Rockville’s Planning Commission is scheduled to take the city a step closer on Wednesday toward blocking a proposed parking lot for the Robert A. Pumphrey Funeral Home.
The commission is scheduled to vote on whether to delete a zoning text amendment that allowed Pumphrey to apply to build the lot on property adjacent where the funeral home has operated since 1924.
The City Council approved the amendment in November 2010. Last month, the new council voted 3 to 2 to reverse that decision. Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio and council members Bridget Donnell Newton and John Hall voted for the reversal.
Marcuccio later told The Gazette that the home is a nonconforming use for its location in the West Montgomery Avenue Historic District and should move.
As a nonconforming use, the home’s application to build the parking lot would require approval from the Historic District Commission.
A report to the Planning Commission, prepared by city staff, recommends deleting the amendment. It states: “The intent behind the regulation of nonconforming uses is for them to ultimately cease to exist, with only uses allowed in the current zone to be approved in the future. Allowing the expansion of the parking lot for the funeral home will have the practical effect of perpetuating the nonconforming use for the foreseeable future, contrary to the intent of the code.”
A public hearing before the City Council on deleting the text amendment is tentatively scheduled for March 26.
Topics for discussion include a middle pike street grid with specified frontages, architectural standards and land use.
The commission meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall.