After more than a year of negotiations, hearings and work sessions, the Gaithersburg Planning Commission voted unanimously on May 2 to recommend the Montgomery County Agricultural Center’s application to rezone approximately 63 acres for mixed-use development.
The property, best known as the Montgomery County fairgrounds, is located southeast of the Exit 11, I-120 interchange, west of the CSX railroad tracks, north of Perry Parkway, and south of Chestnut Street. The recommendation will now go to the mayor and City Council for policy discussions and possible approval.
According to Trudy Schwartz, community planning director, the fair will continue to be held in an arena to be built on the northern portion of the property. Some of the buildings previously used for the fair will also be retained. She said that the plan was received well by the community.
“There was no opposition [to the plan],” said Schwartz.
The Agricultural Center’s Sketch Plan proposes a mix of residential, commercial, office and public uses in a phased development. The plan, which complies with the municipal growth plans of the city, proposes up to 1.15 million square feet of nonresidential uses and between 1,100 and 1,350 residential units.
Major infrastructure development for vehicle and pedestrian use is proposed; and the plan also calls for green space, a “walkable” and connected community with the extension of McBain Avenue through a portion of the site, and the addition of a new “main street,” unifying the entire property and relieving traffic on Frederick Avenue.