Rockville City Council on Monday held its final meeting before the Nov. 5 election—the last time Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio and Councilman John Hall Jr. would sit at the dais.
Marcuccio has retired from public office and Hall has opted not to run for re-election. The City hosted a reception for Hall and Marcuccio prior to the council’s meeting Monday night.
The new Mayor and Council will meet Nov. 18.
Here’s a recap of the meeting:
Action: Historic Designation Passed for Jehovah’s Witness Property
A property owned by a Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Rockville’s West End will be considered historic—a designation the congregation has vocally opposed and some West End residents said was necessary to protect the neighborhood’s historic ties.
Rockville City Council passed the ordinance in a 3-2 vote, with Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio and Councilman Tom Moore voting “no.”
Affected is residence at 628 Great Falls Road, where missionaries currently live. The congregation say there were no plans to tear down the home and, instead had planned to expand its Kingdom Hall so that it abutted the back of the house.
The historic designation wouldn’t stop the congregation from moving forward, but members of the congregation said the designation presents other challenges to the expansion.
Action: Changes approved for Rockville’s Adequate Public Facilities Standards
The Rockville City Council approved changes to guidelines meant to balance new development with the city’s ability to provide resources and curb overcrowding at schools.
What was presented Monday was a scaled back version of a previous proposal that would have let developers ask for permission to waive some of those rules for projects near Metro stations. Council members Hall and Moore, who drafted the initial proposal, withdrew the provision for waivers after citizens overwhelmingly opposed the idea at a public hearing.
Mayor Marcuccio abstained from voting.
“I protest the process through which we have been dragged and the incredible desire to finish this before the council comes to a close,” Marcuccio said prior to the vote. “That's not in the best interest of the city, not in the best interest of the citizens. No matter how well this was done, or how it may be done in the future, this is the wrong way to do business.”
In other council news:
- The Rockville City Council met in executive session at the end of its regular meeting for labor negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police.
- A $1 million contract awarded to Environmental Quality Resources, Inc. in Arbutus, Md. for the restoration of approximately 1,100 feet of stream between Hurley Avenue and the north end of Bouldercrest Court.
- Kathleen Drake was reappointed to the city’s Animal Matters Board. Her appointment expires Oct. 1, 2016.
- The city of Rockville kicked off its annual holiday drive to provide food baskets, gift certificates and toys to needy Rockville families for the Thanksgiving and December holidays. The program served more than 1,000 children and more than 500 families last year, according to city records. Details are posted at the city’s website, RockvilleMD.gov.