Planning Commission, Town Agendas & Minutes, 2022|

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

SEPTEMBER 20, 2023

John Hutchison (Chair) called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  In attendance were Commission members Owen Bailey, Jim Gatto, Cinda Pitcock, Jay Silcox, Heidi Usilton, Kees de Mooy (Zoning Administrator), and Lynda Thomas (Town Clerk). 

The meeting began with the review of the Comprehensive Plan.

The Commission reviewed the draft changes to the Land Use Element of the executive summary.

Mr. Hutchison (Chair) closed the review of the Comprehensive Plan and called the regular meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. 

MINUTES

Mr. Hutchison asked if there were any corrections or revisions to the minutes of the meeting of July 19, 2023, and August 16, 2023. Mr. Silcox moved to approve the minutes of July 19, 2023, and August 16, 2023, as corrected, was seconded by Ms. Usilton.  The motion carried unanimously.

PRELIMINARY REVIEW – STARBUCKS

Kevin Shearon, DMS and Associates, presented the Preliminary Plan Review for Starbucks. Ross Cohen, contract purchaser and developer representative was also present. 

Mr. Shearon reviewed the changes made since the concept plan review.  The building was reduced by about 150 square feet and was proposed to be 2511 square feet.

Mr. Shearon reviewed that discussion at the last meeting regarding the traffic with the drive-thru exiting directly on to Washington Avenue. They ran it by State Highway Administration (SHA), which gave a verbal agreement to the second curb cut.

Mr. Shearon noted the Starbucks is more of a drive-thru oriented business and would not need as much parking.  They reduced parking by four (4) spaces and increased the green space on the site. The outdoor patio area was expanded between the store and Washington Avenue and created a pedestrian connection, from the front sidewalk to the patio. Parking bumpers were added on the north parking stalls so that there would not be overhang by cars into the drive-thru lane. The total number of parking spaces required is 27. The plan called for 17 striped spaces and 19 drive-thru spaces.

Mr. Shearon reviewed the patio, walkway, and landscaping.  Mr. Bailey asked about the plan to elevate the visibility of the crosswalk to show a continuous sidewalk to add another layer of pedestrian safety as they navigate three lanes of cars entering and exiting. Mr. Shearon noted the use of stamped concrete, Thermoplastic or a white painted crosswalk across the entrance.  Mr. Silcox stated that Thermoplastic would hold up better.

Mr. Cohen reviewed the Starbucks building design. He noted that they were moving towards a more upscale design and the prototype is nationwide. He was not sure they fully understood that there are townships and municipalities that expect a different look to fit the style of their town. He noted the desire for a masonry style building with a darker but at the same time contrasted with Weka wood while also contrasted again with the metal awning, surrounding the front.  It is a step up from what would typically see at a Dunkin Donuts.

ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT SECTION OF THE ZONING ORDINANCE

Mr. DeMooy displayed and reviewed a map that reflects lots with a minimum 5000 square feet. 

He reviewed that the ADU ordinance currently is allowed in R3, R4, R5 and R6.  An R5 needs 2500 square feet for a two-family unit.  An ADU would double the requirement to a minimum of 5000 square feet. He explained the problem with doing a text amendment within the use section is that it’s difficult to anticipate what effect that would have on R4, R5 and R6 because the density increases, and the lot requirement decreases. This makes it difficult to give a set percentage to get an ADU.

Mr. DeMooy stated that the State’s ADU Taskforce just had their first meeting.  He felt it was prudent to start the process then come back to make adjustments that reflect the State’s changes. The State’s final report should be June 2024.

Mr. Bailey suggested removing the section that ADU’s can only be rented to family members.

Mr. DeMooy noted another recommendation included, to make ADU’s conditional use to allow for neighbor input if there is a concern.

Mr. Bailey made a motion to inform the Mayor and Council that the Planning Commission is waiting until after the ADU Taskforce with the State of Maryland has completed changes and the Planning Commission has further reviewed the ADU Ordinance. The motion was seconded by Mr. Silcox and passed unanimously.

There being no further business or questions from the audience, Mr. Silcox moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 pm, was seconded by Mr. Gatto and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                                         Approved by:

            Lynda Thomas, Town Clerk                                                   John Hutchison, Chair  

 

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To live stream:  www.townofchestertown.com

PLANNING COMMISSION

SEPTEMBER 20, 2023

 

7:00 p.m. Comprehensive Plan

 

7:30 p.m. Regular Meeting

  1. Minutes of Planning Commission Meetings of July 19, 2023, and August 16, 2023
  2. Concept Plan Review – Starbucks, Kevin Shearon
  3. Discuss revisions to the Accessory Dwelling Unit section of the Zoning Ordinance
  4. Adjourn
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