FIVE HUNDRED sixtieth MEETING
TUESDAY– SEPTEMBER 11, 2018, 2018– 7:00 P.M.
- Roll Call
- Approval of Minutes from the July 31, 2018 meeting
- Amended Site and Landscape Plan Application and Resolution No. 18-07-PC, 14801 Baltimore Avenue- Burger King filed by Carrol’s Inc./Steve Markham
Public Hearing on Application
Final Action by Planning Commission
4. Variance Application No. 886, 15001 Baltimore Avenue, filed by LTC Corporation/Steve Zaveri for recommendation to the Board of Appeals.
5. Preliminary Subdivision Plan Application and Resolution No. 18-05-PC, 14415 Greenview Drive, filed by CS Patuxent Greens LLC
Public Hearing on Application
Final Action by Planning Commission
6. Final Site and Landscape Plan Application and Resolution No. 18-06-PC, 14415 Greenview Drive, filed by CS Patuxent Greens LLC
Public Hearing on Application
Final Action by Planning Commission
7. Forest Conservation Plan Application and Resolution No. 18-04-PC, 14415 Greenview Drive, filed by CS Patuxent Greens LLC
Public Hearing on Application
Final Action by Planning Commission
8. Text Amendment No. 250- Ordinance No. 1931 AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO AMEND CHAPTER 20, ARTICLE I, DIVISION 5, SECTION 20-7.8, SECTION 20—9.5 AND SECTION 20-12.3., OF THE LAUREL UNIFIED LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE TO ALLOW A HOUSE OF WORSHIP AS A PERMITTED USE WITHIN CERTAIN COMMERCIAL, OFFICE BUILDING, INDUSTRIAL, AND MIXED USE ZONES; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTED DATE. Application filed by the Mayor and City Council.
FIVE HUNDRED SIXTIETH MEETING
CITY OF LAUREL PLANNING COMMISSION
TUESDAY- SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
The meeting convened in the Council Chambers of the Laurel Municipal Center at 7:00 P.M., with Chairwoman Mitzi R. Betman, presiding. The roll was called with the Honorable G. Rick Wilson, Mr. John Kish, Mr. Bill Wellford, Ms. Krystiana Bonheur and Councilman Smalls present. Also present were Councilmember Carl DeWalt, Mr. Martin A. Flemion, Executive Officer, Stephen E. Allen, Sr., Emergency Manager, Richard P. McLaughlin, Chief of Police, David E. Cope, Director/Fire Marshal, Fire Marshal & Permit Services, Christy Fang, Assitant Director of Department of Public Works, Joanne Hall Barr, Director of Parks and Recreation, Ms. Christian L. Pulley, Director of Economic and Community Development, Mr. Robert Love, Deputy Director of Economic and Community Development Deputy, Mr. Nathan Grace, Planner II and Brooke Quillen, Secretary to the Commission. There were approximately thirty five (35) members of the public in attendance.
The first agenda item was the approval of the minutes from the July 31, 2018 meeting. They were approved as written, on motion by Mr. Wellford, seconded by Mr. Kish, Mr. Wilson abstained from the vote because he was not present and Chairwoman Betman cast the final vote of “Yes”.
Next, Mr. Nathan Grace, Planner II, presented the Technical Staff Report dated August 31, 2018 regarding the Amended Site and Landscape Plan Application- Burger King– 14801 Baltimore Avenue filed by Carrol’s LLC., 968 James Street Syracuse, New York 13203. Mr. Grace stated the applicant was seeking approval to perform alterations to the building interior, the exterior façade and exterior site improvements. The property was constructed in 1970 and is currently zoned (C-G) Commercial General. The Technical Staff Report recommended approval of the request with conditions.
The Applicant, Steve Markham, 968 James Street Syracuse, New York, 13203, was in attendance to answer any questions on the project and brought with him the mylar site plans as requested by staff.
Chairwoman Betman opened the public hearing regarding at 7:06 p.m. and noted that there was no one signed up to speak. Chairwoman Betman closed the public hearing at approximately 7:06 p.m.
The Commission, on motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. Kish, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present, voted to approve the Amended Site and Landscape Plan Application for 14801 Baltimore Avenue and Resolution No. 18-07-PC with the conditions listed in the Technical Staff Report.
