Tuesday, September 15, 2015

“What is the staff confidence level that this is going to work sort of as advertised, that fees that are incurred and assessed by the City of Gaithersburg are actually going to … that MCPS is going to play ball and they’re actually going to go toward relief for our capacity problems at the specific school level.” #overcrowding #Gaithersburg

At a July 6 Joint Mayor and City Council and Planning Commission Public Hearing, a proposed amendment to the city’s Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) was discussed. The amendment suggests raising the APFO from 110 to 150 percent of school capacity five years in the future and collecting a Gaithersburg Schools Facilities Payment Fee from developers in areas where a specific school exceeds 105 percent capacity.
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, Rachel Carson Elementary School is expected to reach 148.1 percent capacity, a student population increase of more than 5 percent from FY2015. Speaking before the Mayor and City Council and Planning Commission, John Schlichting, director of Planning and Code Administration, said that RCES is “the most crowded school in the City of Gaithersburg, and one of the most crowded elementary schools in the county … (and) is already one of the largest if not the largest elementary school in the county.”
All of the elementary schools in the Quince Orchard cluster are overcapacity, he noted. Fields Road will be at 125.5 percent in FY2016 and Thurgood Marshall at 124.2 percent.
In total, 11 Gaithersburg public schools will be over 110 percent in FY2016, putting them in moratorium per the city’s current APFO that limits residential development when schools exceed 110 percent capacity. While waivers can be granted for schools that are below 120 percent capacity, only Gaithersburg Elementary at a projected 117.6 percent capacity and Northwest High School at a projected 110.3 percent capacity are eligible for this...

...Working in tandem with the new fee, the current 110 percent maximum for forecasted enrollment (in five years) would be changed to 150 percent. The City Council would be given authority to waive either the 150 percent capacity ceiling or the Gaithersburg Schools Facilities Payment Fee (or both) with defined justifications...



  1. 150% of capacity???!!! What does that even mean? Montgomery County already has the worst record in the state with 120% capacity and barrowing capacity within clusters. Will MoCo change it standards now to match Gburg??? It's all about more development and developers not paying for the infrastructure impacts they create. Developers pocket additional profits (by not funding school construction), siphon a tiny fraction of that money to Councilmembers such as Floreen, Leventhal, Reimer and Rice (and others) in the form of "campaign contributions... the result?...our kids get to sit in overcrowded classrooms (40 to 50 students) and spend time in more portables. This is nuts!!! When are parents and voters going to send a message to our "elected officials" that enough is enough?

  2. That's how musical chairs were invented.

    1. It has evolved into a shell game.

  3. ROCKVILLE, MD - Supporters of the Rockville APFS were correct, it was not a failed experiment. During the Rockville Planning Commission meeting (10/13/15), a report from Rockville City Staff showed an estimate of 127 students being added to the Richard Montgomery school cluster, by projects proposed since the City Council voted to weaken the Adequate Public Facilities Standards (APFS) for school capacity several few weeks ago. Prior to the change, only 64 students were expected to come from projects already in the development pipeline. The total will now be 191 students. If elected, I intend to overturn this vote and return to our stronger standards of our schools and healthier, more balanced development. Learn more at www.facebook.com/patrickschoof.everydecisionmatters (Patrick Schoof for Rockville City Council).
    - - - -

    Citing www.RockvilleNights.com, "Schoof said the change should indeed be overturned, as the former standards were the "only tool we have." He said the city should convince the County to toughen its standards."


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