Planning Board Approves Development of 225 Apartment Units in Rockville 

Planning Board Approves Development of 225 Apartment Units in Rockville 

Nation’s largest crab apple tree, on project site, will be relocated

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A development proposal for 225 multifamily units along Twinbrook Parkway in Rockville, just outside the city limits, received preliminary approval from the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday.

The project, at 12500 Ardennes Ave., bordered to the east by the parkway, includes a seven-story building, public open space and a parking garage.

Developer Ardennes Partners LLC has proposed that 15% of the apartment units be designated as affordable housing, as mandated by county law. Another 10% would be “workforce housing,” intended to be affordable to households with incomes too high to be eligible to participate in the county’s affordable housing program.

In February, developers delayed a hearing about the project with the Planning Board to explore ways to preserve the state’s largest crab apple tree, which sits on the property, at the intersection of Ardennes Avenue and Twinbrook Parkway.

The 45-foot-tall tree is listed on the American Forests website as “the largest known tree of its species in the country,” debuting on the Champion Trees list in 2017.

Some neighbors have called for its preservation.

Planning Board documents say an assessment by an arborist found the tree to “be in good health” and it will be relocated to a nearby property to be determined.

Developers have included more than 3,200 square feet of space for a public plaza on site and 95 bicycle parking spaces.

The development’s impact on traffic and school capacity will be studied at later stages of the approval process.

The project will replace an “underutilized” one-story office building constructed in the 1960s, according to Planning Board documents.

This story and a headline were updated at 1 p.m. July 19 to change a reference to the crab apple tree.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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