The next agenda item was for Variance Application No. 886- 15001 Baltimore Avenue, filed by LTC Corporation/Subhash “Steve” Zaveri., P.O. Box 4213 Silver Spring, Maryland 20914. Mr. Love stated that the Applicant was seeking re-approval to demolish the existing vacant commercial building and construct a multi-tenant 5,112 square foot commercial building. A five (5) foot rear building setback variance was requested to locate the new building five feet from the rear property line. The City of Laurel Unified Land Development Code requires a ten (10) foot rear setback for commercial buildings in the C-G Zoning District. The building was constructed in 1964 and property is currently zoned C-G (Commercial General). Mr. Love added this project had been previously approved in 2015 but had expired since no work had begun.
Councilman Smalls asked staff if there were plans that show landscaping for the project. Staff responded they would work with the applicant to get that information available. The applicant, Steve Zaveri, P.O. Box 4213 Silver Spring, Maryland 20914, stated there is greenspace on site and it will be maintained. Ms. Pulley added this is a re-approval request for the Variance that was approved in 2015, however, the work was never done therefore the original approval had expired.
The Commission, on motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. Kish, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present, voted to table Variance Application No. 886, 15001 Baltimore Avenue Laurel, Maryland 20707 until the landscape plan can be reviewed.
Next item was for the Preliminary Subdivision Plan Application and Resolution No 18-05-PC- 14415 Greenview Drive, filed by ADC Builders Inc., 6290 Montrose Road Rockville, Maryland 20852. Ms. Pulley presented the Technical Staff Report dated August 24, 2018 and stated the Applicant is seeking Preliminary Subdivision Plan approval to re-develop the Patuxent Greens Golf Course, located at 14415 Greenview Drive, Laurel, Maryland 20708. The subject property consists of 191.71 acres of land. The proposed project is to subdivide land into 222 townhouses and 167 single-family homes for 389 residential development units. The proposal also includes a new 6,784 SF clubhouse, outdoor terrace, 3,000 SF pool, two (2) tot lots, hiker/biker trails, comprehensive sidewalk system, utilities, open space areas and landscaping. The property was part of the First 1981 Annexation for the City of Laurel that was enacted on February 2, 1982 and was placed in the Planned Unit Development Existing (PUD-E). Map Amendment approval was obtained on January 22, 2018, which allowed the Applicant to proceed with submitting zoning applications for re-development.
Ms. Pulley added the applicant is here today and will be showing a few presentations. There was discussion between the staff and Commission regarding the traffic study, density and connectivity between the development and surrounding parks.
The attorney for the applicant, Mr. William Shipp, Esquire, O’Malley Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A., 11785 Beltsville Drive, 10th Floor, Calverton, Maryland 20705, thanked Ms. Pulley and staff for all their help on the project. He explained there are separate PowerPoints for each application but can be shown in any order the Commission prefers. Mr. Shipp presented the slideshow regarding the preliminary subdivision plan including portions of the site plan. Conversation regarding the traffic study, it was revised with suggestions from staff to show a 50/50 distribution and the study still showed an acceptable level of service. As requested, they also reviewed other surrounding intersections. There were two improvements; one at Contee/197 additional right turn late and 197/198 to create a third left turn lane. With those two improvements, the traffic study shows acceptable levels of service. Traffic experts suggested adding an arrow at the traffic light. The State Highway Department is in favor of the concept; however, they have not fixed the issue because of funding. Mr. Shipp added that a roundabout is better than a four way stop once turned into the development.
Mr. Shipp presented the recreational facilities that show the new clubhouse, pool and playgrounds. The trail system is proposed throughout the community. Mr. Shipp added the applicant and himself are in agreement with the staff report and conditions listed. Mr. Shipp presented an overview of the impact fees from this project, which total over $10 million and that does not cover the permit fees or property taxes. Mr. Shipp provided a copy of the CR6 2018 Water and Sewer category change to staff for their records.
Mr. Philip Hughes, Professional Engineer, Rogers Consulting, 1101 Mercantile Lane #280 Largo, MD 20774, explained currently the golf course system collects water and discharges through a pump system. However, the pumps have to be turned on to work and they are not always on, which is why the golf course floods. The new plan will open that up and remove the levy that is currently there. Mr. Hughes explained pipes would be installed underground that would lead the water to the Patuxent River and would flow naturally.
