Category: Development and Planning (Page 1 of 18)

Planning Commission Reschedules 
Public Hearing Dates for Neighborhood-based Planning Areas Volume of Comprehensive Plan Draft

Rockville’s Planning Commission will hold public hearings on Sept. 9 and 23 for the community to provide comments in-person on the initial staff draft of the neighborhood-specific sections of the comprehensive plan update. 

Written comments continue to be accepted leading up and just after the September hearings. Testimony can be submitted online.

Planning staff is available by request via email or virtual meeting to answer questions and talk with community associations, residents, businesses, workers and other organizations, so that community members can learn more about the draft’s contents and how to provide feedback.  

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Coronavirus Leads to New Ways of Doing Business with City’s Planning Department

With the closure of in-person visits to City Hall, Rockville’s Planning and Development Services Department has adopted a new service approach that allows customers to do business from the convenience of their couch.

Staff members have adopted non-paper-intensive processing of planning documents, permit applications, licenses and plan review via email, phone, online and virtually. Customers can submit materials electronically, saving them a trip to City Hall.

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Rockville Creates New Department of Housing and Community Development

The City of Rockville has merged several divisions to form a new Department of Housing and Community Development, which will more efficiently and effectively address the affordable housing and social services needs of city residents.

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Mayor and Council Extend Time to Make Decision on Park Road and North/South Stonestreet Ave. Area Plan Amendment

The Mayor and Council have extended to Saturday, Aug. 22 the deadline to decide on the draft of the Park Road and North/South Stonestreet Avenue Area Comprehensive Master Plan Amendment.

The extension results from additional time needed to accommodate public hearing testimony into virtual meetings. A public hearing was held on the draft via videoconference during the Mayor and Council’s June 8 meeting.

At their meeting on July 13, the Mayor and Council will discuss testimony, potential revisions to the draft plan, and possible adoption.

The amendment promotes a walkable, transit-oriented mix of residential and commercial development immediately across Park Road from the Rockville Metro Station, and would set policies to permit additional housing types in the residential areas closest to the station across South Stonestreet Avenue.

For more information, contact Andrea Gilles at agilles@rockvillemd.gov or 240-314-8273. Visit www.rockvillemd.gov/stonestreetstudy to view the amendment and www.rockvillemd.gov/agendacenter to view the Mayor and Council agenda.

Virtual Public Hearing on Park Road and North/South Stonestreet Amendment Scheduled for June 8

The Mayor and Council will hold a public hearing on a draft of the Park Road and North/South Stonestreet Avenue Area Comprehensive Master Plan Amendment, via videoconference during their June 8 meeting.

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Planning Commission Reschedules 
Public Hearing Dates for Neighborhood-based Planning Areas Volume of Comprehensive Plan Draft 

Rockville’s Planning Commission has set new public hearing dates of Sept. 9 and 23 for the community to provide comments on the initial staff draft of the neighborhood-specific sections of the comprehensive plan update. 

The original May dates were rescheduled due to a gubernatorial executive order that prevents gatherings of 10 or more to slow the spread of COVID-19, and to allow neighborhood and civic groups greater time to review and discuss the draft volume among their organizations prior to providing their testimony to the Planning Commission. 

Written comments continue to be accepted leading up and just after the September hearings. Planning staff is available by request via email or virtual meeting to answer questions and talk with community associations, residents, businesses, workers and other organizations, so that community members can learn more about the draft’s contents and how to provide feedback.  

The second component of Rockville’s comprehensive plan update, “Volume II: Planning Areas,” was delivered in December to the city’s Planning Commission for its review. Volume II consists of policy recommendations and recommended city projects for each of the city’s 17 geographic neighborhood-specific planning areas.  

These recommendations build on citywide policies of the draft “Volume I: Elements” — which the Planning Commission reviewed over the past year — by focusing on issues and opportunities unique to each planning area. 

Combined with the first half of the draft comprehensive plan, the Planning Areas component work will guide neighborhood, or planning area, policies and projects throughout the next two decades. 

Rockville’s comprehensive plan sets a vision and goals for the future of the city, with practical policies and actions to achieve those goals. 

For more information, visit www.rockvillemd.gov/Rockville2040 or contact principal planner Clark Larson at clarson@rockvillemd.gov or 240-314-8225. 

Review Process for East Rockville Design Guidelines Expected this Month

The Mayor and Council are expected this month to authorize the formal review process for zoning amendments that, if adopted, will allow implementation of the East Rockville Design Guidelines and Standards.

The project will first be reviewed by the Planning Commission for its recommendation and then move to the Mayor and Council for discussion and possible adoption. The authorization to formally initiate the review of the East Rockville Design Guidelines and Standards is scheduled tentatively for the Mayor and Council’s April 20 meeting.

