Showing posts with label Rockshire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rockshire. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Rockville thief with green thumb steals 15 plants

A thief with a green thumb allegedly stole 15 plants in the Rockshire neighborhood on May 16 or 17, 2024, Rockville City police report. The 15 plants had been left "unattended" between 5:15 PM on May 16 and 12:53 PM on May 17, and were stolen during that time. It was not specified if the plants were at the Wootton's Mill Community Garden, or at a private home across the street. Police have not released a description of the suspect(s) as of this writing. If you have any information about this incident, call police at 240-314-8900.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Rockville Mayor & Council to be briefed on proposed Rockshire Village development tonight

Rockville's Mayor and Council will receive a briefing on the Rockshire Village development plan proposed by local developer EYA at their meeting tonight, December 18, 2023 at 7:00 PM. Approval of the plan would require amending the 1966 Rockshire development plan for this property, a former shopping center located at 2401 Wootton Parkway. 

The proposal under discussion is essentially the same as was first introduced this past spring. 31 single-family homes, 29 3-to-4 story townhomes, and a neighborhood park would be constructed on the property. The amount of commercial and office space proposed has been reduced from 5,500-square-feet to 5,200 SF (the original size proposed last spring was 5000 SF). EYA is also seeking a parking waiver related to the commercial/office portion of the project, as well as a road code waiver for a proposed private alley, which would not comply with a City requirement that any road constructed must either connect to an existing road or end in a cul-de-sac.

Following tonight's briefing, EYA will be asked to revise its plan to address existing concerns about the driveway access from Hurley Avenue, outdated traffic studies being used by EYA, trees, the relocation of a trail near the Korean Presbyterian Church, parking capacity, and pedestrian access to the retail structure from the Carl Henn Millenium Trail that were raised this fall by nearby residents and the Rockville Planning Commission. In addition, the plan revisions would address any new concerns expressed by the Mayor and Council at tonight's meeting.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Rockville shopping center redevelopment meeting scheduled for August 23

An in-person public meeting has been scheduled to present the latest redevelopment proposal for the Rockshire Village Center in Rockville. Two sessions will be held on August 23, 2023, from 6:00 PM to 7:15 PM and from 7:30 PM to 8:45 PM, at the Thomas Farm Community Center at 700 Fallsgrove Drive in Rockville. To register for the meeting, fill out the online form. You can also view the presentation materials for the meeting on developer EYA's website.

Rendering courtesy EYA

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

New redevelopment proposal for Rockshire Village Center property in Rockville

A new chapter is opening in the complicated and contentious story of the Rockshire Village Center property in Rockville. The onetime neighborhood shopping center that was anchored by a Giant grocery store has been sitting vacant, as previous developer visions for the site have failed to align with the concerns of the Rockshire community. There is also a legal requirement for the current and future property owners to provide 29 spaces for users of the Rockshire pool and clubhouse. Developer EYA is now proposing a new plan to redevelop the site with a mix of single-family homes, townhomes, retail space, and a park.

The EYA plan would include 60 homes, 31 of which would be single-family homes, and the rest 3 or 4-story townhomes. 5000 square feet of retail would be built, including outdoor dining space for restaurants. The most recent redevelopment proposal that fell through had proposed 112 townhomes with no retail. Under EYA's new proposal, there would not be a full-size grocery store. Convenience stores, salons, full-service "sit-down" restaurants, fast-casual takeout restaurants, coffee shops, fitness boutiques like yoga studios, pet stores, banks, clinics, and dental offices are all among the possible retail space tenants the KLNB real estate firm has advised EYA are possible here.

EYA would provide 35 parking spaces for the Rockshire community pool and clubhouse, 6 more than legally required. 27 parking spaces would be provided in a small lot next to the retail center. And the main street running through the development from Wooton Parkway to Hurley Avenue would be made wide to allow for street parking on both sides. That would be in addition to the parking reserved for residents of the development.

The small park proposed would have somewhat of an amphitheater grading to it, as it slopes from the residential area above down to the retail center. Single-family homes would front directly onto Hurley Avenue, in an attempt to blend in with the existing SFHs in the Rockshire neighborhood. The stair access from the parking area to the Rockshire pool would be retained.