Chairwoman Betman opened the public hearing on the application at 8:13 p.m.
There was several people signed up to speak on this agenda item.
Ms. Pam Brown, 9453 Trevino Terrace Laurel, Maryland 20708, inquired about the development plans and asked if they are available to the public. Ms. Brown expressed concern regarding the current houses that are in the flood zone and how will they be affected by the new houses. Ms. Brown agreed that a new green turn light at the intersection would be a good idea. She questioned if the storm water management ponds will look like what you see at WSSC or will be all natural underground. She also questioned what if they do not get the compliance letter and the land is already cleared, what will happen then.
Mr. Glenn Olsen, 14223 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, suggested the mapping provided is inaccurate, asked if all adjacent landowners have been notified of this proposed project. He added, at the last meeting on August 22nd, Mr. Cohen stated the $25,000 that the previous owners paid should be able to receive funds back from the real estate person they bought the property from. Mr. Olsen questioned, does that mean they will be able to recover the funds from the City of Laurel. Also in last meeting, it was indicated there would be 2-4 feet fill and now its 8-10 feet of fill. Mr. Olsen commented on the traffic issues, there could be about 1,000 more cars. Mr. Olsen did acknowledge he does agree with the left hand turn signal. However, he is concerned about safety for fire engines and emergency vehicles having to cross lanes to access the community. He stated many people use the existing trails and noted there is a City of Laurel trail adjacent to the swimming pool. Mr. Olsen expressed concerns about drivers not obeying the rules to the roundabout and lastly, he projected the timeline for the project is a long time.
Ms. Kelsey Eustace, 14224 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, noted she does not agree with the traffic study being acceptable, and is still concerned about the flooding. Ms. Eustace asked how everyone is supposed to evacuate in the event of a problem. She added, on the map from the community meeting of current properties the barrier shows 88-102 feet of buffer space in-between, however, the actual barrier is 22 feet. Ms. Eustace commented that the Forest Conservation plan sounds more like a Deforestation plan. She is concerned there has been no actual amount, no definite number of trees being removed from the site. She emphasized they are beautiful historic trees that house many wildlife. Ms. Eustace explained, as a resident and tax payer her life will be severely impacted even though she has no say in the matter. She suggested it sounds like nobody wants to be accountable for their vote.
Ms. Margot Osborne, 14239 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, stated she lives near what she calls the Laurel City Park and she understands that it’s going to be filled up by 8-10 feet. Ms. Osborne pointed out the nice thing about the property is that when it floods, the trees that grow there enjoy a lot of water therefore, the property and her front lawn is always green and lush. In addition, some of the current houses heating ducts flood and she is concerned it is going to get worse with the new development in place. Ms. Osborne stressed she is really against this proposal.
Ms. Kay Hammeck, 14223 Summit Lane Laurel, Maryland 20708, stated as a resident, she appreciates the feedback given today because they’ve had many scenarios over the years when there's an accident at Clubhouse Boulevard and 197 but you can't get out of the development, you must go straight down Greenview Drive then up to 198 and if you have to go down 197 make a U-turn to come around. Ms. Hammeck also expressed the other issue in terms of turning into the development from 197 and having the dedicated turning lane is a great idea but she suggests that would only be sufficient for the current residents. However, if we have an additional 388 homes being developed that’s approximately 2 to 5 cars per house and that number to grow exponentially especially when you have parties and gatherings so she does not believe having one dedicated lane would be sufficient. They will probably have to wait 10-15 minutes to turn with only one turn lane. She explained there is a major concern of being blocked in the community from Greenview Drive.
Ms. Deborah Robinson, 9332 Palmer Place Laurel, Maryland 20708, stated a lot of the questions she had were answered today. She purchased her home in 2005, it's quiet but now we're having 389 homes built. Ms. Robinson noted they have a lot of turtles, frogs and blacksnakes and if they disrupt the land then she is concerned about bugs. She stated she doesn’t currently see a lot of traffic, however I know when we have power outages it blocks you in, can't turn anywhere from 198 even onto 197 you have to go all the way around and come down on Bowie Road to even get into Clubhouse so it can be a lot of traffic if there's power outages from storm if there's snow removal sometimes Greenview gets blocked you get a lot because of the snow removal. Her last comment was that she agrees with prior residents statements.
