JULY 21, 2021
Ms. Ellis, Chair, called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Owen Bailey, Darell Craig, Anthony D’Elia, Jeffrey Grotsky, John Hutchison and Jane Richman, Kees de Mooy (Zoning Administrator), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.
Ms. Ellis asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the April 21, 2021, and June 16, 2021 Planning Commission meetings. Mr. D’Elia moved to approve the minutes of the meeting, asking that the Ms. Ellis be reflected as the Chair of the Committee, was s seconded by Mr. Hutchison and carried unanimously.
LOT LINE ADJUSTMENT 108 SPRING STREET
Mr. Joe Van Name was present for the application and stated that he now owns all three properties, resides on parcel 1 and is looking to dissolve Parcel 375 Lots 3 and 4 (which front on North Mill Street) into Parcel 375 Lot 1. Mr. Bailey moved to approve the lot line adjustment as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Hutchison and carried unanimously.
ENTRANCE FROM HADAWAY DRIVE – CHESTERTOWN CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
Mr. Kevin Shearon of DMS & Associates was present for the application. Mr. Shearon stated that the Chestertown Christian Academy was looking to create a secondary entrance point on Hadaway Drive. He said that the Morgnec Road entrance was becoming too crowded during pick-up times when school is in session. Mr. Shearon stated that the Christian Academy was expecting 40 additional students on campus.
Mr. Shearon stated that SHA was consulted for their opinion on the access given its proximity to Morgnec Road and they did not see an issue with the design. Mr. Shearon stated that there were some shrubs currently in that area where the access would be constructed, adding that it would allow for better circulation.
Mr. Bailey asked about additional stormwater runoff to Hadaway because of the new entrance. Mr. Shearon stated that there will be no impact on Hadaway Drive, and they made sure to stay clear of any utilities and poles in the design.
Mr. Hutchison asked the main hours where traffic would be impacted. Mr. Shearon stated that it was between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and then again from 3:30 to 4:00 p.m. Mr. de Mooy stated that a sign would be installed warning drivers of the new entrance on Hadaway Drive.
Mr. Bailey stated that he was worried about hedgerows obstructing the views of drivers. Mr. Shearon stated that a small section of pavement will be removed by the lanes and the area would be striped clearly showing the one-way flow.
Mr. Hutchison sated that he thought the turn in may be tight from Hadaway Drive with parking spaces too close to the turn. Mr. Shearon stated that there was an overflow of parking, and they could remove some spaces if the turn was too tight.
Mr. D’Elia asked if a left turn would be permitted if a car entered from Morgnec Road. Mr. Shearon stated that left turns would be permitted from Morgnec as there was not much traffic that goes through that area. Mr. D’Elia said that he was concerned with stacking from Morgnec Road, and it seemed and said that a right-turn only from Hadaway might be more sensible. Mr. Shearon stated that he saw no concern with movement in both ways.
Mr. D’Elia asked about school buses. Mr. Shearon stated that there were no school buses to the Christian Academy which is why they were having problems with cars at drop off and pick up times.
Mr. Craig asked why the State was involved. Mr. Shearon stated that he wanted to gauge their reaction to a new entry point close to a state highway.
Ms. Ellis asked that circulation around the church building could be sent to Morgnec Road for a right turn. Mr. Shearon stated that the problem at the existing entrance is turning left onto Rt. 291. Ms. Ellis stated that signage may be helpful at the rush times for the school and would mitigate concerns. Mr. Bailey asked if a right-turn only when exiting Hadaway Drive was considered. Mr. Shearon stated that if all cars were forced to Morgnec Road it would create another problem.
Mr. Craig asked if there was a traffic study performed. Mr. Shearon stated that he did not think a traffic study was warranted at this time.
Mr. de Mooy stated that living in that area he did not see the entrance being an issue and they worked with SHA who agreed that stacking of cars would not be an issue.
Mr. D’Elia stated that there were no sidewalks for pedestrians and was concerned this would create problems due to additional cars on the roads. Mr. Hutchison asked if there were any other alternatives discussed. Mr. Bailey stated that he was concerned that problems were being created for the neighborhood while the school solved their own issues. Mr. Shearon stated that he did not see a noticeable impact on Hadaway Drive resulting from the new entry. Mr. de Mooy agreed stating that he lives on Rolling Road, but an additional 40 cars will not all use the same pattern either coming or going and that he saw no issue with the project.
Mr. Craig stated that the Christian Academy did not have to make any adjustment due to the new student population and they seemed to be presenting an improvement to a potential problem without a severe impact to the road.
Mr. D’Elia stated that signage on site and communication to the families would be helpful. Mr. Shearon agreed.
Mr. de Mooy stated that this was for approval of the location, and he would approve the curb cuts and gutter once engineering was finished.
Mr. Craig moved to approve the design as presented with the condition that the engineer return with more detailed design to Town Staff for approval, was seconded by Mr. Grotsky and carried with five (5) in favor, Mr. Bailey and Mr. Hutchison opposed.
There being no further business, Mr. D’Elia moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:22 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Grotsky and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Morgan Ellis
Town Clerk Chair