City Scene

Photo | Mac Kennedy Maria Harakidas, Mike Aubrey and Neil Harris look on as Ryan Spiegel addresses the crowd at an Aug. 25 City Council campaign Meet & Greet at Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar in Downtown Crown.

Photo | Mac Kennedy
Maria Harakidas, Mike Aubrey and Neil Harris look on as Ryan Spiegel addresses the crowd at an Aug. 25 City Council campaign Meet & Greet at Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar in Downtown Crown.

Campaign Season for City Council

Neil Harris and Ryan Spiegel held a Meet & Greet at Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar in Downtown Crown on Aug. 25. Both City Councilmembers are running for re-election this November. The event was hosted by Mike Aubrey and Maria Harakidas.

On Aug. 26, the Board of Supervisors of Elections certified the candidacies of Neil Harris, Ryan Spiegel, and Robert T. Wu for the three City Council positions up for election in the City of Gaithersburg on Nov. 5, 2019. The at-large City Councilmembers will each serve a four-year term. Information on the candidates is available on the Election pages of the city’s website at www.gaithersburgmd.gov.

Voting in City Elections Made Easier

This year the Gaithersburg Board of Supervisors of Elections has authorized same-day voter registration. City residents who are registered to vote in Montgomery County are automatically registered to vote in City of Gaithersburg elections. Those registering at the polls on Election Day will be asked to show an approved form of identification and will be casting provisional ballots. Upon verification of the individual’s eligibility to vote, the provisional ballot will then be counted.

For information on voter eligibility, contact the Montgomery County Board of Elections at 240.777.VOTE (8683) or visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov.

Gaithersburg residents will cast their ballots for three City Councilmembers. Candidates are incumbents Neil Harris, Ryan Spiegel, and Robert T. Wu. Polls will be open on Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For complete election information please visit the city’s website at www.gaithersburgmd.gov or contact Elections Clerk Lauren Klingler in the Office of the City Attorney at 301.258.6310.

City Record Open on Short-Term Rental Regulations

At an Aug. 5 public hearing, the Mayor and City Council considered how short-term rentals should be regulated and licensed within the city, including taxation. Short-term rentals are defined as rental for lodging of less than 30 days but not less than one day.

The city proposed procedures for licensing short-term rentals. These would ensure that short-term rental properties notify adjoining and confronting properties of application for a short- term rental license, pass security and safety checks, and offer one off-site parking space (unless otherwise specified). Of note is the city’s proposal to limit short-term rentals to no more than 120 days out of any year, he added.

Unless prohibited by covenants, HOAs must allow short-term rentals. The city will be responsible for enforcing regulations passed. The City Council record will remain open until 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27 with anticipated Policy Discussion on Oct. 21.

City to Begin RFP Process for Lakeforest Mall Master Plan

At its Sept. 4 meeting, the Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to begin the request for proposal (RFP) process for consulting services to assist in the development of a Special Study Area Master Plan for the Lakeforest Mall property. According to city staff, the property has not been reviewed as part of the Master Plan since the 2009 Land Use Element; additional, more detailed planning studies and evaluations should be undertaken to ensure the best possible mix, density, and configuration of uses that reflect the analyses and findings of the various city studies and reports completed since the 2009 Land Use Element, including the Visioning Data Analysis.

The Council’s action only authorizes staff to begin the solicitation process. The final selection of a consultant, including project cost will come back before the Council for a resolution of approval prior to any contracts being finalized.

WBC Networking Event Planned

The City of Gaithersburg’s Office of Economic Development and Maryland Women’s Business Center (WBC) will be sponsoring a training and networking event with Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and other local legislators on Sept. 19, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Kentlands Mansion. Female business owners will have the opportunity to share experiences about business success, needs and concerns while advocating for support of women-owned small businesses in the county and state. The agenda includes a roundtable discussion, remarks by the county executive, followed by a networking reception. Advance registration is required; go to Marylandwbc.org.

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