Gaithersburg's mayor and City Council have turned down a developer's request for annexing part of the Washingtonian Country Club, where the developer had hoped to build more than 640 houses.

City officials said the project was too big; homeowners argued that the development would add to traffic jams on Rte. 28, the area's main commuter road.

Annexation would have allowed the developer, Jay Alfandre, to build more houses on the property, which is not part of an incorporated city. He would not have had to buy development rights from farmers to get the density he wanted, as Montgomery County law requires.

The council unanimously turned down Alfandre's request to annex the parcel northwest of Muddy Branch Road and Rte. 28 after Alfandre said he wanted to build more houses than allowed under the terms of a compromise Mayor Bruce A. Goldensohn offered last week.

The mayor's proposal pared down the permitted units from 743 to 608, and would have required Alfandre to widen two roads. But Goldensohn said at the Monday council meeting that Alfandre would agree to no fewer than 643 houses.

Harvey Perry, president of Westleigh Citizens Association, one of the groups that opposed the annexation, called the council's vote "an excellent decision" and said he would take down a 12-by-6-foot sign the groups had posted along Rte. 28. Those signs listed county and city officials' phone numbers and urged drivers to complain about traffic.