Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Comprehensive Master Plan review to begin this fall

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The Rockville Planning Commission stressed the importance of public outreach as it begins its review of the citywide Comprehensive Master Plan this fall.

Commissioners were briefed last week on the review process that the state requires every six years.

"We're going to take a real hard look at it and see what might need revising," city planner Ann Wallas said.

Commissioner John Tyner expressed interest in getting the "non-squeaky-wheel public" involved in the process in addition to those who are regularly outspoken.

"Getting the public involved right from the outset is critical," Commissioner Kate Ostell said.

Wallas said planners will work with the city's public information office to play a key role in the outreach during the review process, something city planners have been in charge of in the past.

Commissioner David Hill said that as the commissioners review the Comprehensive Master Plan, they will need to include the draft zoning ordinance, which the City Council is expected to adopt in September, and the recently developed plans for Twinbrook, East Rockville, Lincoln Park and Rockville Pike.

He mentioned the county's Twinbrook Sector Plan as another "critical area" that should be reviewed in relation to the master plan.

Commissioner Sarah Medearis said she would like to see the commission take another look at the number of units previously forecasted for certain planning areas relative to how many are actually there now.

Tyner said the plan needs to be updated to reflect a more modern, "urbanized" Rockville.

"We're really an urbanized area and this plan talks about suburban Rockville, but that's not the reality," Tyner said. "Some certainly like to think that… but we need to move forward with what's in the county and in our area."

Gajewski town hall meeting set for Thursday

City Councilman Piotr Gajewski will hold his third quarterly town hall meeting on Thursday to meet with residents and discuss city issues.

The meeting's agenda will include discussion of recent City Council action, the revision of the citywide zoning ordinance and any other issues residents wish to discuss, according to a city statement.

The meeting will begin at 8 p.m. in the Mayor and Council Chambers in City Hall, 111 Maryland Avenue.