Thursday, February 9, 2023

Rockville marijuana dispensary seeks parking waiver from City

Peake ReLeaf
, a medical marijuana dispensary in the Chapman Center at 2001 Chapman Avenue, is asking the City of Rockville for a waiver from its current parking requirements. Specifically, it would like permission to reduce its parking mandate by 17 spaces. But if it receives the waiver, the number of surface parking spaces will remain the same. Why seek the waiver, then? It's slightly complicated.

The dispensary business is located in a property that received a previous parking waiver in 1982. That waiver allowed the property to be occupied by several tenants, under the condition that a portion of the building would remain vacant. Peak ReLeaf would now like to occupy that unused space with new medical offices, that would complement its existing retail functions. In order to do that, it must now either create 17 new parking spaces, or receive this waiver from the City.

Peake ReLeaf's parking study indicates that even at peak times of the day, only 70% of its surface parking spaces are filled. The Rockville Planning Commission will review the waiver request at its February 15, 2023 meeting. Planning staff are recommending approval of the waiver, citing the property's proximity to bike lanes and the Twinbrook Metro station. The City has not received any feedback from residents on the proposed waiver so far, but the staff report notes that there is no legal requirement to notify the public of parking waiver requests.

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