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City to Rezone Part of Fairgrounds for Retail, Office, Residential Use

The Gaithersburg mayor and city council approved an application to rezone approximately 63 acres of land on the Montgomery County Fairgrounds property.

An application to rezone 62.83 acres of land from the Montgomery County Fairgrounds property has been unanimously approved by Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz and the city council.

The rezoning shifts the property to a Mixed Use Development Zone, allowing for development comprised of residential, commercial, office and public uses, according to city documents.

While still in a preliminary phase, Gaithersburg Community Planning Director Trudy Schwarz said the zoning change allows the city flexibility to work on the Frederick Avenue Corridor in the future.

"I think this will enhance that project as far as making a proposal for this property and corridor property directly adjacent to [Rt. 355]," Schwarz said.

According to a sketch released by the city, part of the northern area of the fairgrounds will focus on non-residential uses, while the middle (South of Cross Street, between McBain Avenue to Front Street) and the southern (between McBain Avenue and Front Street, stretching North past Dalamar Street) areas will focus on residential uses.

Although he did not oppose the application, Councilmember Michael A. Sesma expressed concern over the legacy of the property. Sesma called the property one of the last vestiges of the city's and county's agricultural heritage.

"I guess what's disappointing to me about the request to rezone it is it's a mixed use cookie cutter that has been applied to one of the remaining sites in the county that has the highest potential for very significant activity," Sesma said. "Some of it would maintain the heritage of the [Agricultural Fair] and some would provide other opportunities.

"I guess the biggest problem for me is there's nothing here that really I find exciting or compelling, but there's not a particularly good reason for not granting this [application]."

It was approved Monday evening.

B Allen June 25, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Guess the county needs more room for the illegals they will be bringing here and the taxpayers paying the costs...expect your taxes to go up people... you will be paying up to 70% of your income if these liberal dems are left to "rule the roost".
Sharon June 25, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Big, big mistake! Mayor and City Council must have been smoking crack when they reached this decision that will absolutely IMPACT residents of Gaithersburg & the Village. Hell, open the gates not only for more traffic but open the flood gates to more crime that already permeates that area. As if the 6th District doesn't already have its hands full with unwanted activity in the City of Gaithersburg and the Thug Party Room aka Transit Center on Lost Knife, etc. And do you guys have something against saving any remnants whatsoever of God's green earth! Rhetorical! You and your decisions are your 'own demise' and the planet's demise as well! Unfortunately, it adversely affects the rest of us!
Sharon June 25, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Expect, Mayor & City Council, (or, at least don't feign being surprised...hummm!) more of this when trying to pack in commercial & residential establishments & complexes in already crowded, criminally-infested (by what we all can not deny is in the news daily) and congested Gaithersburg. http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/7-Injured-After-Gaithersburg-Melee-160163585.html

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