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Meeting ID: 971 1542 3617
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Meeting ID: 971 1542 3617
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- Roll Call
- Approval of Amended Minutes from the June 15, 2021 meeting
- Amended Site and Landscape Plan and Resolution No. 21-08-PC, Nasia Nail & Beauty Supply Store, 14805 Baltimore Avenue filed by Thinh Nguyen
Public Hearing on Application
Final Action by Planning Commission
- Map Amendment Application No. 915- Lakeview- 14502 & 14504 Greenview Drive, filed by BE 2 and 10 GC LLC & DB Lakeview LLC c/o Berman Enterprises., for recommendation to the Mayor and City Council
- Resolution No. 21-10-PC; Planning Commission determination of substantial change to the final approved plan of the planned unit development area located at 14415 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708. The applicant, CS Patuxent Greens LLC, is seeking to increase the total approved dwelling units from 389 to 450.
Public Hearing on Application
Final Action by Planning Commission
FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTY FOURTH MEETING
CITY OF LAUREL PLANNING COMMISSION
TUESDAY JULY 13, 2021 – 6:00 P.M.
The meeting convened on a virtual platform through Zoom at 6:00 P.M., with Chairwoman Mitzi R. Betman presiding. The roll was called with Councilmember Keith Sydnor, Mr. John Kish, Vice-Chairman, the Honorable Rick Wilson and Mr. Wellford. Also present were Mr. Larry Taub, City Solicitor, Ms. Lou Ann Cook, City Administrator, Ms. Christian Pulley, Deputy City Administrator, Mr. Robert Love, Director, Mr. Monta Burrough, Planner II and Ms. Brooke Quillen, Secretary to the Commission. Mr. Darnell Butler from the Communications Department was also present. There were approximately twenty-five (25) members of the public in attendance.
The first agenda item was the approval of the minutes from the June 15, 2021 meeting. Mr. Kish made a motion for approval as written. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion, Mr. Wellford abstained from the vote because he was not present for the meeting, and Chairwoman Betman cast the final vote of “Yes”.
Next, was Amended Site and Landscape Application and Resolution No. 21-08-PC, 14805 Baltimore Avenue Laurel, Maryland 20707 filed by Nasia Nail & Beauty Supply Store/Thinh Nguyen, 14805 Baltimore Avenue Laurel, Maryland 20707. Mr. Burrough stated the applicant is seeking Amended Site and Landscape Plan approval to extend and enlarge the existing parking area. The applicant would like to extend the existing compact parking spaces from 8’ x 10.5’ to 8’ x 16’. The existing parking area is 78.05’ x 50.5’ or 3,976.87 square feet. There are currently nineteen (19) parking spaces and one (1) ADA parking space. The parking area has nine (9) existing compact spaces. The applicant is extending the existing compact parking spaces 5.5 feet. The parking area is non-conforming. The applicant is extending the existing compact parking spaces to meet current size standards. The drive aisle will still meet standards with the extension of the compact parking spaces.
Chairwoman Betman opened the public hearing at approximately 6:06 p.m.
Chairwoman Betman noted for the record there were zero (0) members of the public signed up to speak on this item.
Chairwoman Batman closed the public hearing at approximately 6:07 p.m.
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. 21-08-PC.
Next, was Map Amendment Application No. 915, 14502 & 14504 Greenview Drive, Laurel Maryland 20708 filed by BE 2 & 10 GC LLC & DB Lakeview LLC c/o Berman Enterprises, 5410 Edison Lane Suite 220, Maryland 20852. Mr. Love stated the applicant is seeking an amendment to the PUD Plan to change the current use of the property from office to a mix of residential and commercial use. The property was part of the First 1981 Annexation for the City of Laurel that was enacted on February 2, 1982. The property was built in 1987 and the current use of the property is office use.
Representing the applicant, Mr. Andre Gingles, Attorney, Gingles LLC., 14401 Sweitzer Lane Laurel, Maryland 20707, stated his client, Mr. Kevin Berman, was also on the call and would like to give an opening statement before they start the presentation.
