Mayor and Council



   For the meeting on:

  October 14, 2013
   Department:   Recreation and Parks
   Responsible staff:  Christine Henry, Acting Director of Recreation and Parks
  phone: (240) 314 - 8603
  CHenry@rockvillemd.gov


Subject
Proposed Establishment of a King Farm Farmstead Task Force

Recommendation
Discuss the proposed establishment of a task force to consider future uses of the King Farm Farmstead Park and its buildings.

Discussion
The King Farm Farmstead Park was conveyed to the City in the late 1990s by King Farm Associates, L.L.C. (the development group) through a Deed and Declaration of Covenants (Attachment A). King Farm Farmstead Park is approximately five acres with multiple buildings and open space. The park is within a historic district and has been evaluated and assessed for the historic value and the condition of the property and its buildings.

In 2002, a King Farm Farmstead Park Task Force was created. The Task Force provided recommendations to the Mayor and Council on January 25, 2003 (Attachment B). In 2010, staff advertised nationally a Request For Information (RFI) for organizations to propose future uses and/or partnerships for use of the park. In 2011, Mayor and Council received a report from staff, which included proposals from three not-for-profit organizations (Habitat for Humanity, Bikes for the World and Growing Soul). Neither the task force or the RFI process produced a long-term use or commitment for the park.

Currently, Bikes for the World occupies the structure referred to as the Hay Barn. The Maryland Central Model Railroad Club, Inc. occupies the structure referred to as the garage. The City converted the hay drying shed to a picnic shelter, which is rented to the public. In addition, a group of King Farm residents manage a community garden program on the property.

In addition to these current uses, The Family Academy of Bethesda has proposed to make improvements to the structure referred to as the King Farm House and to pay rent in return for a long-term lease for use as an educational and childcare facility.

In a Mayor and Council meeting in 2013, Councilmember Pierzchala asked that a task force be created to provide input into the future uses of the King Farm Farmstead Park and its buildings and to present to the Mayor and Council a range of options. His proposal is described in Attachment C.

In July 2013, staff provided the Mayor and Council with a notebook of additional information regarding the background, history and processes that have occurred since the City obtained the King Farm Farmstead Park property.

Mayor and Council History
The future use of King Farm Farmstead Park has been in front of the Mayor and Council several times since the City took ownership of the property, including a previous King Farm Farmstead Task Force Report and Recommendations on January 25, 2003; Proposed King Farm Concept Plan 2004; Approval for the Maryland Central Model Railroad, LLC use of the garage in 2007; and Adaptive Reuse of King Farm Farmstead RFI process and recommendations 2010 and 2011.

Public Notification and Engagement
Staff notified the King Farm Assembly that Councilmember Pierzchala submitted a proposal for a task force that will be discussed at the October 14 Mayor and Council meeting.

Boards and Commissions Review
During the past 15 years, the subject of the King Farm Farmstead Park and the use of its buildings has been discussed at several meetings of the Recreation and Park Advisory Board, Historic District Commission and the Cultural Arts Commission.

Next Steps
Provide direction to staff regarding the creation and scope of a new King Farm Farmstead Task Force.

Attachments
Attachment A - Deed and Declaration of Convenants.pdfAttachment A - Deed and Declaration of Convenants.pdfAttachment B - Recommendations for future issues.pdfAttachment B - Recommendations for future issues.pdfAttachment C - Councilmember Pierzchala's Proposal.pdfAttachment C - Councilmember Pierzchala's Proposal.pdf

Department Head:



Christine Henry, Acting Director of Recreation and Parks
Approved on: 10/09/2013

City Manager:

Barbara B. Matthews, City Manager
Approved on: 10/10/2013