A vote by the Montgomery County Council Tuesday morning has placed Gaithersburg ahead of Rockville in what is essentially a race between the two municipalities to claim part of Shady Grove Road.
The council unanimously approved Gaithersburg’s proposed zoning change of the Sears property on Shady Grove Road for retail use.
The vote rezones the property from Research and Development (R&D), which prohibits retail, to Mixed Use District (MXD) zoning.
Nancy Floreen, a Montgomery County council member, said that though the county doesn’t play a large role in annexation issues, if the council does not support the annexation, the zoning in place on the property stays that way for five years.
“That’s an important point to remember,” said Floreen, who is also chair of the council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee, which recommended approval of the proposed zoning.
Gaithersburg is attempting to annex the Sears property at Shady Grove Road, and Tuesday’s decision to change the property’s zoning requirements will help the process.
The annexation is opposed by the city of Rockville, which Patch reported took steps last month to prevent Gaithersburg’s annexation. Rockville, too, initiated its own annexation of the road between Gaithersburg’s current borders and the Sears property.
Rockville would not be able to annex the land if Gaithersburg is able to annex the property first, according to legislative counsel Jeff Zyontz, who was present at the meeting.
Border Wars: Gaithersburg, Rockville Fight Over Shady Grove Site (July 26, 2012)
Rockville Letters Oppose Great Indoors Site Annexation (June 7, 2012)
Council Considers Adding 28 Acres To City (March 5, 2012)