Developers Propose Up to 375 Units for New Neighborhood in Tower Oaks Area of Rockville

Developers Propose Up to 375 Units for New Neighborhood in Tower Oaks Area of Rockville

City of Rockville's Planning Commission will get first briefing on proposal this week

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Two developers are pitching a new neighborhood on 40 acres of mostly wooded land in the Tower Oaks section of Rockville, another project now able to move forward after the City of Rockville did away with a development moratorium in the area because of school overcrowding.

The project, from Bethesda-based developer EYA and property owner Boston Properties, would put a maximum of 375 units on the site just east of Preserve Parkway. For now, the developers are planning 194 town homes, 112 condominium units and 30 single-family detached homes, though they have asked for permission for up to 225 town homes based on market demand.

Via City of Rockville Planning Commission

The city’s Planning Commission will get a briefing on the proposal Wednesday night. The project will be the subject of public hearings in front of the Planning Commission and City Council and must get approval from both bodies.

In a letter detailing the proposal, project attorney Scott Wallace said EYA hopes to get all city approvals by mid-2016 with the goal of beginning construction in 2018 and delivering the project in phases until it’s finished in 2024 or 2025.

The city previously approved new office buildings for the property. But the change to residential was delayed because of the city’s Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO), which restricted any new development in an area of the city where a public school was already at 110 percent of its capacity.

In June, the City Council voted 3-2 to change the ordinance, aligning it with the less strict standard Montgomery County uses that imposes a development moratorium if schools in an area are at an average of 120 percent of their capacity.

In October, a four-story, 238-unit apartment project at Twinbrook Parkway was the first residential project approved under the new ordinance. The new ordinance and how it might spur development became a focal point of the city’s Nov. 5 election for city council and mayor.

Voters reelected four incumbents and chose former Council member Mark Pierzchala for the open council seat, essentially restoring the 3 to 2 split that voted for loosening the ordinance.

The EYA Tower Oaks project will include three-story and four-story town homes and condos in six-story buildings. The single-family detached homes are proposed for the edges of the property. There will be a 7,000-square-foot community center with a pool, recreation facilities and a neighborhood grocery store in the center of the new neighborhood.

The developers said between 20 and 25 town homes will be set aside as moderately-priced dwelling units to fulfill the city’s affordable housing requirements.

Models of town homes and condominium building proposed by EYA for Tower Oaks, via City of Rockville Planning Commission

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