Minutes, Planning Commission|

PLANNING COMMISSION
JUNE 17, 2015

Chairman Jeffery Grotsky called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were members David Bowering, Darell Craig, Morgan Ellis, Rob Fordi and Paul Showalter, Andrew C. Meehan, Esquire, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk, and guests.

MINUTES OF PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Ms. Ellis asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the meeting of April 15, 2015. Mr. Bowering moved to accept the minutes as presented, was seconded by Ms. Ellis and carried unanimously.

PRELIMINARY AND FINAL SITE PLAN – VERIZON STORE – WASHINGTON SQUARE SHOPPING CENTER

Mr. Kevin Shearon of DMS & Associates was present for the application. He said that he appeared in March 2015 for a conceptual review of a stand-alone 1500 square foot Verizon store to be constructed on lands of Townewood Enterprises and Dennis Silicato, owners.

Mr. Shearon stated that there were some modifications from the last rendition in that the owner of Towne Stationers wanted to maximize parking. He said that the building would be constructed completely on impervious surface. Required parking was thirty-seven (37) spaces. He said that they changed parking to “head in” in an effort to create forty-nine (49) parking spaces, which was more than required for the site. There was a shared parking agreement with Washington Square Shopping Center.

Mr. Shearon stated that areas of impervious cover would be returned to lawn and impervious cover would be reduced by 50% or more, thereby addressing storm water management and sediment control requirements. There would be a connection to the existing sewer and water lines.

Mr. Shearon stated that a parking island was added at the request of the Planning Commission to better define travel lanes.

Mr. Shearon stated that a landscape plan was included with the drawings, noting that the street side was heavy with arborvitae and flowering bushes. Small shrubs would soften the façade.

Mr. Shearon stated that there was an existing light pole opposite the building which would more than illuminate the parking lot. Wall mounted lighting would be added to the building to shine on the sidewalks.

Mr. Shearon stated that the entire parking lot will be milled, overlaid and restriped.

Mr. Craig stated that the storm sewer was running under the proposed building. Mr. Shearon stated that the storm sewer was about 8’ deep and they were uncertain whether or not they would lay the slab over it or relocate the storm drain. He said that a geotechnical engineer would decide whether or not to relocate the storm sewer, which was a private system owned by Dennis Silicato.

Mr. Showalter moved to approve preliminary and final site plan as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Craig and carried unanimously.

PRELIMINARY AND FINAL SITE PLAN – KENT PLAZA – TRACTOR SUPPLY

Mr. John Peters of Cordish Company and Mr. J.R. Osbourne, Tractor Supply Construction Manager were present for the application.

Mr. Peters stated that he was previously before the Commission to discuss a conceptual plan for Tractor Supply, including the trailer storage along Rt. 291. Mr. Peters stated that work was done for screening and additional parking spaces at Kent Plaza.

Mr. Peters stated that the retaining wall area behind Walgreen’s was planted and fifteen (15) parking spaces were added.

Mr. Peters stated that Mr. Tom Herr of Anthony’s prepared a landscape plan and the raised bed was planted with three (3) additional dogwoods, sixteen (16) knock-out roses, six (6) crepe myrtles and fifty (50) Stella Dora day lilies. Along Rt. 291 there were eighteen (18) green giant arborvitae planted in a serpentine design and the three (3) existing large trees were retained. Stella Dora was added along with additional knock-out roses and flowering shrubs.

Mr. Peters stated that the sidewalk safety issue was addressed at the entrance to the building by widening the sidewalk and installing a railing from the area closest to the curb and following the new widened sidewalk to a point just beyond the double doors that lead to the Tractor Supply interior storage area. The sidewalk will be depressed for pedestrians crossing the parking lot or accessing the new 5’ ADA travel path.

Mr. Peters stated that the existing double doors will remain at the end closest to Morgnec Road and said that he would return with plans to incorporate that additional rental space into the new design. He said that there was no tenant in place at this time for that location but he imagined a storefront similar to Peebles.

Mr. Peters stated that there was a breezeway between the shopping centers and the old Rose’s building which would be much more defined as two (2) separate buildings once the improvements are made.

