Mayor and Council Public Hearing – Rezoning – August 1, 2016

 

MAYOR AND COUNCIL

PUBLIC HEARING – REZONING

AUGUST 1, 2016

 

Mayor Chris Cerino called the public hearing to order at 7:01 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda C. Kuiper, Samuel T. Shoge and Mauritz Stetson, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk), and guests.

Mayor Cerino read the public notice into the record as follows:

“The Mayor and Council of Chestertown hold a public hearing on three proposed changes to the Chestertown Zoning Ordinance on Monday, August 1, 2016. The hearing will take place in the Town Hall Meeting Room at 118 North Cross Street and will begin at 7:00 pm.  The public is invited to attend and make comments. 

The Chestertown Planning Commission finalized a five month comprehensive review of their zoning at their meeting of May 18, 2016. As a result of that review, they have recommended the following zoning changes: 

  • 25255 Cromwell Clark Road (8 acres, +/-) Tax Map 37, Parcel 289

 

  • R-3 (Low Density Residential) to R-4 (Multiple-Family Residential)
  • 329 Flatland Road (9.19 acres +/-), Tax Map 37, parcel 202 and R-3 (Low Density Residential) to R-4 (Multiple-Family Residential)

 

  • 201 Talbot Boulevard (23 acres +/-) Tax Map 204, Parcel 245, Lot 8LI-1 (Limited Industrial) to LI-1 (Limited Industrial) and R-4 (Multiple-Family Residential)

If you have questions concerning zoning changes to the properties listed you can call the Town Office at 410-778-0500 for further information.      

                                                                                                  By authority of

                                                                                                 Chris Cerino, Mayor”

 

 

There being no further comment, Ms. Gross moved to close the public hearing at 7:20 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.

Mr. Ingersoll noted for the record that the corner lot at 329 Flatland Road was never part of the Coventry Farms plans. It was owned by a farmer named Hickman who was barely aware of being annexed. The other parcel on Cromwell Clark Road was the site of Coventry III and the site plan for that subdivision went fairly far, even discussing how Cromwell Clark Road would have to be widened. Mr. Ingersoll stated that R-3 should be the “medium” density residential zoning because R-4 allowed for far greater density than “medium”.

Ms. Kuiper asked how far Ward 3 stretched on Flatland Road. Mr. Ingersoll stated the property in question was in the 3rd Ward.

Mr. Gatto stated that the connection to Foxley Manor would be decided at subdivision and connections should not interfere with existing subdivisions.

Mr. Gatto stated that he thought the Planning Commission did not perform their due diligence by looking at the entire zoning for the Town and studies were not requested from the Utilities Manager on the capabilities of the utilities for the properties in question if they are developed.

Mr. Gatto stated that the intersection at Rt. 213 and Rt. 291 drains the entire western segment of the County and connecting roads should be provided to move traffic through Town. He said if proposed roads are not in the Comprehensive Plan the Town cannot make a developer build them.

Mr. Gatto stated that he had problems with the requested zoning change on Cromwell Clark Road as there was no study regarding what current utilities could hold in that area. Traffic patterns were also questionable. He said that this site should be developed under a PUD (Planned Unit Development) which allows flexibility in development with a mix of residential units and open space and gives the Planning Commission extra input on design.

Mr. Gatto stated that zoning should only be changed when there is a change or mistake, except during comprehensive review. He said that he attended the public meeting held by the Planning Commission for rezoning and the Commission only reviewed the requests before the Council on that evening, not the zoning for the entire Town. He said that he did not know if the courts would agree that this was a “full” comprehensive rezoning and it appeared to him more as spot zoning.

Mr. Jim Gatto, resident of North Kent Street, stated that the Mayor and Council should take into consideration the utilities that would be required to support a development of this nature, including what the roads can support. He said that that in an earlier version of the Comprehensive Plan, Scheeler Road was extended from Rt. 213 to Talbot Boulevard to provide a secondary outlet for development that would occur on Talbot Boulevard and from Foxley Manor. He said that road should be added back into the Comprehensive Plan as it was essential for control of future growth.

Ms. Kuiper asked if the Talbot Boulevard property would link from Manor Avenue in Foxley Manor. Mr. Meehan stated that his property did not abut Manor Avenue. Delmarva Power had an easement to that location and the easement divided the property.

Mr. Stetson stated that if the zoning was changed there would not be much industrial area left to develop. He said that he had the greatest respect for the Planning Commission but did not agree with requested change.

Mr. Meehan stated that the Talbot Boulevard property was located between the Radcliffe Creek School ball field and the future Rail-Trail extension. He said that he owned this property for the last 10 years and it was not selling as industrial property. He said that he would like to keep part of the property on Talbot Boulevard as industrial and then permit intense residential with a mix of apartments and townhouses on the remainder of the property. He said this was consistent with the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan.

Mr. Meehan stated that the properties on Flatland Road were part of what was left over from Coventry and located at the corner of Cromwell Clark Road and Flatland Road. He said he felt that R-4 was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and he wanted to carry that through as it would lend itself to smaller homes.

Steven Meehan, Esquire, stated that he represented the Brice-Moore Trust which owned the Flatland Road and Cromwell Clark properties as well as the Talbot Road, LLC property.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that these zoning changes were recommended by the Planning Commission as outlined in a cover letter dated May 20, 2016 and signed by Jeff Grotsky, Chairman of the Planning Commission. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Planning Commission reported that a Comprehensive Review of zoning had been completed and now it was up to the Council to adopt the recommended changes if they agreed with them. The Mayor then asked the attendees to the hearing if they would like to make comments.

There being no further comment, Ms. Gross moved to close the public hearing at 7:20 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                                              Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                                                        Chris Cerino

Town Clerk                                                                                    Mayor

 

                                                                                 

 

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