Over the course of a year, residents of East Rockville engaged with city staff and a design consultant to develop design guidelines and standards for the East Rockville neighborhood. The project is rooted in recommendations from the 2004 East Rockville Neighborhood Plan to retain the unique and diverse physical and natural characteristics of the community.

If adopted, the design guidelines and standards will be a zoning overlay that applies to new single-unit home construction and significant additions to existing homes.

The Mayor and Council received a briefing on the project on Monday, Feb. 24. To view the briefing, visit www.rockvillemd.gov/AgendaCenter and select the TV icon next to the Feb. 24 meeting.

To review a draft of the East Rockville Design Guidelines and Standards, as well as for updates on meeting dates, visit the project website at www.rockvillemd.gov/2249.

Planning Commission Approves Stonestreet Amendment

Mayor and Council will Consider Next

The city Planning Commission has approved a draft of the Park Road and North/South Stonestreet Avenue Area Comprehensive Master Plan Amendment, with changes that reflect both the community process that led to the amendment and testimony received from a recent public hearing.

The amendment now goes to the Mayor and Council for their consideration. The Mayor and Council will also hold a public hearing before taking final action.

The amendment to the plan outlines a new vision for the Park Road and North/South Stonestreet Avenue area, a unique location close to the Rockville Metro Station, Town Center and residential neighborhoods.

The amendment approved by the Planning Commission promotes a walkable, transit-oriented mix of residential and commercial development immediately across Park Road from the Rockville Metro Station, and would set policies to permit additional housing units in the residential areas closest to the station across South Stonestreet Avenue.

For more information, contact Andrea Gilles at agilles@rockvillemd.gov or 240-314-8273. Visit www.rockvillemd.gov/stonestreetstudy to view the amendment.

Major Sign-regulation Revisions Implemented for New Year

Rockville’s code inspectors will be enforcing new regulations preventing signs within city rights of way in an effort to reduce visual clutter and ensure safety, especially at intersections.

No signs except official public signs will be allowed within a public right of way. Any signs found violating the provision will be removed by city inspectors. That includes both commercial and noncommercial temporary signs.

More stringent enforcement follows the recent adoption by the Mayor and Council of major revisions to the regulation of signs in Rockville.

Other elements of the new sign code include:

  • All commercial signs will require a permit, whether permanent or temporary.
  • Noncommercial temporary signs will be generally allowed without a permit but must comply with regulations.
  • Off-premises signs are not permitted, except within certain major development projects.
  • The amount of signage allowed per commercial tenant has been increased from the prior ordinance, with fewer limitations on logos and accent colors.
  • A sign-variance procedure has been implemented requiring approval by the city’s chief of zoning that will replace the Sign Review Board.
  • Signs in connection with construction projects are allowed up to 200 square feet in size.
  • Temporary banners for the opening of a new business are allowed for up to 60 days and may be 32-48 square feet, depending on the size of the front of the tenant building.

A manual that includes the relevant regulations on signs and sign enforcement can be found at bit.ly/RkvSignRegs.

Planning Commission Sets Public Hearing Dates for Neighborhood Section of Comprehensive Plan Draft

Comment will be Open for Vision and Goals for Neighborhood-based Planning Areas

Rockville’s Planning Commission has completed its review and edits to the initial staff draft of the neighborhood-specific sections of the comprehensive plan update and has set hearing dates of May 13 and 27 for the public to provide comments to the commission. Written comments will be accepted leading up to and just after the hearings.

Combined with the first half of the draft comprehensive plan, the Planning Areas component work will guide neighborhood, or planning area, policies and projects throughout the next two decades.

The second component 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.

Volume II consists of policy recommendations and recommended city projects for each of the city’s 17 geographic planning areas. These recommendations build on citywide policies of the draft “Volume I: Elements” — which the Planning Commission reviewed over the past year — by focusing on issues and opportunities unique to each planning area.

Both draft volumes derive from feedback gathered throughout the Rockville 2040 process, which included numerous listening sessions, citywide forums, open houses and other meetings, as well as analysis and discussion with the Planning Commission.

Planning staff is available to answer questions and meet with community associations, residents, businesses, workers and other organizations by request so that community members can learn more about the draft’s contents and how to provide feedback.

When public hearings are complete, the Planning Commission will hold work sessions to revise the plan based on public input. It will then submit both volumes I and II of the revised draft plan to the Mayor and Council for review and action. The Mayor and Council will invite public testimony to inform its final decisions.

Approval and adoption of a final version by the Mayor and Council will be the final step in the process.

For more information, visit www.rockvillemd.gov/Rockville2040 or contact senior planner Clark Larson at clarson@rockvillemd.gov or 240-314-8200.

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