Thursday, July 2, 2015

Rockville Planning Commission to be briefed on APFS school standards changes July 8

Rockville planning staff will brief the city's Planning Commission on the Adequate Public Facilities Standards changes recently adopted by the City Council regarding school capacity, at the commission's July 8 meeting. The changes weakened the city standards, adopting the less-stringent Montgomery County standards. That means crowding can now reach 120% of capacity, rather than the city's previous 110% standard, and that capacity will be measured by the average of all schools in a cluster, rather than applying the standard to each individual school. By cluster averaging, individual schools have reached overcrowding levels of 180% of capacity in the MCPS system, despite the supposed 120% limit.

A memo from staff to the commission reflects these changes, but also details the elimination of school and transportation requirements for the following types of development in the city:

  • Accessory apartments
  • Personal living quarters
  • Wireless communications facilities
  • MCPS schools and portable classroom trailers
  • "Up to 3 housing units"
  • Senior housing, housing for the disabled, and other age-restricted residential uses
  • Nursing homes

The memo also lists the projects that will benefit from the changes most immediately. Those are the Avalon Bay apartment project at Twinbrook, and an EYA development planned for the Tower Oaks area.

This meeting will begin at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, July 8, at City Hall, and will be broadcast live on Channel 11.

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