County Bill to amend county law regarding Common Ownership Communities

The Montgomery County Code was amended in 1990 to add Chapter 10B and has had only a few revisions since then. Chapter 10B is probably best known as the authority for the well-known Commission on Common Ownership Communities and its quasi-judicial panels that hear disputes between homeowners and associations. Chapter 10B is also noted for establishing training requirements for directors of association boards of directors to ensure that they are familiar with substantive and procedural aspects of governing documents and Maryland law relating to obligations of association directors. On October 18, Council President Albornoz introduced Bill 18-22 to reorganize Chapter 10B, but retain its essential provisions. No public hearings have been announced. Major provisions of the Bill include:

  • Board Member Training: The training requirements currently in Section 10B-17 have been moved to Section 10B-7.
  • Association Voting Provisions: Revised section 10B-17 requires directed proxies to be processed in the same way prescribed for absentee ballots. New provisions for counting absentee ballots and directed proxies specify that those votes may not be counted or opened until the election, and the vote counters must confirm that the person in a directed proxy actually attended the election.
  • Acceptance of Jurisdiction of Disputes by Common Ownership Communities (CCOC): The Bill 22-18 would allow the CCOC to take jurisdiction over a dispute if a party reneged on a settlement reached at a mediation.

Lakeforest Mall Meeting
On October 20, the owner of the Lakeforest Mall held an informal session to introduce the exhibits that they would be submitting to rezone the property, and a sketch plan showing the general areas on the 100-acre site where housing, retail, parks, open space and office/industrial would be located. About 75 people attended, including planning staff from the City of Gaithersburg, planning commissioners and the entire WRS team that will be working through the various stages of the development and construction process.

A couple interesting details were noted:

  • The county definitely wants to move the transit center from its current location to the other side of the property, closer to MD RT 355 where a future BRT will be located. A smaller bus station might remain at its current location on Lost Knife Road.
  • A restaurant and entertainment area might be located fronting the large pond at the corner of Russell Avenue and Montgomery Village Avenue. A boardwalk to allow people to stroll around the pond might be built there.
  • Various styles/sizes of housing would be built on the property (near Asbury), with up to 1,600 total units being allowed per the Master Plan that the city adopted last year.
  • The last remaining anchor, Macys, will close by Spring 2023, but no demolition will occur on the site until the city has approved site plans.
  • There was no talk of big box stores such as Home Depot, Sam’s Club, etc., but on the sketch plan there are large areas of retail on the Montgomery Village side of the property where they could be constructed with parking garages.
  • It was noted that some multifamily buildings (what the planners call vertical housing) might be included up near the new transit center location. This housing—and possibly retail—might be placed over the transit center; the developer noted examples of this arrangement working in other areas.

Once the developer formally files the rezoning application, a public hearing will be scheduled and there will be more opportunities to comment. The developer is hoping to have construction underway sometime in 2024.

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Ledo Pizza & Pasta
19200 Montgomery Village Avenue
Gaithersburg Animal Hospital
280 North Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Re/Max Realty Group - Dede Burrell and Andy Werner
6 Montgomery Village Ave #200, Gaithersburg, MD 20879