Thursday, June 30, 2016

Rockville zoning chief announces how review of Chestnut Lodge project will proceed

Rockville zoning chief Jim Wasilak has announced his plan for proceeding on the review of a revised plan amendment for the Chestnut Lodge project. Applicant JNP Chestnut Lodge, LLC filed the revised amendment with the City early this month.

In an email sent yesterday to parties of record in the controversial matter, Wasilak said he considered the feedback given last week by the Mayor and Council before deciding on the following process and tentative schedule:

  • Written and electronic notification of all parties of record, property owners, nearby residents and civic associations

  • Area meeting to be held by JNP Chestnut Lodge LLC on July 26

  • Staff/Development Review Committee review prior to staff report and recommendation on September 8
  • Planning Commission briefing by staff on September 14
  • Mayor and Council briefing on September 19
  • Historic District Commission courtesy review and recommendation on October 20
  • Planning Commission review and recommendation on November 9
  • Mayor and Council public hearing on December 5
  • Mayor and Council discussion and instructions to staff on January 9, 2017
  • Mayor and Council final decision on January 30, 2017
Wasilak notes that the HDC is being asked to give a recommendation, beyond just the courtesy review it gave the earlier plan amendment. I've highlighted in bold the meetings above where the public will likely or certainly have the chance to speak.

While the new plan amendment reduces the horizontal width and footprint of the project, it still does not meet the requirements of the Planned Residential Unit (PRU) agreement previously negotiated by the City for the Chestnut Lodge site. Opponents of the project have argued that PRU remains legally binding, and would not permit a townhome development on this site, which is within a historic district.

Rendering courtesy City of Rockville

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