City Leaders Attend QOP Meeting (Photos)

Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz and the entire City Council attended a neighborhood meeting at Quince Orchard Park on Feb. 12.

The elected leaders were accompanied by a cadre of staff, including the city manager, economic development director, planning and code director, neighborhood services director, police chief, a sergeant, police officer and public works employee.

Dozens of residents attended the meeting, which featured updates on the Vistas development, replacement of street trees on Swanton Lane, community tree management plan, Ash Tree management plan, recycling bins, traffic and pedestrian safety at Great Seneca Highway, legislation to join Montgomery County’s Commission on Common Ownership Communities, a crime summary and a presentation from a MedImmune official about the company’s plans for the campus.

Hot topics included traffic and pedestrian safety at Great Seneca Highway and MedImmune’s future expansion plans. Residents with concerns about the intersection of Great Seneca Highway and Kentlands Boulevard/Orchard Ridge Drive were told to contact the State Highway Administration. Residents did learn that engineering fixes are in the works but construction is not scheduled until the winter of 2014 and that’s if funding allows for it. Other questions were raised about the speed limit and why the intersection is often in the dark. City officials said they were investigating the latter issue.

During her presentation, Liz Huntley of MedImmune noted the biotech company is committing to contribute $4 million to build a pedestrian bridge over Great Seneca Highway (tied to design and construction plans for the Corridor Cities Transitway), along with donating 6.5 acres of land to the city for a park in the QOP community, and plans to make a financial donation of $350,000 to city coffers to help construct up to 20 more parking spaces along Orchard Ridge Drive. MedImmune is looking to update its annexation agreement with the city. The topic is scheduled to be on the City Council’s Feb. 19 agenda at City Hall.

One resident noted the chillers atop Medimmune’s buildings were noisy and adversely affecting his quality of life at the Vistas development. He asked if a tree buffer could be planted and officials said they would look into the idea.

Finally, Gaithersburg Police Chief Mark Sroka provided some crime stats and concluded the community is safe.

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