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Duball: There’s ‘Excess Parking’ at Rockville Town Center

Developer is asking for a 40 percent reduction in the amount of residential parking for an apartment building planned for Rockville Town Center.

Workers carry on at the Duball Rockvile LLC project in August 2013 at Rockville Town Center. FILE | Rockville Patch
Workers carry on at the Duball Rockvile LLC project in August 2013 at Rockville Town Center. FILE | Rockville Patch

Parking is more than plentiful in Rockville Town Center, representatives from Duball Rockville LLC told the Rockville City Council on Monday night.

“We think there’s excess parking,” Duball president Marc Dubick told the Mayor and Council.

Representatives from Duball presented changes they’re proposing for a project that has already been approved for Rockville Town Center.

The first phase of the project—a 144-foot building with 263 apartments and a 140-room boutique hotel— is already under construction across from the movie theater.

The second project, which is expected to begin in 2019, was the subject of Monday night’s presentation. Duball is asking for a 40-percent reduction in the amount of residential parking for an apartment building that will be built next door.

They also want to nearly double the amount of apartments—from the 222 that was already approved to 400—by offering smaller units.

The reason? There’s too much parking downtown, according to Dubick. 

What was approved for the second building included 566 “structured parking spaces," city records show. The combined projects would create nearly, 1,200 parking spaces in Town Center.

"Which we still think is way too much," Dubick said.

The developer’s proposed changes would create 587 in total parking for the second building—but the proposal would reduce the amount of parking by exclusively available to the building’s residents 40 percent, representatives for Duball said during the presentation Monday.

An article in The Gazette on Tuesday explained how that would work. Rockville’s zoning laws would require Duball to build 470 parking spaces for those 400 apartments, 105 parking spaces for the building's commercial space, and a parking garage with 200 spaces to replace the parking lot across from Giuseppi’s Pizza Plus.

Instead of creating 470 spaces, Duball wants to offer 282 and said commercial and residential tenants could share the parking garage.

>>> See: Duball seeks parking reduction in Rockville’s Town Center at Gazette.net.

On Monday, Nancy Regelin, an attorney for Duball, said the company was conducting a study of parking demand in Town Center.

Representatives from Duball also said there was a regional trend, where residences being built near Metro stations had little if any parking.  They also cited Petworth as an example.

They Mayor and Council seemed skeptical.

Prior to the presentation, Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton had complained of the lack of parking during the city’s tree lighting ceremony—a point she reiterated during Duball’s presentation.

Councilwoman Virginia Onley said comparing Petworth to Rockville was an apples-to-oranges comparison and said Town Center residents could find grocery shopping without a car at Town Center to be cumbersome.

Councilman Tom Moore said he’d like to get some data on Town Center parking from city staff.

>>> Speak out: Do you agree with Duball’s assertion, that there’s an “excess” of parking in Rockville Town Center?

 

 

Tom Rossing December 12, 2013 at 02:55 PM
REALLY! REALLY! Duball, do you think just because you are requesting to build euro-style apartments, that no one will drive to them or your chi-chi fu-fu hotel for the amenities? This ain't DC just look at the problem in hip Bethesda. Get a grip, build it, you can afford to. M&C don't cave.
William Charles December 12, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Rockville and Montgomery County Political Cartoons DUBALL http://s24.postimg.org/j9v7uilfp/Duball_Parking.jpg NEW: http://s27.postimg.org/9nlaas4c3/Moore_Karma.jpg http://s30.postimg.org/w63t8h8g1/Ervin_Union_Gold.jpg http://s27.postimg.org/dpsp3djvn/Moores_Announcement.jpg http://s24.postimg.org/agozlcrv9/Moore_Pledge.jpg RECENT: http://s9.postimg.org/w21x7vpv3/Saul_Ewing_Report.jpg http://s29.postimg.org/tj2pgyd4n/Passed_the_Bar.jpg http://s9.postimg.org/4yzniq8j3/Image_Consultant.jpg ARCHIVE: http://s16.postimg.org/wvikjucud/Recusal.jpg http://s18.postimg.org/ocw9cqpp5/Rockville_Election_Results.jpg http://s10.postimg.org/iicfyu3rd/Rockvilles_Pike_Plan.jpg http://s14.postimg.org/80b8ddaox/Rockville_Classroom.jpg http://s11.postimg.org/t33yw7fo3/Team_Rockville_Square_sm.jpg http://s21.postimg.org/ht9qgjhk7/Rockville_Hydra.jpg http://s13.postimg.org/n19w7h46v/Rockville_2013.gif Enjoy! Brought to you by William Charles (Rockville, MD) williamcharles137@yahoo.com
Rebecca DeFrees December 13, 2013 at 08:27 AM
I think it is ridiculous to reduce the number of parking spaces. Most households have more than one car, and as a nearby resident, I can attest to the fact that there is never enough parking for homeowners and guests. They are just being selfish, especially in making more apartments. I have never spoken to anyone who said they wanted a smaller apartment. The ones built now are already too small. Open your eyes and quit thinking about your wallet. Rockville is not DC nor is it Bethesda. The cost of living here has skyrocketed in the past 25 years and has made it next to impossible to live here without hardship. What a shame.
karen December 13, 2013 at 09:07 AM
As a senior who walks into town in nice weather but must drive in other seasons, I NEED to be able to park to attend a movie, get a haircut, or just pick up a gift or other item. It was nice when parking was free for a period of time but making parking more difficult to find is ridiculous. What are the shop and restaurant owners saying? I'm sure they'd like more residents around but still like to draw from a wider area. BTW, my friends in DC drive elsewhere in DC and always have to look for parking.
Sean Carr December 13, 2013 at 09:53 AM
I'm torn here. I'm deeply skeptical about Duball's claims, which are, of course, self-serving. Still, it is worth exploring whether it has a point. Parking structures already eat up valuable (in the economic and community senses of the term) space and are never attractive. Rules guiding the number of parking spaces often fail to account for marketplace and demographic changes, particularly for modern, transit-oriented development. It is documented that car ownership is on the decline for younger professionals -- like those most likely to rent small- to moderate-sized apartments in a walkable downtown area adjacent to rail.
Stephen Kelley December 13, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Based on my past few trips to RTC, I can assure that there is not enough parking there. There have been times that I simply left and went to another place where parking was not an issue. An owner of a business that recently closed told me one of the factors in their closing was there was not enough available parking. People will not abandon their cars simply because there is not enough parking; they will use their cars to drive to another destination.
Brigitta Mullican December 13, 2013 at 02:57 PM
There are empty parking spaces on Metro Parking Lot across from the big Rockville Garage on Hungerford Drive as well as the N. Stonestreet, but most people including myself are used to being able to park closer to the stores we want to visit. My question is "does Duball Rockville LLC really have the responsibility of solving the entire RTC parking problem?" I thought the builder's responsibility is only to provide parking for their project. If the parking mix doesn't work, it is the owners of the buildings problem not the City of Rockville. Just a comment from my point of view,
Joseph Jordan December 13, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Great political lampooning, Mr. Charles
Pedsfs December 14, 2013 at 04:20 PM
We live close enough to RTC that when the weather is nice, we walk. But we've learned - if we need to drive, we go someplace else.

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