City Scene

Public Comment Closed for Potomac Valley Shopping Center Annexation

The public comment period for annexation of the Potomac Valley Shopping Center located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Darnestown and Quince Orchard roads into the city’s Mixed Use Development (MXD) zone closed May 2. Staff proposed tentatively scheduling the Policy Discussion on Annexation Petition X-7089-2015 on May 16.

Owners of the center, Darnestown Valley-WHM LP and Darnestown Valley Petroleum WHM, LLC, submitted a revised annexation agreement that reduces the total allowable building height from 10 stories to five stories and no longer includes the M&T Bank property of 0.231 acres. M&T Bank did not want to be annexed into the city or have the property rezoned to the MXD zone.

More information about the annexation, including the exhibits, is available at www.gaithersburgmd.gov/government/city-projects/potomac-valley-shopping-center-annexation

Police Foundation Fundraiser Coming

Enjoy a burger and raise a glass for the Gaithersburg Police Foundation (GPF) May 17 at Dogfish Head Alehouse, 800 West Diamond Ave., Gaithersburg. This is GPF’s most popular fundraiser of the year, and 15 percent of the day’s sales will be donated to the nonprofit. Just drop by Dogfish Head Alehouse any time between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. for a fun time, good food and an opportunity to meet the members of the Gaithersburg Police Department and GPF, whose board members will be on hand throughout the event.

Formed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2008, the Gaithersburg Police Foundation seeks to support the Gaithersburg Police Department with its mission to provide quality services to the residents of Gaithersburg. The Foundation raises funds to offer educational opportunities for the police department staff, enhances recruitment and retention of officers, provides logistical support to officers, provides technology assistance, and helps to finance community outreach initiatives.

Taste of Gaithersburg Lineup Announced

The 34th Annual Celebrate! Gaithersburg in Olde Towne street festival announces this year’s Taste of Gaithersburg lineup. Among the 13 local eateries accepted this year are Asia Nine, Boca Botana’s, Bonefish Grill, Boulevard Tavern, Copper Canyon Grill, Diya Bistro, Dogfish Head, Joe’s Crab Shack, Mezeh Mediterranean Grill, Nalley Fresh, Not Your Average Joe’s, Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar, and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

The Taste of Gaithersburg is a featured food area at the Celebrate! Gaithersburg street festival taking place from noon to 5 p.m. on June 12. Participating restaurants will be offering customers a $1 taste option and will also make full meals available at prices that can range up to $9. The festival takes place in and around the grounds of Gaithersburg’s City Hall. For more information, call the Gaithersburg Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture at 301.258.6350.

City Launches Online Records Request System

To provide for enhanced transparency and staff efficiency, the City of Gaithersburg has launched JustFOIA, an online program that allows individuals seeking public information to submit records requests under the Maryland Public Information Act. With this program, requestors can specify the documents they are interested in obtaining and can then check the status of their request, from submission through response, via the city’s website.

“We see upwards of 50 official requests for documents annually and the number of requests has been growing,” said City Attorney Lynn Board. “While Gaithersburg has an excellent reputation for compliance, changes to the state law require increased accountability for fees charged. An automated solution was necessary for us to more efficiently manage the requests.”

Individuals can submit an online FOIA request at www.gaithersburgmd.gov/government/public-information-requests. They will receive automatic notification of receipt of their request and will be assigned a unique number to track the request’s progress while city staff works to respond. Certain requests involve fees to compensate for staff time in searching for and accumulating the documents as well as document reproduction costs. The system allows for payments to be tracked as well.

Manual submission of records requests will continue to be accepted. If using the online form is not an option, please e-mail cityhall@gaithersburgmd.gov, call Custodian of Records Doris Stokes at 301.258.6310, or submit a request in writing to Records Request, Gaithersburg City Hall, 31 S. Summit Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877.

Bike to Work on May 20

The City of Gaithersburg joins Commuter Connections and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association in welcoming thousands of area commuters to a cycling celebration on Bike to Work Day, Friday, May 20. At the corner of MD Route 119 (Great Seneca Highway) and Orchard Ridge Drive from 7 to 9 a.m., Gaithersburg will host one of more than 80 pit stops located throughout the D.C. region.

Advance registration is now open. Free t-shirts are available for the first 15,000 who register throughout the region. Visitors to the Gaithersburg pit stop will find refreshments, entertainment and a chance to win raffle prizes provided by local vendors.

Strokes and Strides Planned

Youth ages 7 to 14 are invited to participate in the third annual Strokes and Strides swimming and running event on June 4, 8 to 11 a.m. at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm.

This one-time event is divided into two age groups. Ages 7 through 10 will complete a 50-meter swim (any stroke) followed by a 1-kilometer run; ages 11 through 14 will complete a 100-meter swim (any stroke) followed by a 2-kilometer run. Runners will use a marked trail that winds through the fields and wetlands at Bohrer Park. All participants will receive a completion award and a free one-day admission pass to the Water Park that can be used once during the 2016 season. A brief post-event celebration will be held at the Hillside Pavilion.

Registration is $30 per participant, $23 for City of Gaithersburg residents. Register online and view complete program details at www.gaithersburgmd.gov/RecXpress, fax your registration to 301.948.8364, or visit the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 South Frederick Ave. For more information, please call 301.258.6350.

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