When it comes to keeping East Rockville looking like East
Rockville, some residents are thinking about taking cues from another
Residents in East Rockville are considering creating what’s known as a neighborhood conservation district in an effort to curb mansionization—the proliferation of large homes that seem like mismatches among the smaller ones that surround them, including an East Rockville residence derisively referred to as “The White Whale.”
Lincoln Park, one of the oldest African-American communities in Montgomery County, adopted a conservation district plan in 2007.
Neighborhood conservation district zones are intended to protect a neighborhood’s character. But to get one adopted, it must be created during a neighborhood plan process or local initiative supported by at least 85 percent of the property owners, according to city’s description.
Chas Hausheer, president of the East Rockville Civic Association, has said that creating a conservation district for East Rockville is one of the ideas on the table for his neighborhood.
East Rockville is mostly comprised of single-family homes built in the early 1940s and during the World War II housing boom. But despite the city’s revised zoning code in 2009, developers have still been able to build massive residences—many of them functioning as rentals for multiple families—that just seem out of character in East Rockville, neighbors complain.
East Rockville residents have publicly voiced their concerns over preserving the integrity of their neighborhood, having testified at Rockville City Council meetings and writing letters to city officials.
Hausheer told The Gazette that the civic association has already asked the city to amend East Rockville’s neighborhood plan, which was adopted in 2004. The civic association is expected to discuss the problem of mansionization during its meeting next week, residents have told Patch.
Meanwhile, the city council has been discussing the problem, but can’t seem to agree on how to go about fixing it—preserving property owner’s rights, attempting to legislate taste, and other unintended consequences are only a few of the issues complicating things.
>>>Speak out: Do you think a neighborhood conservation district would benefit East Rockville?