2014, Minutes, Planning Commission|

PLANNING COMMISSION
OCTOBER 15, 2014

Mr. Meehan asked the Commission if there was a consensus that Mr. Showalter, as senior member, conduct the meeting as Acting Chairman given the absence of the Planning Commission officers. The Commission agreed that Mr. Showalter should continue the meeting as Acting Chairman.

Acting Chairman Paul Showalter called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Morgan Ellis, Robert Fordi and Jane Richman, Andrew Meehan, Esquire (attorney for the Commission), Kees de Mooy, Zoning Administrator and guests.

MINUTES OF PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Mr. Showalter asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the meeting of September 17, 2014. Ms. Richman moved to accept the minutes as presented, was seconded by Mr. Fordi and carried unanimously.

WASHINGTON COLLEGE – 215 WASHINGTON AVENUE – NEW ACADEMIC BUILDING

Mr. Reid Raudenbush of Washington College, Mr. Kevin Shearon of DMS & Associates and Ms. Suzanne Klein of EYP Architects were present to discuss a final concept for a new building at 215 Washington Avenue. He said that the design has not changed substantially from the original concept, but there was much more detail available.

Mr. Shearon stated that the site was the existing Board of Education property. He said that the front portion of the property is zoned Institutional and the back portion is residential. There was a stipulation in the agreement of sale that the rear property remain open space. He said that the rear property would remain open and would be utilized for a geothermal well system supporting the building that will front on Washington Avenue.

Mr. Shearon stated that Phase I (of a two-phase project) will be discussed this evening. He said that Phase II will add to the first phase to create one continuous building, angled toward Rt. 213 in a “horseshoe” configuration. Parking will be off of East Campus Avenue for faculty and staff only. There was already an existing pedestrian link from the property to the main campus via a crosswalk at Campus Avenue.

Mr. Shearon stated that the overall parcel was approximately 4 acres and the area that will be developed consists of 2.6 acres. Currently, the site has 1.6 acres of impervious cover. Phase I will drop 1.6 acres to .5 acres and storm water management did not have to be addressed due to the reduction in impervious cover. There would be two small bio-retention areas built on the site. A new storm drain pipe will tie into the Town’s storm water system in the back of the property.

Mr. Showalter asked about access to the building via the driveway off Washington Avenue at the south end of the property. Mr. Shearon stated that passenger size vans would be utilized to pick up and drop off from the building and would only be used by the Anthropology Department. He did not anticipate a great deal of traffic.

Mr. Raudenbush stated that Phase I was funded by a matching grant through the State of Maryland and they were hoping to get a similar grant for Phase II. He said that their turn-around time for funding was usually 3 years.

Mr. Fordi asked if the walkways, landscaping and parking lot would be part of Phase I construction. Ms. Klein stated that there were a couple things on the alternate list which included an outdoor classroom and a low brick wall along Washington Avenue that may be left out of Phase I if they went over budget.

Ms. Klein stated that the entire geo-thermal project will be a part of Phase I.

Ms. Klein stated that the plantings were all meant to be native species and complementary to the Chestertown area and nearby neighboring houses. There would be a teaching herb garden for the culinary aspect of the anthropology class.

Ms. Klein stated that an extensive lighting study was performed and it was decided that there would be lighting on poles about 10’ high located in the parking area and the street and 18” high bollards throughout the rest of the property, along with fixtures next to the entrance doors. She said that there was a great effort to make sure that lighting was adequate and Night Sky compliant.

Ms. Ellis asked if there was enough impervious area mitigation to allow for Phase II. Mr. Shearon stated that the second phase of the project was 1.01 acres, still about a half-acre less than existing conditions.

Ms. Klein stated that the new building would be a little taller than the adjacent residences but well within the building height limit for Chestertown. She said that the HVAC will be installed in the attic space.

Mr. Raudenbush stated that Mr. Ingersoll has expressed interest in having a sidewalk built along the Philosopher’s Terrace side of the property. He said that this could be a joint project with the Town.

Mr. Raudenbush stated that this plan shows an access road to the rear of the property for use by Washington College. He said that he thought there was a negotiation in progress with the neighboring property for an easement to use of the access road so the neighbor was not land-locked.

Mr. Fordi asked the timing of the project. Mr. Raudenbush stated that the architects intend to finish their construction drawings in a month or so and they will be submitted for permits. The College was interviewing people to manage the construction project. He said that he would like to begin demolition of the existing building in April 2015 and begin site work and construction in the summer of 2015. The College would like to have the building finished in the Spring of 2016 and in use by the Fall of 2016.

Mr. Raudenbush stated that the building would be built to LEED gold certification.

Mr. Fordi moved to approve final site plan for the premises located at 215 Washington Avenue for a new academic building, with the understanding that an easement will be negotiated with the neighboring property, was seconded by Ms. Richman and carried unanimously.

JOEY’S AUTOMOTIVE – 851 HIGH STREET – PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN

Mr. Joe Price, owner, Mr. Max Ruehrmund, architect, and Mr. Peter Bourne, engineer, were present for the application. He said that he also owned a used car business at 853 High Street. He said that would like to remodel that building and turn it into an auto body repair center.

Mr. Price stated that the back would have an addition with three (3) bay doors. The existing structure would be renovated. He explained the site plan in detail.

Mr. Bourne stated that the storm water management would go into a dry well in the rear of the property and gradually filter out. He said that there would be an infiltration trench at the rear of the property to help the runoff from the paved area. Mr. Bourne stated that a storm water management plan had been approved by Soil Conservation Service several years ago and minor changes would be incorporated for approval of this plan.

Mr. de Mooy stated that a permit was granted in 1998 for 851 High Street that incorporated trees into the planting beds and asked if there were plans for trees on the site. Mr. Price stated that he would plant a tree and also wanted to incorporate a sign which would have low-growing foliage planted around it.

Mr. Price stated that he wanted to cover the block in the front with aluminum and incorporate stone around the base of the building with gray mortar. The back part of the garage would have split-face block. The roof would be architectural shingles.

Mr. Showalter asked if there would be any changes to the lighting on the site. Mr. Price stated that there was an existing light pole at each corner of the lot. He would put lights on the building as well, but had no plans for additional lighting.

Ms. Richman asked if there would be access from the fence to the Rails to Trails. Mr. Price stated that he was not going to provide access to the trail. He said that he thought he might cut down the junk trees in the back.

Mr. de Mooy stated that there should be more detail on the infiltration trench, landscaping, lighting and fence detail. He said that there would have to be construction drawings for permits.

Mr. Price stated that he would like to begin working on the existing structure as the roof had to be replaced. Mr. Ruehrmund stated that he needed to build a wall to support the existing roof structure while a side wall (wall facing funeral home) was fixed. Mr. de Mooy stated that he would discuss that as a separate issue because it would likely require a building permit.

Ms. Ellis moved to approve preliminary site plan with details on the infiltration trench, landscaping, lighting and fence to be submitted for final approvals, was seconded by Mr. Fordi and carried unanimously.

There being no further business, Mr. Fordi moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Ellis and carried unanimously.

Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Jeffrey Grotsky
Stenographer Chair

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