Rockville Mayor and Council

Many citizens of Rockville are very concerned about the rush, on the part of some Council members, to weaken the City's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance/Standards (APFO/APFS).

This is an issue about which many in the community feel passionately, because our APFO is essential for the protection of the education of our children. In Rockville, the APFO stops developers from building more apartments and adding more children to schools already well over capacity. Weakening it will have adverse consequences for the quality of life in our neighborhoods, including forcing the Montgomery County school system to teach children in portables, not classrooms. Montgomery County is already behind by 22 schools - how many more schools will be needed if the APFO is trampled by development interests?

In the recent past there have been numerous attempts by development interests to water down or eliminate our APFO/APFS, but everyone who has studied the issue, including the APFO task force, the Planning Commission, and previous Mayor and Councils, have kept our strong City standards in place.

But now our APFO is in jeopardy, due to the unfortunate efforts of several City Council members. This most recent proposal would weaken the current APFS standards by changing them to Montgomery County's standards, the most lax in the State of Maryland. Three inadvisable changes are being proposed: first, weakening the school test to allow 120% overcrowding in our schools; second, permitting "averaging" of overcrowding across an entire school cluster to water down the statistics from highly overcrowded individual schools; and finally, changing the "test period" from 2 to 5 years, which essentially allows developers to get credit for new school capacity which may never be funded or built.

We believe that the proposed changes will severely diminish the quality of education our students will receive. Overcrowded schools are already a huge problem, and now is not the time to make the problem worse. Rockville's current strong APFO is a vital planning tool at the City's disposal to make sure that new residential development does not overwhelm our schools and roads. Please join us in standing up and making our collective voice heard. Tell the Mayor and Council to keep our City's APFO strong!

We, the undersigned, oppose weakening our APFO/APFS standards, and urge the Mayor and Council to reject the proposal to change to the County standards.

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The Keep the City of Rockville APFO/APFS petition to Rockville Mayor and Council was written by Neighborhoods of the West End and is in the category Government at GoPetition.