April 23, 2013 Minutes | www.charlescountymd.gov


Charles County, Maryland

April 23, 2013 Minutes

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The Board of Appeals held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Charles County Government Building, La Plata, Maryland. 
The following were present:

Luke Hannah, Chairman
Natalie McKinney, Vice Chairman
Frederick Mower, Member
Jean Schappet, Member
Brendan Moon, Member
Kirby Blass, Planning

Matthew Clagett, Associate County Attorney
Carrol Everett, Clerk

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

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

The Chairman announced that anyone wishing to make a statement pertinent to the operations of the Board can do so at this time, excluding the items on tonight’s agenda.

7:03 PM, Public Hearing: 

Docket #1305  – SheehyWaldorf, Inc., for nine (9) variances, as part of an expansion of the automotive complex in the Waldorf Central (WC) Zone, as provided in  Article VI, Section 297-96 and Article XXV, Section 297-415 of the Charles County Zoning Ordinance and Section 7.4 of the Waldorf Vision Plan Guidelines.

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

Using a location, aerial, and zoning map for reference, Kirby Blass, Staff Planner, gave the following summary of the variance request and Staff’s position:

• December 18, 2012 via BOA Docket #1290.
• Property identified as Parcel 119 on Tax Map 8
• The non-conforming use expansion resulted in response to the re-zoning of the property from Central Business (CB) to Waldorf Central (WC) on April 23, 2010.
• Multiple variance requests involve criteria associated with the new WC Zone.
• Property address:  2910 Crain Highway, located off of the northbound side of MD Route 301.
• 8 of the 9 variances relate to floor area ratio (FAR), second story requirements, building setbacks, street frontage percentage, required sidewalk along the highway frontage, illuminated signage, amount of off-street parking, and location of parking areas on-site. 
• The 9th variance request regards landscape buffering around the building footprint.
• Staff recommends approval of 8 of 9 variances requested, excluding the requested exemption from the sidewalk requirement along the property frontage of Parcel 119 abutting MD Route 301. 
• Applicant withdrew variance regarding sidewalk requirement.

Mr. Mower asked if a time limit could be put on some of the conditions.  Mr. Blass replied that there is some transitional language going forward to address these types of non-conforming issues.

Mr. Moon asked if someone from the Planning & Growth Management Department involved in the creation of the WC Zone reviewed the application and nine variances.

Ms. Amy Blessinger, Staff Planner, replied that she and Mr. Steven Ball, Planning Director, were directly involved with the creation of the new WC Zone and reviewed all nine variance requests in detail. Their review concluded that most variances requested were not crucial to the design and the jumpstarting of the area.  They did not agree with the sidewalk and streetscape variance request.

The Chairman swore in the following representative for the Applicant:

Jose Lazo
174 Hudson Dr.
Phoenixville, PA

The following Applicant Exhibit was entered in the record:

Exhibit #1 – Site Plan Rendering (color) w/associated landscaping

Mr. Lazo stated that Exhibit #1 depicts what the project will consist of (the proposed building and associated parking and landscaping).  As part of the site development process, several variances were identified in order for the project to begin construction.  Variance #5 will be withdrawn and they will comply with the sidewalk improvements.  Exhibit #1 shows a sidewalk proposed within Crain Highway, extending into the site with pedestrian access to the Sheehy
building.  The resubmitted plans show that sidewalk.  They will work further w/Staff if there are refinements needed to the sidewalk shown on Exhibit #1.

Mr. Lazo continued that the eight variances identified are crucial to the project.  They feel that the WC Zone code requirements are incompatible with their use. 

Questions from the Board included the following:  Is the purpose of this building a car sales facility? Are the parking spaces identified on Exhibit #1 for sales vehicles?  Is this a maintenance facility as well?  What will the 2nd floor be used for? 

Mr. Blass gave input regarding the 2nd floor requirements.

The Chairman swore in the following witness from the audience:

Greg Taylor
6240 Derrick St.
La Plata, MD

His concerns regarded noise from the service bays.   Mr. Taylor has residential units surrounding the property.

Mr. Blass stated that all prior conditions of approval for the use (including noise) will be addressed at site development and will be abided by.  

Mr. Blass offered the following Conditions of Approval from Docket #1290 as they relate to surrounding residential properties:

#4:  A minimum bufferyard C will be installed in the north and east property properties.
#5:  No lighting intrusion onto neighboring properties.  Will be reviewed for compliance at site development.     
#6:  During hours of operation, loudspeakers will cease at 8 p.m

Actions by the Board

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mower, seconded by Ms. Schappet, to approve Docket #1305 with conditions as recommended by Staff.  With all voting in favor, the MOTION passed.  

A MOTION was made by Mr. Moon, seconded by Ms. Schappet, to extend the deadline for signing the Decision & Order for Docket #1299 (Richard & Carol Turner) until May 14, 2013.  With all voting in favor, the MOTION passed.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mower, seconded by Ms. McKinney, to approve the Minutes for March 26, 2013.  With all voting in favor, the MOTION passed.

The meeting adjourned at 7:35 PM.