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Rockville preliminarily approves annexation for 365-unit development

The proposed development includes 247 townhouses and 118 multi-family units on 20 acres

Article Originally Published by Bethesda Magazine on September 14, 2021

Rockville on Monday preliminarily approved an annexation and preliminary development agreement that includes up to 365 units at the site of a car dealership. 

Officials previously discussed the proposed annexation and development at a meeting in July, before Rockville’s summer recess.

The updated agreement includes 247 townhouses and 118 multifamily units. The project would be on roughly 20.58 acres at the King Buick car dealership site along Md. 355, south of Fedor Avenue, city staff documents show.

At least 58 of the units must be moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs), according to city code. Those units must be affordable according to formulas involving area median income. For instance, a family of four would qualify for living in one if their maximum income is $77,400.

Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton and City Council members supported the proposal before Monday’s vote.

Council Member Beryl Feinberg and staff members of EYA, the developer of the site, spent several minutes discussing what age range of children a playground at the site should serve.

Feinberg said she has lived in townhouse communities, and wanted to make sure the playground served younger and older kids. 

“I’ve seen how, when you have a toddler, before your very eyes blink more than once or twice, they become children in third, fourth, fifth, sixth grade, and their needs are different than young to very young children,” Feinberg said. 

EYA did not object to including an age range for the playground in the agreement, but wanted to make sure amendments did not prevent the developer from choosing the playground equipment and age ranges. 

After several minutes, Feinberg, council members and EYA officials agreed to add language in the development agreement, specifying the playground is meant for kids ages 2 to 12. 

The development will also feature a pool, a surrounding patio and a community center, city documents show. 

Council Member Mark Pierzchala praised the project before the vote Monday.

“It’s a really great project, I think it enhances the King Farm community, enhances possibility for King Farm Farmstead and enhances pedestrian and bike transit along [Md.] 355,” Pierzchala said. “I think the city of Rockville ought to be thinking about extending those enhancements further south.”

According to city documents, EYA now must submit more documentation laying out more specifics about the development, before final approval by the mayor and City Council.