Thursday, June 16, 2016

Chestnut Lodge staff report outlines options for handling revised plan submitted by developer

JNP Chestnut Lodge, LLC is legally allowed to submit a revised project plan amendment under City of Rockville code Sec., Final Project Plan Application, a staff report posted ahead of Monday's Mayor and Council discussion says. The only question is how the revised plan should be handled. That plan was submitted on June 1, and some residents and historic preservation advocates have complained that they were not notified of the new plans by the developer.

Rockville's zoning chief Jim Wasilak has the authority to determine whether a revised plan requires additional steps and notification, or even has to be submitted as an entirely new application. Wasilak is asking the Mayor and Council to advise him on the process, given that the Mayor and Council will be the determining authority for the plan amendment.

The report says that the review process for the revised plan could consist of some or all of the following options: "written and electronic notification by the applicant as required for application submission and public meetings, an Area Meeting with the community conducted by the applicant, staff Development Review Committee (DRC) review and recommendation, Planning Commission review and recommendation, another Mayor and Council public hearing or another Discussion and Instructions session."

According to the report, the Mayor and Council could even determine that no additional steps are necessary, and then give staff instructions on how to proceed.

The applicant is proposing to reduce the proposed townhome building's footprint to be 10% larger than the historic Chestnut Lodge that stood on the site before it burnt down in a suspicious 2009 fire. And it is asking to reduce the number of townhome units from 7 to 6.

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