JUNE 15, 2016
Mr. Jeff Grotsky, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Commission members David Bowering, Darrell Craig, Robert Fordi, Jane Richman and Paul Showalter, Kees de Mooy, Zoning Administrator and guests.
MINUTES OF PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
Mr. Grotsky asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the meeting of May 18, 2016. Mr. Showalter moved to approve the minutes as presented, was seconded by Mr. Bowering and carried unanimously.
ROYAL FARMS (RT. 20 AND RT. 291) LANDS OF MONTABELLO – PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN
Mr. Kevin Shearon of DMS & Associates and Mr. Jack Whisted of Royal Farms were present for the application. Mr. Shearon stated that he submitted an administrative lot line adjustment for the two lots to be joined back into one lot. He said that the areas that could not be developed on the site were identified when the concept plan was presented.
Mr. Shearon stated that he has gone through the engineering of the site and addressed grading, stormwater management, landscaping and lighting. He gave a PowerPoint presentation of the site plan.
Mr. Shearon stated that the only real change from the Concept Plan was that on the west end there were an additional six (6) parking spaces added closer to the building for a total of fifty-nine parking spaces, including three (3) handicap parking spots. He said that the State Highway Administration told the applicant that the entrances had to be “right-in, right-out” only.
Mr. Shearon stated that the canopy will have three (3) islands with two (2) pumps each as approved at a previous meeting.
Mr. Shearon stated that there were pedestrian connections to the south, including the Rail-Trail, and along the roundabout, which will connect to the sidewalk along Rt. 20. There will be a crosswalk to the Rail Trail at the back of the store. He said that due to the grade, there will be steps by the Trail as well as an ADA ramp. Mr. Showalter asked if there was a plan for a crosswalk across Rt. 20 to Flatland Road. Mr. Shearon stated that there is an existing crosswalk on Rt. 20 to the Gateway Park sidewalk, which connects to the site.
Mr. Shearon stated that there were existing stormdrain structures adjacent to the site which channels stormwater from the roundabout to Radcliffe Creek. There are proposed stormwater inlets at the entrance that will tie into a structure at the roundabout. Water will sheet flow to the lawn areas for water quality, which will also tie into an inlet on the State highway. There is a bioretention area planned for water quality near the canopy area which will discharge through stormwater pipes under the Rail-Trail.
Mr. Showalter asked how many employees would be working at the store. Mr. Whisted stated that there would be thirty (30) to forty (40) employees for the store. He said that Royal Farms runs three (3) shifts of approximately five (5) to seven (7) people and a manager.
Mr. Shearon stated that there were details on signage included with the plans and said that there will be a monument sign 8’ high, 12 square feet in area and placed by the roundabout. There will be directional signs at the entrances as permitted by the sign ordinance.
Mr. Shearon stated that he was working with a landscape architect in Kent Island and said that along the street there would be a rhythm of street trees created. Included in the plan were native species including sugar maples, river birch, willow oak, service berry, eastern redbud, American hollies, emerald green arborvitae, American beauty bush, shamrock inkberry and maple leaf viburnum and the trees were 1 ½” to 1 ¾” caliper, 5’to 6’ high. There would also be different types of grasses included in the plan. Grasses and shrubs would be in 5 gallon containers. Mr. Shearon stated that there are intentional tree groupings on the landscaping plan to shield the canopy and parking area from Morgnec Road.
Mr. Showalter asked about deliveries to the site. Mr. Whisted stated that deliveries are by panel trucks and went straight in through the front or rear door. He said that the largest trucks would be fuel tankers when gas is needed.
Mr. Bowering asked the route the delivery trucks will take into Chestertown. Mr. Whisted stated that the trucks come from either Philadelphia or Delaware and should not be coming across the Chester River Bridge.
Mr. Shearon showed the lighting plan, which uses night sky compliant fixtures. Mr. Showalter stated that he was concerned about light spilling from inside the building. Mr. Whisted stated that awnings would cover a majority of the windows and the windows will be tinted.
Mr. Shearon stated that Royal Farms does not always go for LEED certification but they do build to LEED standards. He said that the canopy will be wrapped in a masonry stone to match the stone wainscot on the main structure. There will be fixed outdoor seating with umbrellas at the front and sides of the store.
Mr. de Mooy stated that trees were planted as part of the Rail Trail construction and wanted to make sure that none of those trees were removed during construction. Mr. Shearon stated that he would be happy to meet with Mr. de Mooy at the site to flag the trees that should not be removed.
Mr. Whisted stated that Royal Farms would break ground as soon as permits could be processed and it typically takes six (6) months to build and open. Mr. Shearon stated that he was trying to wrap up the State Highway and Stormwater and Sediment Control permitting and then return for final approvals in July or August. He said that there would be no changes to the plans presented this evening for final approval.
Mr. Fordi moved to approve the lot line adjustment as submitted and further moved for combined preliminary and final site plan approval as long as there were no material changes to the plans by State Highway Administration or Soil Conservation Service with the understanding that the plan will take into an account the night sky requirements and restrictions on interior lighting and its effects on exterior environments, was seconded by Ms. Richman and carried unanimously.
LETTER REGARDING FUTURE LAND USE IN NORTHEAST PLANNING AREA
Mr. de Mooy stated that every six (6) years the Town is required to update the Comprehensive Plan or at least review it. The next required update is in 2021. He said that a letter was received from Ms. Joan Horsey about the Osmond Tract which is just outside of Chestertown on the north side of Morgnec Road. It includes Todd’s Body Shop along with several residential properties and is included as part of the Northeast Planning Area in the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. de Mooy stated that the Comprehensive Plan has those properties coming into Town with R2 zoning. Mr. de Mooy stated that any annexation and how it is to be zoned would be a negotiation with the County and Town. The County zoning on this property is not conducive to R2 Zoning. The owners also do not want R2 zoning, nor were they thinking about being annexed into Town.
Mr. de Mooy stated that this letter would be included in the file with other rezoning requests and would be revisited during Comprehensive Plan review to better coordinate the County zoning in place. Mr. de Mooy stated that he did go to the County Planning Commission to alert them to the fact that it was not the intent of Chestertown to change zoning on this or any parcel outside of Chestertown.
Mr. Craig asked for an update on the County’s stance with the proposed annexation by KRM. Mr. de Mooy stated that it has received a favorable recommendation. Mr. Fordi stated that the County Commissioners approved it last evening.
Mr. Fordi stated that he thought the new building on Washington Avenue looked wonderful and said that Joey’s Automotive was also a big improvement.
There being no further business, Mr. Showalter moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:24 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Bowering and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Jeffrey Grotsky