EYA hopes to receive approval of its Project Plan from the City of Rockville this October, and of the Level-2 Site Plan in Q2 of 2024. If that schedule holds, EYA plans to pull permits for the project in Q4 of 2024, and break ground in Q1 of 2025.

Renderings courtesy EYA

Monday, April 4, 2022

Car stolen from home in Rockshire area of Rockville

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a stolen vehicle in the Rockshire neighborhood of Rockville early yesterday morning. The vehicle was taken from the driveway of a home on Camden Court, according to crime data. It is believed it was stolen sometime between 8:30 PM Saturday night, and 8:30 AM Sunday morning. Remember to lock car doors, remove all visible items from the interior, and never leave your keys in the ignition or glove compartment.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Rockville planning staff recommends removing "substantial retail" requirement for Rockshire Village Center in master plan

Rockville Planning Commission
Chair Charles Littlefield

Residents in the Rockshire community of Rockville have long asked the Rockville Planning Commission to preserve the retail-only use of the Rockshire Village Center property in the update of the city's Comprehensive Plan. Developers seeking to redevelop the property are asking for retail use to be minimized or deleted altogether, asserting that there is no market demand for retail at that location. The Planning Commission will consider the competing arguments at its 7:00 PM, October 28, 2020 virtual meeting. City planning staff has now weighed in with recommendations.

Planning staff "does not believe that retaining the restriction on the site that it may only be retail
is in the best interests of the community or the property owner," a staff report included in the meeting agenda states, in response to testimony by resident Randy Alton. Responding to testimony opposing retail use by Bob Youngentob of development firm EYA, staff goes further, recommending commissioners delete the word "substantial" from "substantial retail" as a condition for any residential redevelopment. 

Staff also notes that commissioners could remove the word "retail" altogether. "In that case," the report suggests, "the language could be shortened to simply say:  'Any housing development must provide a significant amenity that would be an asset to the broader community.' An amenity could include retail or community space, but neither would be identified explicitly."

Friday, July 24, 2020

Rockville speed camera lit on fire

A Montgomery County speed camera that issues tickets to drivers was vandalized and lit on fire on July 17, 2020, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Pete Piringer said today. Anti-law-enforcement words were spray painted on the camera, the lenses were covered, and then the camera unit was lit ablaze.

The camera was located in the 400 block of Hurley Avenue, near Wootton Mill Park, in Rockville. Piringer asked that anyone with information related to this incident contact the MCFRS Arson Hotline at 240-777-2263.

Photo via Pete Piringer/MCFRS

Friday, April 8, 2016

Redevelopment of Rockshire Village Center could create parking problems in Rockville

Redevelopment of the Rockshire Village Center in Rockville as a residential community could create serious parking problems in and around the Rockshire neighborhood. A developer preparing to submit plans to the City of Rockville for the property has met with Concerned Citizens for Rockshire Center, a grassroots organization representing community concerns.

Out of those recent discussions, five issues of mutual interest to residents and the developer were identified:

(1) Retail space
(2) Parking on the site
(3) Traffic
(4) School capacity
(5) Overall design, layout, and land use

A CCFRC representative spoke about the parking issue before the Mayor and Council Monday evening. He said loss of the ample surface parking currently on the Rockshire Center site would create problems for the adjacent Korean Presbyterian Church next door on Hurley Avenue. The church has a very small parking area, and has relied for years on the shopping center for overflow parking.

Wooton High School students are also currently able to utilize some of the spaces at the shopping center. Should a future development there have limited parking, this would understandably create parking issues for the surrounding area.

The shopping center is located at the intersection of Wooton Parkway and Hurley Avenue.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Final Rockville 2040 listening session March 8 in Rockshire

The last of a preliminary set of listening sessions for citizen input on how the City of Rockville should grow over the next few decades will be held on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. It will begin at 7:30 PM, at the Korean Presbyterian Church at 800 Hurley Avenue in the Rockshire neighborhood.

