Introduction and Adoption of an ordinance to adopt an amendment to the Comprehensive Master Plan for the City of Rockville, Maryland to adopt by reference the entire Montgomery County Heritage Area Management Plan.
Introduce and adopt the ordinance (Attachment A). To introduce the ordinance and proceed to adoption at the same meeting, the ordinance should first be introduced, and then a motion should be made to waive the layover period. If the motion to waive the layover period is approved by an affirmative vote of four members of the Mayor and Council, the Mayor and Council may then proceed to adopt the ordinance. Staff recommends that the layover period be waived and the ordinance adopted in order to meet the timeline established by the State of Maryland, allowing Rockville to participate in the upcoming FY14 grant cycle.
Change in Law or Policy
The State outlines the process by which the boundaries of an existing Heritage Area may be amended. This occurs through the City's Comprehensive Master Plan process. The proposed ordinance would amend the City's Comprehensive Plan with the adoption, by reference, of the current Montgomery County Heritage Area Management Plan. An additional ordinance is addressed in a separate agenda item and would amend the City's Comprehensive Plan by adopting a Rockville Chapter to be added to the Montgomery County Heritage Area Management Plan.
The goals of the Maryland Heritage Areas program include enhancing visitor appeal and enjoyment of the State's history, culture and natural environment; increasing the economic activity associated with tourism; and encouraging preservation of historic buildings and natural areas important to the State's character. Amenities that support heritage travelers, such as restaurants, hotels, and entertainment offerings, are all considered important elements of the program.
The State provides support for this program with yearly funding from the State legislature, which is then administered by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Board. Grants are provided on a competitive basis in an annual grant cycle. All State grants require a 50% project match, of which 75% must be cash and 25% may be "in-kind," such as staff time. In addition, the State provides grant funding to support a local heritage area non-profit in each of the 12 certified Heritage Areas in the State to assure that the program serves at the local level. The Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County (Heritage Montgomery) provides that function in Montgomery County.
Attachment A includes the ordinance which will amend the City's Comprehensive Master Plan. Attachment B is the text of the City's Comprehensive Master Plan amendment supporting heritage tourism and adopting the County's Heritage Area Management Plan, by reference.
With the introduction and adoption of this ordinance, the City moves one step closer to completing the State's requirements for the expansion of boundaries of a certified Heritage Area, thereby enabling the City to join the State program as a part of the Montgomery County Heritage Area. The final step will be to Introduce and Adopt an additional ordinance to adopt a Rockville Chapter as an amendment to the Montgomery County Heritage Area Management Plan.
To introduce the ordinance and proceed to adoption at the same meeting, the ordinance should first be introduced; a motion should then be made to waive the layover period. If the motion to waive the layover period is approved by an affirmative vote of four members of the Mayor and Council, the Mayor and Council may then proceed to adopt the ordinance.
Mayor and Council History
The Mayor and Council held a Public Hearing on this matter on December 10, 2012, and the public record was open until 5:00 p.m. on December 21, 2012. On January 14, 2013, the Mayor and Council reviewed the public testimony and discussed the proposal, after which instructions were given to staff to prepare the two necessary ordinances to amend the Comprehensive Master Plan and adopt the Montgomery County Heritage Area Management Plan, in full by reference, as a part of the City's Comprehensive Master Plan and to adopt an amendment to the Montgomery County Heritage Area Management Plan to include the proposed Rockville Chapter.
Public Notification and Engagement
The public hearing before the Mayor and Council was advertised in the Gazette for two weeks prior to the date of the hearing on December 10. A press release about the public hearing was released on November 16. The proposed amendment has been posted on the City's website for public review throughout the process.
Boards and Commissions Review
The Rockville Historic District Commission recommended approval of the public hearing draft on July 19, 2012. The Planning Commission approved a resolution on November 14, 2012, thereby approving both documents and recommending them for adoption by the Mayor and Council.
The Mayor and Council will consider Introduction and Adoption of an ordinance to amend the City's Comprehensive Management Plan by adopting a Rockville Chapter for the Montgomery County Heritage Area Management Plan.
The City will then assist the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) staff with scheduling a tour of City heritage resources and heritage tourism amenities, such as the Town Center and its proximity to the Metro. The tour is scheduled for the afternoon of February 12, 2013. The City will provide the venue for MHAA to hold its own public hearing in City Hall on that date. At its next scheduled meeting on April 18, 2013, the entire MHAA Board will consider the City's request to expand the boundaries of the certified Montgomery County Heritage Area to include select portions of the City of Rockville.
Attach A: Master Plan Amendment Ordinance
Attach A Ordinance to Adopt MCHAMP by ref.pdf
Attach B: Master Plan Amendment Text
Attach B CMP Amendment Text.pdf
Susan Swift, Director of Community Planning and Development Services
Approved on: 01/18/2013
Barbara B. Matthews, City Manager
Approved on: 01/24/2013