www.charlescountymd.gov

Charles County, Maryland

June 12, 2012

Minutes
Tuesday, June 12, 2012

 

The Board of Appeals held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Government Building Meeting Room of the Charles County Government Building, La Plata, Maryland.

The following were present:

Luke Hannah, Vice Chairman
Jean Schappet, Member
Natalie McKinney, Member
Brendan Moon, Member
Matthew Clagett, Associate County Attorney
Kirby Blass, Planning
Karen Wiggen, Planning
Carrol Everett, Clerk

The Vice Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and stated there was a quorum.  The Chairman was not present.

The Vice Chairman announced the process by which all Board of Appeals hearings are to be conducted.

7:03 PM, Public Hearing:  Docket #1283 – Verizon Wireless, for a Special Exception for a telecommunications tower more than 50 ft. tall (Pinefield site), as provided in Article XIII, Section 297-212 and Article XXV, Section 297-415 of the Charles County Zoning Ordinance.

Kirby Blass, Planning Staff, gave a summary of the request using a location, zoning and aerial map as follows:

• The proposal is to construct a 165 ft. monopole cell tower that will accommodate 15 antennas and at least 2 additional carriers with a 55’ x 23’ fenced compound.

• The site address is 2183 Crain Highway, Waldorf, Maryland.

• The subject property contains 7.089 acres and is zoned Community Commercial (CC), identified as Tax Map 8, Grid 6, Parcel 828 (Lot 1A).

• The surrounding neighborhood consists of numerous commercially developed properties along Crain Highway.

• Parcel 828 is split down the middle by an easement for the future Western Parkway expansion.

• No historical, environmental, or visual impacts have been identified.

• Photo simulations were provided to the Board.

• County’s RF engineering consultant confirmed Verizon has been unsuccessful in their search for potential alternative towers in the general area.

• FAA/MAA permitting is not required as the proposed tower is sufficiently distant from the Maryland Airport and other heliports.

• Staff recommends approval with five conditions.

Mr. Clagett stated there was substantial compliance with the notification requirements.

The Vice Chairman swore in the following witnesses for the Applicant:

Barbara Pivec
Atlantic Site Acquisition
102 Rutledge Rd.
Queenstown, MD 21658

Leasing Agent and consultant for Verizon Wireless

Stephanie Petway
Network Building & Consulting LLC
7380 Coca Cola Drive
Hanover, MD 21076
Zoning Consultant for Verizon Wireless

Brian Siverling
Morris and Ritchie and Associates
1220-C East Joppa Rd.
Towson, MD 21286
Civil Engineer

Luke Neiswander
405 Maple Lane NW
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
RF Design Engineer, Verizon Wireless

Andrew Dixon
2298 Crain Highway
Waldorf, MD 20601
Representing Waldorf Commons II, LLC (owner of the property)

Steven Resnick, Esquire represented the Applicant.

Ms. Petway described the proposal as it pertains to co-location, capacity issues, number of antennae on the monopole tower, equipment shelter facility, use of existing access, public utilities at the site, services to the community, traffic noise, glare, dust, fumes, or noise from the generator.

The following Applicant Exhibits were presented for the record:

Exhibit #1 – Land Lease Agreement

Exhibit #2 – Site plan showing location of tower and future area for compound expansion

The Vice Chairman asked why the tower could not be moved back 3 ft. in order to meet the 200 ft. setback requirement to the property line.   Ms. Petway addressed his question.

The Vice Chairman asked how soon after the tower is built additional carriers will be added.  Ms. Pivec addressed his question.

Mr. Moon asked what the intent is behind having multiple buildings for equipment for multiple carriers.  Why are they not limited due to the close proximity of wetlands?  Ms. Pivec and Ms. Petway addressed his concern.

Mr. Neiswander described why the site is needed in terms of usage.  He presented the following Applicant Exhibit the record:

Exhibit #3 – Usage Chart

There were no witnesses from the audience.

Testimony was closed on Docket #1283.

 

Actions by the Board

A MOTION was made by the Ms. Schappet, seconded by Ms. McKinney, to approve Docket #1283 with Staff recommendations.  With all voting in favor, the MOTION passed.

7:30 PM, Public Hearing:  Docket #1108 - Chaney Enterprises, Inc., for a renewal of a Special Exception for surface mining more than 10 acres (Gardiner Road Tract), as provided in Article XIII, Section 297-212 and Article XXV, Section 297-415 of the Charles County Zoning Ordinance.