Mr. Kevin Berman, BE 2 & 10 GC LLC & DB Lakeview LLC c/o Berman Enterprises, 5410 Edison Lane Suite 220 Rockville, Maryland 20852, explained the background of his organization that was founded by his family, which developed the Laurel Shopping Center, 312 Marshall and the 95 Office Park, adding they have a long-standing business relationship with Laurel. He pointed out when these two properties were up for sale, they were intrigued by its potential. They took into consideration that more people are now working from home than ever before and businesses are using less office space, so the plan is to convert a portion of one of the buildings to a residential facility.
Mr. Tim Longfellow, Gutschick, Little & Weber, P.A., 3909 National Drive Suite 250 Burtonsville, Maryland 20866, described the location is off Route 197 and noted that this property has two (2) existing office buildings, and an opportunity is seen to convert a portion of it to residential use. This will also include an enhanced streetscape, a buffer from 197 traffic and a buffer to the parking on the property. They see optimal circulation for tenants and residents. He added that currently there is no stormwater management on site, which would be added with this project. In addition, a new storm water management system would enhance water quality and would be a great benefit to the community.
Mr. Mike Lenhart, Lenhart Traffic Consulting, Inc., 645 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd, Severna Park, Maryland 21146, briefly reviewed his traffic report comparison stating they will work with staff to make sure proper parking and traffic requirements are met with this project. He explained some traffic patterns were decreased during the estimated peak hours. The new parking would be shared with pervious areas. He is happy to answer any questions.
Representing the applicant, Mr. Andre Gingles, Attorney, Gingles LLC., 14401 Sweitzer Lane Laurel, Maryland 20707, stated multi-family use was already allowed in an older development plan, they just want to add the multi-family use in the office building. It takes time to go through the entire process, he estimates approximately one (1) year. The main goal is to make sure the building stays occupied and in use instead of being vacant for a long period of time. He added there is a slight modification; with a recommendation providing the applicant would obtain a Site and Landscape Plan so that existing commercial offices would remain in use until the residential conversion. Again, he wants to make sure the building gets leased and is a benefit to the City of Laurel.
Chairwoman Betman opened the public hearing at approximately 6:27 p.m.
Ms. Jennifer Boettcher, 9302 Hilltop Court Laurel, Maryland 20708, urged her concern for the decreased amount of parking spaces at this property, she also expressed her concern for safety with an increased number of vehicles with only (1) one cross street. She asked everyone to please consider these points in the planning process.
Ms. Tykisha Roberson, 14102 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, expressed her confusion to the statement this project would reduce or improve traffic, that would need to be explained. She stated she is against residential use at this site.
Chairwoman Betman closed the public hearing at approximately 6:36 p.m.
There was discussion among the Commission and staff regarding this being the first project to include the workforce, moderately priced and age restricted units. He added that these residential units would also require the school and safety impact fees during the permit process.
Mr. Wilson made a motion to recommend approval of the Map Amendment Application No. 915 for 14502 & 14504 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, including the amended staff report, to the Mayor and City Council. There was no second motion made.
Chairwoman Betman asked for Vice-Chairman Kish to take over as Chair.
Mr. Wilson made a motion to recommend approval of the Map Amendment Application No. 915 for 14502 & 14504 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, including the amended staff report, to the Mayor and City Council. Chairwoman Betman seconded Mr. Wilson’s motion. Vice-Chairman Kish voted “No” and Mr. Wellford voted “No”. WITH A 2-2 VOTE, THERE WAS NO RECOMMENDATION MADE FROM THE PLANNING COMMISSION.
Chairwoman Betman returned as Chair.
Next on the agenda was a Determination of Substantial Change to the final approved plan of the planned unit development area located at 14415 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708 filed by CS Patuxent Greens LLC. Mr. Love stated the applicant is seeking a determination of substantial departure of the final approved plan of the planned unit development area. The applicant is seeking to increase the total approved dwelling units from 389 to 450. If it is determined that the request is a substantial departure from the final approved plan, the applicant must seek a Map Amendment approval from the Mayor and City Council. The applicant is proposing to develop 61 additional units to bring the total amount to 450.
Mr. Bill Shipp, Attorney, O’Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, PA, 7850 Walker Drive Suite 310 Greenbelt, Maryland 20770, noted he appreciates the opportunity to have this discussion and his client, Mr. Alan Cohen, will give a brief statement before he goes into the application details.
