

The planning board approved funding for four projects in Maryland, including Rockville’s, that will receive $688,232 in funding through the Transportation Alternatives Program.

From more on regional transportation projects that will receive funding, visit bit.ly/TAP2019Funding.

Funding Approved by Transportation Planning Board Will Help Improve Stonestreet Avenue

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has approved $280,000 to help improve pedestrian and bicycle connections to the Rockville Metro Station.

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Urban Land Institute Panel Delivers Recommendations on Strengthening the Vitality of Town Center

An intensive two-day study of Town Center, recently conducted by an expert technical assistance panel (or TAP) from the Urban Land Institute, led to a presentation to the community of several recommendations and actionable items on ways to strengthen the vitality of Rockville’s Town Center.

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Accessory Buildings Revisions Head to Public Hearing

The Mayor and Council will hold a public hearing, Monday, July 15, on text amendments to the city’s zoning ordinance that govern accessory buildings — detached structures such as garages or sheds that are located in the rear yards of residential lots.

The Mayor and Council are considering more flexibility in the size of accessory buildings for single-family homes.

To testify, call 240-314-8280 by 4 p.m. the day of the hearing or by submitting testimony in writing to cityclerk@rockvillemd.gov or City Clerk/Director of Council Operations, City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850.

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