Preliminary Plan for Developing the Public Safety Training Academy Property

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Excerpts from the “Statement of Justification for Preliminary Plan Public Safety Training Academy Property,” dated January 2020:  (See the complete 26-page Justification here:  https://eplans.montgomeryplanning.org/UFS/31428/87643/01-SOJ-120200100.pdf/01-SOJ-120200100.pdf_V3/01-SOJ-120200100.pdf  )

The Elms at PSTA, LLC, an Elm Street Community entity (“the Applicant”), seeks (Montgomery County Planning Board) approval of the Preliminary Plan (“Preliminary Plan” or “Application”) for the Public Safety Training Academy site (“PSTA”) in Rockville, Maryland. Located at 9710 Great Seneca Highway, the subject property contains approximately 45 acres and is located southwest of the intersection of Key West Avenue and Great Seneca Highway (“Property” or “Site”). Currently owned by Montgomery County, the Property is subject to a sales and purchase contract with the Applicant.

For approximately 40 years, the Property was the home of Montgomery County’s PSTA, where police officers, fire fighters, and operators of large trucks received specialized training. In 2016, PSTA moved to a new location to accommodate the planned redevelopment of the Property that was envisioned by the 2010 Great Seneca Sciences Corridor Master Plan (“GSSC Master Plan”).

The Property is bordered on the north by Key West Avenue, on the east by Great Seneca Highway, and on the south by a 6.25-acre parcel owned by Montgomery County that currently serves as the location of the County’s Innovation Incubator and the National Center of Cybersecurity of Excellence.  The Property is constrained by a large gas transmission main, located between Key West Avenue and the Property. Several uses are located immediately adjacent to and west of the PSTA site. These uses include offices, retail (a pharmacy and fast food), Wootton Crest townhome community, Academy Primary School and Child Development Center, and a Pepco substation.

The Project proposes a variety of unit types and sizes, a grid street pattern with on-street parking, provisions for alternative transportation options (including a site for the future CCT station), integration of green spaces, and community amenities such as a community green adjacent to the future CCT site, recreation area, mews, tot lots and walkways.  Some retail development is also integrated into one of the proposed multi-family buildings.  Specifically, the development includes 645 total residential units and approximately 1,940 square feet of retail, as follows:

  • 345 for-sale homes
    • 64- 2-over-2 condominiums
    • 48- 16’ townhomes
    • 176 – 20’ townhomes
    • 57 – 24’ townhomes
  • 300 multi-family apartment units
  • Approximately 1,940 square feet of retail co-located in the apartment building and at the intersection of Medical Center Drive and Key West Highway

For-sale residential units include single-family attached, 2-over-2 condominiums and multi-family units.  The 300 rental units will be located in three elevator-served mid-rise buildings with surface parking.  The proposed retail is co-located with the residential in the ground floor of the multi-building.  Thirty percent (30%) of all residential units will be moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs) and include for-sale units and for-rent units.