Parking at the church is limited, but there is additional parking at the adjacent Rockshire Village Center. That center is sure to be a major part of the discussion. The Giant Food store vacated, and new tenants are needed. A developer has interest in replacing the center with townhomes, which seems at odds with the planning principles espoused today regarding having walkable communities, including retail within walking distance. Ironically, Rockshire has had just that since 1978, until things went south at the center in recent years.

A new citizen group has formed to represent resident voices in the debate over the fate of this shopping center. Concerned Citizens for Rockshire Center includes former City Councilmember Bob Wright.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Bob Wright, a former Rockville City Councilmember, is urging the current Mayor and Council to take proactive steps to acquire the former Karma Academy property on Watts Branch Parkway. The city was one of several bidders on the site, which is currently owned by Montgomery County. Last year, the Mayor and Council instructed city staff to apply for consideration of acquisition of the site from the county.

Wright, speaking during Monday's Mayor and Council meeting, recalled that much of the city's green space was made possible through plans and acquisitions by previous mayors and councils. He noted that the Karma Academy site is "perfectly situated," next to Wooton's Mill Park in the Rockshire area. But, Wright said, “I’m not aware that the mayor and council have a plan for this parcel. I’m not aware that there’s any money in the budget for green spaces or parcels.”

Speaking prior to a public hearing on the city's next budget, Wright urged city leaders to develop a plan and funding for the potential addition to the existing park. "Please don’t forget about this parcel," Wright concluded.

The Karma Academy property's future is of great concern to Rockshire residents, who have testified in favor of Rockville acquiring the site as parkland in the past.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


The City of Rockville is formally expressing interest in acquiring a 5-acre property at 175 Watts Branch Parkway, which is currently owned by Montgomery County.

In response to concerns expressed by nearby residents of Rockshire and Fallsmead, the Mayor and Council voted on November 18 to declare its interest in the county disposition process.

According to Assistant City Manager Jenny Kimball, the county recently had the property appraised at $760,500. Other entities will likely seek to purchase the potentially-valuable property.

The two affected neighborhoods would like the site to be annexed into adjacent parkland. But councilmember Tom Moore expressed concern about that use. "We don't need a park there," Moore said last Monday. He argued that the neighborhood has sufficient parkland already, and that there is great need for affordable housing for the elderly and disabled.

Councilmember Beryl Feinberg disagreed. In her on-site inspection, she said, she saw residents making recreational use of the site. Feinberg also cited traffic concerns on the relatively narrow roadway.

What residents may correctly fear is either a dense, infill redevelopment of the site, or a public facility that could affect quality of life in the neighborhood. While there is Ride On bus service to Town Center in Rockshire, the site in question is not suitable for transit-oriented development.

Mayor Bridget Newton proposed an addendum to the declaration of interest that she said would give the city flexibility, should the county not prefer the site be used as parkland. Newton also suggested the possibility of a land swap to address needs elsewhere in the city.

The motion to proceed, including the addendum, passed unanimously.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Quite a few residents of the Rockshire neighborhood of Rockville turned out at Monday night's Mayor and Council Meeting.

They voiced concerns during the Citizens Forum segment of the meeting about the fate of the former Karma Academy property on Watts Branch Parkway.

The property is owned by Montgomery County, and the county has not yet specified what it intends to do with it.  Rockshire residents who spoke at the meeting urged the city to obtain the property, and merge it with the adjacent Wooton's Mill Park, owned by the city.

Councilmember Mark Pierzchala said that, realistically, the county will not simply hand over the expensive real estate for little or no money.  Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio suggested it could be a good site for the Rockville Science Center she has long advocated for.

Residents have good reason to be concerned. The county could sell the property to a developer for a massive, dense townhome development. Or it could choose to keep it, building a school, soccer fields, or a shelter/clinic facility, as residents of Twinbrook Forest had to deal with until recently. The county council once tried to build a homeless shelter on property it obtained in an expensive Bethesda neighborhood of single-family homes, until outraged residents raised a ruckus.

Likewise, the county should not underestimate the Rockshire Association, which sued Rockville's Mayor and Council and Planning Commission over a development dispute during the 1970s.

Councilmember Tom Moore lauded the large turnout. He said the Karma Academy was "already on our radar," but that the appearance of so many residents would surely move the issue up on the council's list of priorities.