Planning Commission – August 15, 2018

PLANNING COMMISSION

AUGUST 15, 2018

Chairman Jeffrey Grotsky called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Commission members David Bowering, Darrell Craig, Morgan Ellis and Robert Fordi,  Kees de Mooy, Zoning Administrator, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk and guests.

MINUTES OF PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Mr. Grotsky asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the meeting of July 18, 2018. Ms. Ellis moved to approve the minutes as presented, was seconded by Mr. Bowering and carried unanimously.

SEMANS-GRISWOLD ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER, SOUTH CROSS STREET

LOT LINE ADJUSTMENT AND FINAL SITE PLAN APPROVAL

Mr. Reid Raudenbush of Washington College was present for the application, along with Kevin Shearon, engineer of DMS & Associates. Mr. Raudenbush stated that changes to the plan were made based upon suggestions and input from the June Planning Commission meeting, which would be shown in detail by Mr. Shearon.

Mr. Raudenbush stated that he wanted to introduce Mr. Vic Costa, incoming Director of Capital Projects. Mr. Raudenbush was retiring from Washington College at the end of September 2018.  Mr. Raudenbush stated that Mr. Costa would be taking over this project.  The Commission welcomed Mr. Costa to Chestertown and thanked Mr. Raudenbush for his years of service.  Mr. Costa stated that he was looking forward to working at Washington College and said that he worked for many years in the same position at the University of Delaware.

Mr. Shearon stated that at the June 2018 meeting, there were three (3) items that needed addressing for final site plan approval; parking, pedestrian connections, and lighting. Mr. Shearon stated that he would focus on those topics and answer any questions that the Commission may have at the end.

Mr. Shearon showed the site plan from the June 2018 meeting. He said that issues were raised regarding the number of parking spaces proposed.  Mr. Shearon stated that there is a strip of land between the Armory and the proposed Semans-Griswold building which  the College would like to merge into the overall waterfront property by a lot-line adjustment.   The parking was expanded allowing for fifty (50) parking spaces with  landscaped islands every (10) spaces.  Mr. Shearon stated that this parking count includes enough parking for Phases I and II.  There will be a bio swale adjacent to the parking lot to provide stormwater management for the area.

Mr. Shearon stated that a pedestrian connection was proposed from the front steps of the Semans-Griswold building to the boathouse parking lot. He said that there would be a spur off the path that goes to the Semans-Griswold parking lot and to the boathouse parking lot.

Mr. Shearon stated that there was an updated lighting plan which had been expanded to accommodate the additional parking spaces. He said that the fixture was presented at the last meeting, noting that it is the campus fixture for Townson University and Harford College.  He showed photo metrics of the lighting, noting that the pole height is 12’ with dimmable 60-watt LED bulbs on motion sensors.

Mr. Shearon stated that the landscape plan has been finalized and the plant schedule is attached.

Mr. Fordi asked when building permits would be sought for this project. Mr. Raudenbush stated that once approvals are granted by the Commission, the College would request an early grading permit so they could begin in September.  The boathouse construction is close to being finished and the College would like to move the equipment and allow Whiting-Turner to continue with construction of the Semans-Griswold Environmental Center while the rest of the project is bid out.

Mr. Shearon stated that Soil Conservation Service has reviewed and approved the project.

Mr. Raudenbush stated that he did ask the Washington College Waterfront Director about activity at the boathouse and was told that activity was mainly in the early morning and finished by 8:00 a.m. The first class at Washington College was not until 8:30 a.m.

Mr. Craig asked what would be included in Phase II of the Semans-Griswold Environmental project. Mr. Raudenbush stated that Phase II was essentially the other half of the building, approximately 10,000 sq.ft. consisting primarily of lab space.  The building’s design would be similar to the Phase I building.

Mr. Grotsky commended the College on the proposed landscaping plans for the Environmental Center. Mr. Craig agreed, noting that he was impressed when he first saw the plan and asked if the plan will stay as presented.  Mr. Shearon stated that the landscape architect was trying to stay within a palette so the plants were quite specific, right down to the size that should be planted.

Ms. Ellis asked if the parking lot was permeable. Mr. Shearon stated that the parking lot will be stone, similar to the boathouse, with spaces marked by parking bumpers.  The landscaped islands will not have curbing.

Mr. Craig asked what would happen if the College ever decided to sell one of the parcels as they were sharing geothermal and other utilities. Mr. Shearon stated that there would be cross-easements put in place if something like that ever came to be.

Mr. Craig moved to approve Final Site Plan as presented, including the proposed lot line adjustment for the Semans-Griswold Environmental Center, was seconded by Mr. Bowering and carried unanimously.

Mr. Fordi again thanked Mr. Raudenbush for his professionalism and understanding through the years with the Planning Commission, noting that it was a pleasure to work with him.

There being no further business, Mr. Craig moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:45 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Ellis and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                 Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                            Jeffrey Grotsky

Stenographer                                                   Chair

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