Planning Commission – Public Hearing – April 20, 2016

PLANNING COMMISSION

PUBLIC HEARING

APRIL 20, 2016

Jeff Grotsky, Chairman called the public hearing to order at 7:00 p.m. In attendance were Commission members David Bowering, Darrell Craig, Morgan Ellis, Jane Richman and Paul Showalter, Kees de Mooy, Zoning Administrator, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk, and guests.

Mr. Grotsky stated that a Public Notice was advertised in the Kent County News on February 25, 2016 and March 3, 2016. Ms. Mulligan read the Public Notice into the record as follows:

“PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE

CHESTERTOWN COMPREHENSIVE ZONING REVIEW

The Chestertown Planning Commission will hold a public meeting to solicit input from the public and property owners for the comprehensive review of the Chestertown zoning regulations and map. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at the Town Hall, 118 N. Cross Street, Chestertown, MD. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Section 170-31 of the Town’s Zoning Ordinance requires that the Planning Commission review their zoning regulations and map at least every 6 years to determine whether they should be amended to bring them into accordance with the objectives of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. The last full revision to the Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the Mayor and Council on April 15, 2015.

The current Chestertown Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map can be viewed online at www.townofchestertown.com and are available at the Town Hall. If you are interested in filing an application for rezoning, please submit your request in writing to Town Hall at 118 N. Cross Street no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 25, 2016, using the Application for Zoning Map Amendment form available on the Town’s website.

                                                                                                                                Approved by

                                                                                                                                Jeff Grotsky,

                                                                                                                Planning Chairman”

Mr. de Mooy stated that there were a total of two (2) zoning requests received as follows:

  1. Talbot Road, LLC – 201 Talbot Boulevard;
  2. A. Brice Moore, III Trust – 25255 Cromwell Clark Road.

Mr. de Mooy stated that the request for 201 Talbot Boulevard was discussed during Comprehensive Plan review and was located on the East side of Talbot Boulevard and labeled in the Future Land Use Map as high density residential. The request was to change zoning from LI-1 (Limited Industrial) to R-4 (Multiple-Family Residential).

Mr. de Mooy stated that Mr. Steven Meehan (owner) had problems marketing this property as industrial but has had several inquiries about multiple-family residential given its proximity to the Rail-Trail and the possibility of connecting to Foxley Manor and Route 213. Mr. de Mooy explained the parcel in detail, noting that a portion of the site was proposed to remain industrial and the rest of the site would be multiple-family residential.

Mr. de Mooy stated that the request for 25255 Cromwell Clark Road abuts the Coventry III property. The property is currently zoned R-3 (Low Density Residential) and the applicant would like it to go to R-4 (Multiple-Family Residential).  He said that this would allow compact housing styles on smaller lots.

Mr. Jim Gatto, resident of North Kent Street, stated that he was not opposed to R-4 zoning on the Cromwell Clark site but questioned whether or not the sewer lines were sufficient for high density development. Mr. de Mooy stated that the developer would be responsible for providing services to any properties built at that location.

Mr. Craig stated that the biggest issue he saw with the proposal for Talbot Boulevard was traffic. Mr. de Mooy stated that Talbot Boulevard was designed to an industrial standard.  Questions have been raised of extending through Foxley Manor or a connection to Speer Road.

Mr. Bowering asked if the Talbot Boulevard property was rezoned and the project fell through would the zoning have to be changed again. Mr. de Mooy stated that if the zoning changed to R-4, permitted uses would be everything down through R-3, R-2 and R-1.  Variances would likely be an option for certain uses and a zoning change would be needed for other, more intense uses.

Mr. Steve Meehan stated that he was looking to develop the back of the property to attract different types of buyers with apartments, multi-family units and townhouses along the Rail Trail.

Mr. de Mooy stated that Phase IV of the Gilchrest Rail Trail was going to extend to the Town limits as the County has begun discussion of extending the Trail to Worton, which makes it a potential amenity for a housing development.

Mr. Meehan stated that he still wanted to do a senior project, but the population could not support an exclusively senior project, so flexibility in building types was key. He said that the housing types may vary but the Rail Trail was a “game changer” for the property.

Mr. Gatto stated that the previous Comprehensive Plan had Scheeler Road extending into Talbot Boulevard. He said that under Maryland law, a developer can only be required to contribute to building a road if it was shown in the Comprehensive Plan.  He said that Rt. 213 and Rt. 291 was operating at a C level (average) or less.  He said that extending Scheeler Road to Talbot Boulevard will extend the life of Rt. 213 and Rt. 291 making the development feasible.  He said that any developer should look into programs to have that road built.  Mr. Gatto also stated that he thought the PUD process should be introduced to any developer because there was flexibility as it goes by bedroom count, allowing twelve (12) bedrooms per acre.

Mr. Grotsky reminded all in attendance to sign in before leaving.

There being no other questions or comments, Mr. Grotsky closed the public hearing at 7:30 p.m. moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:38 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Ellis and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                 Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                            Jeffrey Grotsky

Stenographer                                                   Chair

 

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