Mr. Fordi stated that the unrented unit would not have access to the rear of the building. Mr. Peters stated that there would have to be some kind of entrance solution for future tenants. He said that some of the tenants have to travel to the breezeway in order to get to their dumpsters. Mr. Peters stated that by looking at property lines they could do something nice to provide an egress from the side or rear with access off the back driveway.

Mr. Craig stated that he was still concerned over the entrance suggesting that a traffic engineer may be needed to figure out what should be required. Mr. Peters stated that the widened sidewalk would be owned by the landlord and the 42” high railing could be extended past the double doors and the lease line if Tractor Supply approved. Mr. Osbourne stated that he did not have an issue with the change. Mr. Peters said that signs could be installed, the crosswalk could be marked, and speed bumps could also be reinstalled.

Ms. Ellis stated that now that Rose’s has been vacant, people entering from Morgnec Road take the corner quickly. Mr. Grotsky stated that a speed bump would be helpful.

Mr. Peters apologized for past events and said that he hoped the Commission would find him easy to work with moving forward.

Mr. Fordi asked where the planned 35,000 square feet Tractor Supply building fit in size and scale in comparison to other locations. Mr. Osbourne stated that typically the stores were smaller, but because they moved the storage inside, extra space was required.

Mr. Grotsky asked where equipment would come into the building. Mr. Osbourne stated that there would be an 18’ wide door on the back for receiving. Mr. Peters stated that he thought the rear entrance would be comfortable for loading and unloading since that is where the larger equipment would be stored.

Mr. Grotsky asked when the façade on the Rite Aid section of Kent Plaza was going to take place. Mr. Peters stated that there was no plan to do anything other than trim and painting that had been completed. Mr. Grotsky stated that Mr. Nibb told the Commission if the main structure was approved as originally presented the same cosmetic treatments would take place in Phase II (Butler Building). Mr. Bowering stated that Mr. Nibb said that he would instruct his architect to make the changes.

Mr. Peters asked how the butler building was described for change. Mr. Bowering stated that it was supposed to match the original structure. Mr. Peters stated that he would speak to Mr. Cordish to see if he could make those improvements, noting that it would not be drastic due to the fact that the Butler Building was pre-engineered and did not lend itself to many changes.

Mr. Peters stated that he would like to read the minutes of the meeting Mr. Nibb attended as it might be helpful explaining the situation to Mr. Cordish.

Mr. Fordi asked the size of the trailers that would be on display on Morgnec Road (Rt. 291). Mr. Peters stated that he did not believe there would be anything larger than a 2-axle trailer, noting that there was a small “boot” that could be applied under the wheel to deter theft.

Mr. Peters stated that there were some issues of overgrown shrubs on the Scheeler Road side of the parking lot which would be removed and replaced with smaller shrubs and said that he may put some of those same shrubs on the Rt. 291 side so that the displays would remain visible.

Mr. Fordi asked for Tractor Supply’s timeframe to open. Mr. Osbourne stated that Tractor Supply had an eight (8) week construction period and they were scheduled to complete the building by August 31st. He said that Friday, September 25th would be an invitation only open house with the store opening to the public on Saturday, September 26th.

Mr. Peters stated he hired a “Disney Trained” property manager for all Cordish properties and said that he had a great eye for detail, so the shopping center will be well run.

Mr. Fordi moved to approve preliminary site plan and final site plan approval for Tractor Supply, with the condition that the changes were made for safety precautions to the area of sidewalk depression, extension of the railing and traffic calming such as signs, striping and/or speed bumps and with the understanding that the Zoning Administrator would approve the landscaping on site. The motion was seconded by Mr. Craig and carried unanimously.

Ms. Ellis asked how many employees Tractor Supply anticipated for Chestertown. Mr. Osbourne stated that he thought the number would be between twelve (12) and fourteen (14).

Mr. Peters stated that he would get back to the Town regarding improvements to the Butler Building.

There being no further business, Mr. Showalter moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:38 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Bowering and carried unanimously.

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

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