Gaithersburg will allow biotech company MedImmune to develop beyond square-footage limitations previously set by the city.
The company sits on annexed land near Great Seneca Highway and Quince Orchard Road, which previously was owned by General Electric. General Electric entered an agreement with the city to develop the annexed land. The agreement has been amended several times and the land has been transferred to MedImmune since then. The mayor and City Council authorized City Manager Tony Tomasello to execute a sixth amendment to the annexation agreement after a vote Monday evening.
As part of the amendment, MedImmune agreed to pay $4 million in company funds for the design and construction of a pedestrian bridge over Great Seneca Highway, connecting its employees to shops and restaurants in the Kentlands.
The amendment also would let MedImmune develop beyond previously determined square-footage limitations, resulting in an allowable total density of up to 2.2 million square feet.
City examines restrictions on day care centers
Current zoning rules for day care centers make it “impossible” for day care centers in a business zone to comply with city code, Gaithersburg Planning Director Lauren Pruss said.
Day cares currently are restricted to planned residential communities, but Pruss said there have been multiple requests for new centers in commercial zones. The requests have led to an amendment that would open up more areas of the city for such businesses.
Planning staff recommended that day cares be regulated as special exceptions in low-density residential zones.
“We have sufficient coverage to ensure the use is compatible with surrounding uses in the neighborhood,” Pruss said.
The public can comment on the amendment to the Planning Commission until 5 p.m. March 27. The mayor and City Council will accept public comments on the amendment until 5 p.m. April 11.