Mr. Alan Cohen, 6292 Montrose Road Rockville Maryland 20852, reported it has been about two (2) years since his last approval for the Patuxent Greens project, there are now 30 families living in the new houses, they are close to 90 sales. It has been extremely successful, and they have worked very hard on this project. The City of Laurel has been great to work with, adding they have never had any violations. The supply and demand dynamics have changed, due to the difficult past year. Now, townhomes are on the trend. His request is to change some of the single-family homes to townhomes. He believes if the PUD allowed for 450 units why would he have to go back to the City Council for approval. Please consider this is not a substantial departure of final approved plan.
Mr. Shipp, Attorney, O’Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, PA, 7850 Walker Drive Suite 310 Greenbelt, Maryland 20770, he explained this is really a technical conversation about the ordinance, and to add 60 more units is an important number of units to be considered but when Council approved this project originally, it was for to up to 450 units, with the condition that they go to the Planning Commission for a Final Site and Landscape Plan. He believes they should have to amend the Final Site & Landscape plan. The plan is to convert the very last pod of houses to townhouses, in the rear of the project, it does not really change the layout between the existing neighborhood and the approved project. The actual land use is not changing, in fact this would decrease the number of disturbed areas, increasing the green area, reduce number of truckloads of dirt to be brought in and the total project would be completed six (6) to seven (7) months quicker. Therefore, he and his client believe this is not a substantial change and this proposed change could be processed under an Amended Final Site and Landscape Plan. He referred to Ordinance No. 1924, to which they received approval for up to 450 units. If they must go back to the Mayor and City Council, it would be to ask for up to 450 units once more.
Chairwoman Betman opened the public hearing at approximately 7:09 p.m.
Chairwoman Betman stated for the record a letter was received addressed to the Planning Commission from resident Ms. Kelsey Eustace, 14224 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, advising she is strongly against the proposed changes and does see this as a substantial change, that would negatively impact the quality of the neighborhood.
Chairwoman Betman also stated for the record a letter was received addressed to the Planning Commission from Ms. Jessica McMahon, Marketing Manager of NVR Inc., noting the variety levels of townhouses that would be offered in this project, that has worked well for others most recently.
Ms. Jennifer Boettcher, 9302 Hilltop Court Laurel, Maryland 20708, asked if affordable housing would be offered for these new units. She added she does believe this is a substantial change, as townhomes can create an increase in traffic.
Ms. Margo Osborne, 14239 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, she does believe this is a substantial change, stating she is concerned, currently has a large storm drain outside of her house, more concrete for townhouses means more water runoff. Her house is lower then what it used to be before this project was constructed.
Ms. Tykisha Roberson, 14102 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, commented she does believe this a substantial change, wants to understand how more cars and townhomes will directly affect the neighborhood and environmental factors.
Ms. Carol Reed, 14228 Summitt Lane, Laurel Maryland 20708, considers this as a substantial change, was surprised to hear that the number of units of up to 450 was allowed in the verbiage. Sounds like a bait and switch.
Mr. James Roberson, 14102 Greenview Drive, Laurel, Maryland 20708, stated he believes this is a substantial change. He added his concerns about traffic and property values; however, he does understand the City wants improvements.
Chairwoman Betman closed the public hearing at approximately 7:19 p.m.
Mr. Shipp, Attorney, O’Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, PA, 7850 Walker Drive Suite 310 Greenbelt, Maryland 20770, appreciates the efforts of everyone involved by staff and residents, they are prepared to fully address all concerns and they will try to make everyone happy. They would need to do much more explanations to move forward. They also are working on scheduling meetings with the HOA and existing community, however, because of COVID-19 it has been difficult to do so. He stated single family homes use more paving than townhouses. There would be more greenspace with this proposed change. They are not proposing to eliminate the storm water management system. They are bringing this property into current regulations. Traffic details would be reviewed at a later step. He has seen property values go up and he believe this would be a positive impact to the neighborhood. He does appreciate all the concerns and questions. In closing, Mr. Shipp does not believe this should be considered a substantial change to the PUD.
The Commission, on motion by Mr. Wellford, seconded by Mr. Wilson, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present, voted to APPROVE that the proposed use is a substantial departure from the previously approved Final Site and Landscape Plan, under the Determination of Substantial Change Application and Resolution No. 21-10-PC.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
Approved: Brooke Quillen Date: 9/14/2021