Monday, January 11, 2021

Rockville Planning Commission to consider annexing King Buick dealership to be redeveloped by EYA


The landowner of the King Buick GMC auto dealership property at 16200 Frederick Road is asking to have the land annexed into the City of Rockville, along with a portion of vacant land. If the proposal receives the necessary approvals, developer EYA intends to formally acquire and redevelop the site with 366 housing units in the form of townhomes and low-rise condo buildings. EYA is also proposing to provide an amenity related to the nearby King Farm farmstead site, such as parking.

Montgomery County's current zoning for the dealership property allows building heights of 45 feet, while Rockville's permits heights of 75 feet. An additional complication is that a Minor Master Plan Amendment process was previously initiated for the area by the Montgomery County Planning Board, which includes the dealership property. 

As drafted, the Montgomery County zoning change would permit heights of 80 feet, but could take up to 18 months to be approved. It's unclear what advantage there is to joining the City of Rockville other than that the project could begin sooner, as city staff estimate the land could be annexed by September 16 of this year. 

But if this is to occur before the County zoning change, the annexation would have to be signed off upon by the Montgomery County Council. That would mean the Council would cede the tax revenue from the future development to Rockville. City staff reports that Montgomery County planners were receptive to the idea of handing the plot over to Rockville.

The Rockville Planning Commission will consider the annexation plan and whether to schedule a public hearing to consider the petition at its January 13, 2021 virtual meeting at 7:00 PM. Planning staff is recommending approval of the public hearing.

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