Laurel's mayor and City Council approved a preliminary design Monday for a multi-million dollar commercial and residential complex and introduced a resolution to approve another.

The council approved a development plan by Richard and Keith Garr, but reduced the amount of commercial space allowed in buildings in the center of the three-part parcel, currently part of the Laurel Pines Country Club, on Rte. 197. Residents of the Montpelier area objected at a meeting last month to the developers' request to eliminate 134 condominium units to increase commercial space, said city planner Karl Brendel. The citizens objected to the traffic and noise the additional commercial space might generate.

The Garrs had requested 180,000 square feet of commercial space, but the council trimmed the plan to 70,000 square feet for retail operations and 70,000 square feet for offices.

Construction of about 500 town houses in the south part of the project and 83 condominium units in the office and retail complex in the central area is expected to begin next spring, Brendel said. Additional town houses are planned for the northern section later in the decade, he said.

Also under consideration by the council is another, more massive development called Laurel Lakes, which planners said would be comparable to Tyson's Corner in McLean. It would amount to a miniature city four times as big as the Laurel Pines development, Brendel said.

On Monday, the council officially took under consideration plans for Laurel Lakes, which would include a research and development center, an office park, housing, a shopping center and a lake on a 280-acre site southwest of the intersection of Cherry Lane and Rte. 1.

The developer, Michael T. Rose Associates, has proposed 400,000 square feet of retail shops, 1 million square feet of offices, and an undetermined number of condominiums, Brendel said.