PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to be heard at this meeting please sign the speaker list provided on the table at the side of the Council Chamber. The Chairman reserves the right to limit the amount of time each speaker has for each agenda item.
- Roll Call
- Approval of Minutes from the July 9, 2019 meeting
- Amended Site and Landscape Plan Application and Resolution No. 19-11-PC, 9007 Marshall Avenue, filed by Electric Guard Dog, LLC
- Special Exception No. 894, 116 Washington Blvd, filed by Francesca DeMauro-Palminteri for recommendation to the Board of Appeals
- Public Hearing on Application
- Final Action by Planning Commission
FIVE HUNDRED SIXTY NINTH MEETING
CITY OF LAUREL PLANNING COMMISSION
TUESDAY-SEPTEMBER 10, 2019
The meeting convened in the Council Chambers of the Laurel Municipal Center at 7:00 P.M., with Acting Chairman John R. Kish, presiding. The roll was called with the Honorable Rick Wilson and Mr. Bill Wellford present. Also, present were Mr. Larry Taub, City of Laurel Legal Counsel, Ms. Christian L. Pulley, Director of Economic and Community Development, Mr. Robert Love, Deputy Director, Mr. Josh Mitchum, Planner II and Ms. Brooke Quillen, Secretary to the Commission. There were approximately (18) eighteen members of the public in attendance.
The minutes of the amended July 9, 2019 meeting were approved as written, on motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. Wellford, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present as written.
The next agenda item was for an Amended Site and Landscape Plan Application filed by Electric Guard Dog, LLC., 9007 Marshall Avenue Laurel Maryland 20707. Ms Pulley stated the applicant is seeking approval to install a 10’ electric security fence inside the existing perimeter fence at 9007 Marshall Avenue, Laurel, MD 20707 for SAIA trucking company. The property is zoned Industrial General (IG). The City of Laurel, Mayor and City Council passed Text Amendment No. 254 (Ordinance No. 1944) on July 8, 2019, to allow electric security fences in the Industrial General (IG) and Industrial Commercial Services (ICS) zones. The property obtained Amended Site and Landscape Plan approval to retrofit an existing truck distribution center; by adding a fence, construct an addition to be used as an office, installing a fuel tank and re-paving to provide parking spaces. The subject property was annexed into the City of Laurel in 2004 (Annexation 1-2004) and placed into the Industrial General (IG) zone. At the time of annexation, the site operated as a trucking distribution facility. The property is boarded by Commercial General (C-G) properties to the North and West, Industrial-Commercial Service (I-CS) to the East and Industrial General (I-G) to the South.
Chairman Kish opened the public hearing at 7:10 p.m. and noted there was no one signed up to speak on this item. Chairman Kish closed the public hearing at 7:11 p.m.
The applicant’s attorney, Daniel F. Lynch, Principal, McNamee Hosea Attorney & Advisors, 6411 Ivy Lane #200 Greenbelt, Maryland 20770, attended to answer any questions. Mr. Lynch stated this would be the first installation of this type of fence in the City of Laurel. He advised they are happy with the staff report and agree with all the conditions and recommendations listed.
Cindy Williams, Electric Guard Dog, LLC., 550 Assembly Street 5th Fl., Columbia, South Carolina 29201, informed the Commission the electric fence is similar to an alarm system which can be turned off and on with a code, so the trucking company would be able to turn it off, separate from the knox box.
There was discussion among the commission and applicant regarding emergency services to this property, the location of the knox box and overgrown vegetation around the existing fence. It was determined there is only one gate and the knox box is outside of the gate. The overgrown vegetation will need to be cleared from the site.
The Commission, on motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. Wellford, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present, voted to approve the Amended Site and Landscape Plan Application and Resolution No. 19-11-PC.
The next agenda item was Special Exception No. 894, 116 Washington Blvd, Laurel, Maryland 20707, filed by Francesca DeMauro-Palminteri for recommendation to the Board of Appeals. Mr. Love stated the applicant is seeking special exception approval to operate a Medical Cannabis Dispensary to be located at 116 Washington Blvd. Surrounding the property to the North is a bookstore, Professional Hair Design barbershop and Protocall Communications, to the South is the Tastee Diner restaurant, to the West is the Laurel Tavern Donuts restaurant and PriceCo flooring company, and to the East is Animal Crackers Pet Boutique & Salon and a vacant commercial building. The current building was built in 2019.
The applicant’s attorney, Chris Hatcher, Principal, Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chtd. – Attorneys, 7600 Wisconsin Avenue Bethesda, Maryland 20814, explained the history of the project and that the previous application was withdrawn from the Tastee Diner in respect to the Laurel community, after hearing opposition. He stated he and his client are in agreeance with the staff report and thanked staff and the Commission for working with them on this project.
Chairman Kish opened the public hearing at 7:20 p.m.
Beth Varnau, 14654 Cambridge Circle, Laurel Maryland 20707, stated even though two of these types of businesses are allowed in each district, there are several already in the surrounding cities including one in Howard County just over the City’s boundary line. She stated Laurel does not need the extra traffic that this new business would cause.
Chairman Kish closed the public hearing 7:23 p.m.
The applicant, Francesa DeMauco-Palminteri, 13902 Shippers Lane Rockville, Maryland 20853, noted she will be leasing the whole building and currently has no other plans for other tenants. The second and third floor space will be used for storage. There is no elevator in the building.
Mr. Wilson made a motion to deny the recommendation of Special Exception Application No. 894 for 116 Washington Boulevard Laurel, Maryland 20707 to the Board of Appeals. Mr. Wellford seconded, Mr. Wilson’s motion. There was no discussion of reason for the motion.
Mr. Wellford voted “No” and Chairman Kish cast the final vote of “Yes”. The motion to recommend denial of the application passed with a 2-1 vote.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:25 p.m.