Karen Wiggen, Planning Staff, gave a summary of the request using a location, zoning and aerial map as follows:

• The location of the mine site is in Waldorf, east side of Leonardtown Road, south of Poplar Hill Road on both sides of Gardiner Road.

• Approximately 249 acres are to be mined (Phases 1-8) from the entire tract consisting of 503 acres.

• The owner is Southstar Limited Partnership.

• The property is zoned  Rural Conservation (RC) with a Resource Protection Zone (RPZ) overlay that encompasses the Zekiahh and Jordan swamps.

• A smaller tributary lies to the east side of Gardiner Road (unnamed)

• Over 900 acres surrounding the mine site have been protected.

• There are three interior dwelling species of birds surveyed on the property.

• Phases 1, 2 are completed.

• Phase 3 is currently under reclamation.

• Phase 4 is currently being mined.

• In 2004, the Special Exception was granted for 3 years.

• In 2007, the Special Exception was renewed for 5 years.

• The Applicant is requesting a renewal for 5 years.

• Reforestation is occurring on Phase 2.

Questions from the Board included the following:  Do birds migrate from one portion of the site to another?  Are there any complaints or violations?  Do the “at-risk” birds migrate to a different portion of the site that is not being mined?  Is their habitat being secured due to reforestation?

Mr. Clagettt stated there was substantial compliance with the notification requirements.

The Vice Chairman swore in the following representatives for the Applicant:

Dillon Drudul
Eco Depot, LLC
1405 Benson Ct.
Arbutus, MD
Environmental Field Manager

William Mancuso
PO Box 1652
La Plata, MD
Director of Safety and Security

Bonnie Watson
Chaney Enterprises
PO Box 548
Wader, MD
Project Manager - Land & Development

David Cooksey
Senior Vice President
Loiederman Soltesz Associates
401 Post Office Rd.
Waldorf, MD
Site Engineer for the project

Buddy Gardiner
La Plata, MD

F. Hall Chaney, III
Chief Operations Officer
Chaney Enterprises

Page Wyrough, Esquire represented the Applicant.

The following Applicant Exhibits were presented for the record:

Exhibit #1 – Applicant Exhibits 1-33 (Applicant submittal materials 2004-2012)

Exhibit #2 – Pre-filed Testimony of F. Hall Chaney, III

Exhibit #3 – Pre-filed Testimony of Dylan Drudul

Mr. Wyrough stated the Applicant accepts the “Findings” & “Recommendations” in the County Staff Report with the following stipulations:

Page 10 – The pond in Phase 3 is not being created

Condition #5 – Who has the legal authority with respect to the scope of the recommendation

Mr. Clagett stated the County Attorney’s Office is aware of Condition #5 and he recommended proceeding with the hearing.

Mr. Moon asked for clarification.

Mr. Wyrough explained that MDE monitors sediment erosion control and stormwater provisions on the interior of the mine site.  He added that they will return to the Board to amend Condition #5 if and when it is appropriate.

Mr. Cooksey began testimony for the Applicant.  He has been involved with the preparation of  all three applications since 2003.  There are no endangered birds on the site.  The habitat will return after reforestation of the site.  Timbering is limited according to breeding times.

Mr. Moon asked if there have been any formal complaints since the mining operation began.   Mr. Wyrough addressed his question.

Ms. Watson talked about the reclamation committee meetings held on site.   At those meetings the Applicant heard complaints about rolling stops by truckers and people accessing the site illegally.  That is where they found out about the rolling stops by truckers and people accessing the site illegally.  The Applicant has taken steps to solve these issues.

Questions from the Vice Chairman included the following:  What is planned for the site after mining is complete?  How many more renewals?  Mr. Wyrough and Mr. Chaney addressed his questions.

The Vice Chairman swore in the following witness from the audience:

Mary Harley
13523 Holly Spring Dr.
Waldorf, MD

Ms. Harley had questions regarding the new septic bill passed at the State level and what will be done with the site after mining is complete.  Mr. Wyrough addressed her questions.

There were no further questions from the audience.  Testimony was closed on Docket #1108.

 

Actions by the Board

A MOTION was made by Ms. Schappet, seconded by Ms. McKinney, to approve Docket #1108 with Staff recommendations.  With all voting in favor, the MOTION passed. 

A MOTION was made by Mr. Moon, seconded by Ms. Schappet, to approve the Minutes of April 24, 2012.  With all voting in favor, the MOTION passed.

Decision & Orders were signed for Docket #1280 and Docket #1285.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.