Ms. Wendy Geagan, 14103 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, identified herself as an original homeowner of the Patuxent Glen Development, questioned if the Department of Economic and Community Development has already recommended approval why do we go through this process with the Planning Commission, just seems like a waste of time. She stated the traffic issue has not been resolved when you put a thousand extra cars along with the traffic with what we have now. Ms. Geagan added she does not think a round about makes sense because nobody drives through them correctly or pays attention. She has a lot of issues with it and believes a four way stop would be better. She explained people leave a lot earlier than the presentation shows so the times are not accurate in the pictures provided. Ms. Geagan also questioned the fire trucks having trouble turning around and school buses having many stops, there will be many more children in the development. Ms. Geagan stressed her complaint about the water and sewer category change and claims she was to be notified from O’Malley’s people and the City but never was. She added Mr. Shipp carried in a Resolution and she would like to get a copy of it. It was an important hearing and she would have attended on March 13th had she known about it. She added, that schools is a big issue, as a former teacher, they are going to be overcrowded with temporaries and there is no plan for new schools in this area. She added this project would be removing the only open space in the City of Laurel. The City decided they wanted to develop this years ago millions of dollars were put into this golf course and it was beautiful. It was a moneymaker for 20 years and if it’s not now it’s a management issue. Lastly, she commented that the Laurel Master Plan states the flood zone areas should not be developed.
Councilmember Carl DeWalt, 422 Prince George Street Laurel, Maryland 20708, stated the questions asked tonight shows there is a lot of confusion and that is a major concern. He added that he visited the golf course twice this summer, both times, it was flooded. Mr. DeWalt expressed concern regarding any backup on Clubhouse Boulevard would result in people using Greenview Drive to make a u turn therefore it will become a very dangerous intersection. He indicated the traffic analysis was completed by someone paid by the developer so of course the report is going to benefit the project. Mr. DeWalt noted he has not seen any information regarding traffic safety and accidents, which he would like to see. He mentioned he heard the timeline from grading to the last house would be built was 5 years, that is a very long time. Mr. DeWalt lastly commented he hopes he is around to see it and the City should put a time limit on this project.
There was discussion among the Commission members and Mr. Bill Shipp, attorney for the applicant, regarding the issues brought up by the public on this project. Mr. Shipp stated 1,000 cars do not increase on the road at any time according to the simulations done, even during the most intense time of day. He clarified that they are not raising homes 8-10 feet but leveling out the new houses with the existing level. By law, they are required to pay the surcharges regarding the adequacy of the schools. Additionally, fire truck test runs were done with no issues. Mr. Shipp thanked everyone for their time and input.
There was further discussion among the Commission members and their main concerns on the project which would be the traffic/entrance and density. They expressed great concern on both topics and stated they would like to see improvements in both or a least one or the other. They questioned if staff had Council available tonight to speak to provide legal advice.
Mr. Todd Pounds, stated he is outside council representing the City of Laurel. Mr. Pounds recommended giving the applicant an opportunity to address the concerns from the Commission and the public with staff as opposed to approve or deny the application tonight.
Chairwoman Betman closed the public hearing at 8:50 p.m.
The Commission, on motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. Kish, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present, voted to table the Preliminary Subdivision Plan Applicantion and Resolution No. 18-05-PC.
Since the Preliminary Subdivision Plan Application and Resolution were tabled, the next two items on the agenda for this project were also tabled.
The final agenda item was Text Amendment Application No. 250 (Ordinance No. 1931) filed by the Mayor and City Council of Laurel. Mr. Robert Love, Deputy Director, presented the Technical Staff Report dated August 31, 2018. The proposed text amendment would allow House of Worship uses to operate similar to other assembly uses as illustrated in the City’s Unified Land Development Code (Zoning Code.)
There was discussion among the staff and Commission members regarding the need to pass this text amendment. The Commission was in agreement that they prefer the Special Exception process for House of Worships, and noted it could be harmful for the City to pass this without fully understanding its purpose.
The Commission, on motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. Wellford, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present, voted to table Text Amendment No. 250 (Ordinance No. 1931) for application filed by the Mayor and City Council.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.