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Rockville City Council Agenda: Fireside Park Apartments Hearing and Town Center and Budget Talk

A hearing on fire safety codes and a discussion of revisions to the city’s sediment control and stormwater management policies are also on deck.

 

Public hearings on city aid for the purchase of the Fireside Park Apartments and on revisions to the city’s fire safety code, and discussions of the city’s fiscal 2014 budget and of how new Rockville Town Center projects are approved are on the Rockville City Council’s agenda for Monday. 

The council also is scheduled to introduce an ordinance that would revise the city’s sediment control and stormwater management policies and is scheduled to issue a proclamation recognizing Community Planning Month in Rockville.

The Council meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The meeting will be broadcast live on Rockville 11.

Fireside Park Apartments hearing

Much of Monday’s meeting is expected to be dedicated to a public hearing on the proposed purchase of the Fireside Park Apartments by Rockville Housing Enterprises.

RHE, which administers public housing in Rockville, has asked the city to commit $2 million toward the $36 million purchase of the 236-unit garden-style Fireside Park complex at 735 Monroe St.

Click here to read more about the proposal and how to testify.

Fire safety code hearing

The council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on an ordinance that would bring the city’s fire safety code in line with state code while adding certain local amendments. The ordinance, introduced Sept. 10, represents a wholesale change to the city code, which follows the state code, according to a city staff report. Beginning Jan. 1, Maryland is bringing its code in line with the National Fire Protection Association’s codes and standards, the report said.

Rockville Town Center project approval

The council is scheduled to discuss whether to change a zoning ordinance in order to make the council the “approving authority” on development projects in Town Center.

The change could give the council the ability to approve “some or all” new projects in “some or all” of Town Center, according to a city staff report.

Since March 2009, the city has used a three-tiered site plan review process:

  • Level 1: Minor projects that could be approved by the city’s Chief of Planning.
  • Level 2: Larger projects requiring approval by the Planning Commission.
  • Project Plan: Major projects requiring review by the Planning Commission and approval by the City Council.

City residents and officials reconvened the city’s Town Center Action Team last month to discuss projects proposed for Town Center's second phase, which comprises 7 acres north of Beall Avenue and Rockville Town Square, between North Washington and Rockville Pike.

Click here to read more about the projects proposed for Town Center’s second phase.

The next TCAT meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 at City Hall. It is scheduled to include a presentation by Dawson’s Market owner Rick Hood and by representatives of Duball LLC.

Dawson’s Market opened in Rockville Town Square on Sept. 29. Duball plans to build a 384,897-square-foot project with a Cambria Suites Hotel, residences and street level retail space in the Regal Cinemas parking lot. The lot is across the street from the new Choice Hotels International headquarters in Rockville Metro Plaza II, which is now under construction at Middle Lane and Rockville Pike.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) on Monday proposed a $4.16 million economic development grant to Duball to support the project. The Montgomery County Council must approve the conditional grant.

Fiscal 2014 general fund budget

The council will discuss the state of the general fund for the city budget for fiscal 2014, which begins July 1.

The city maintains a “rainy day” fund of at least 15 percent of its annual general fund revenue. The ending general fund balance for fiscal 2012, which ended June 30, equaled about $9.9 million, or 15.2 percent of the total fiscal 2013 adopted revenue budget, according to a staff report.

In past years, the city used funds that exceeded the 15 percent goal to help fund capital projects without issuing debt.

“Given the relatively low balance of funds above the 15 percent reserve requirement, and the degree of uncertainty and risks associated with the City's major revenue sources, staff does not recommend utilizing the funds above the 15 percent reserve requirement at this time,” the staff report said

Future budget work sessions are scheduled for:

  • Oct. 15: Employee compensation and benefits.
  • Oct. 22: Capital Improvements Program and city contracting.
  • Nov. 5: Reducing the city budget and what it means to cut costs.
  • Dec. 3: Costs and revenues associated with new development and an overview of biennial budgeting.

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