July 9, 2013 Minutes | www.charlescountymd.gov


Charles County, Maryland

July 9, 2013 Minutes

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


The Board of Appeals held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, July 9, 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
Brendan Moon, Member
Kirby Blass, Planning
Carrol Everett, Clerk

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and stated there was a quorum. 
Ms. Scappet was absent. 

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 #1308 – DC Ramblers Motorcycle Inc., for a Special Exception for Social, Fraternal, Clubs, Lodges (Union Hall) and other similar uses, as provided in Article XIII, Section 297-212 (Use #4.01.400) and Article XXV, Section 297-415
of the Charles County Zoning Ordinance.

The Clerk stated there was substantial compliance with the notification requirements.

Kirby Blass, Planning Staff, gave a brief overview of the Applicant’s request using a
location, zoning and aerial map of the property and photos from a site visit.

• Action requested:  Relocate clubhouse to a vacant building on 7.1 acres located off of Prince Frederick Road (MD 231) in Hughesville
• Site designated as Tax May 48, Grid 2, Parcel 14
• Property contains two zoning classifications:  Agricultural Conservation (AC) and Commercial Neighborhood (CN)
• Property address:  16763 Prince Frederick Rd., Hughesville, MD
• Property size:  Approximately 31 acres, of which 7.1 acres are to be subdivided for the Applicant contingent upon approval of the Special Exception.
• The 31 acre property consists of mostly mature forest cover and is bordered by a number of residential homes in all directions.
• Vacant building was previously a bar/restaurant entitled “Allen’s Acres” which is no longer in business.
• Use #4.01.400 is a permissible use via Special Exception in both the AC and CN zones in which it is designated.
• Staff recommends approval with two associated conditions of approval.

Questions from the Board included the following:  1) Can you show the approximate location of the subdivision of this property?   2) Where is the access?  3) Is this the kind of use that existed there previously? i.e., bars, nightclub?

The Chairman swore in the Applicant:

Michael Martin
6469 Old Solomon’s Island Rd.
Tracy’s Landing, MD 20779

Mr. Martin is the current President of the DC Ramblers Motorcycle Club.  The Club was established in 1937 and the members had an interest in racing motorcycles.  They bought a property in Ft. Washington with approximately 20 acres and formed a club with the intent of building a racetrack.  The racetrack was not approved because it would interfere with radios from a nearby Government installation.  They remained at that site until two years ago.  During that time, the Club was used for neighborhood functions and political uses.  They decided to move to a place that was more like Ft. Washington back in the 50s.  The Club has been involved in charitable events continuously.  The Club has approximately 55 members, the majority of which are scattered around the country.  Their meetings consist of an average 20 members and are held twice a month for 1-2 hours.  They currently meet at the American Legion down the street from the requested location.  Retired police officers and fire fighters make up about 25 % of their membership.  They are well respected everywhere they go.  They want to change the appearance of the building so it does not look like a bar. They have no plans to obtain a liquor license.  The place will be private, not a public bar.  The doors are locked to anyone but members and their immediate family and guests. 

There were no questions from the Board.

The Chairman swore in the following persons from the audience who signed up to speak:

Sharon Dial
6900 Bucktown Rd.
Hughesville, MD 20637

The witness made statements in opposition to the Applicant.  Her concerns regarded noise.

Juanita Connick
16095 Prince Frederick Rd.
Hughesville, MD 20637

The witness had concerns regarding the current traffic congestion on MD Route 231 and the impact of the Special Exception.

Donna Robinson-Daugherty
7005 Spanner Pl
Hughesville, MD 20637

The witness made statements in opposition.  Her concerns regarded traffic congestion and safety on MD Route 231. 

Charles Gunn
7220 Georgia Bell Pl
Hughesville, MD 20637

The witness made statements in opposition.  He objected to motorcycleracing.

Hans Svane
12950 Leman Lane
Waldorf, MD 20601

He has been a member of the DC Ramblers since the mid-90s.  He made statements in support of the Applicant. 

Thomas Greenfield
16763 Prince Frederick Rd.
Hughesville, MD 20637

He is the owner of the property.  He made statements in support of the Applicant. 

The Applicant addressed the concerns raised by the audience.

Mr. Blass stated that a detailed traffic study may be required. 

Actions by the Board

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mower, seconded by Ms. McKinney, to approve Docket #1308 with Staff recommendations.  With all voting in favor, the MOTION passed. 

Decisions and Orders:

Docket #1306, La Plata Memorial Gardens, LLC, was signed.

The meeting adjourned at 7:42 p.m.