The public wishing to speak on any items are asked to sign in at the Council Chambers before the meeting+-
***This meeting will be held in-person***
- Roll Call
- Approval of Minutes from the June 14, 2022 meeting
- Special Exception Application No. 929- 132 Washington Boulevard filed by New Leaf Investments LLC., for recommendation to the Board of Appeals.
- Preliminary Subdivision Revision Plan and Resolution No. 22-12-PC, 14115 Greenview Drive, filed by CS Patuxent Greens LLC
Public Hearing on Application
Final Action by Planning Commission
- Amended Site & Landscape Plan and Resolution No. 22-11-PC, 14115 Greenview Drive, filed by CS Patuxent Greens LLC
Public Hearing on Application
Final Action by Planning Commission
FIVE HUNDRED NINETY SECOND MEETING
CITY OF LAUREL PLANNING COMMISSION
TUESDAY JULY 12, 2022 – 6:00 P.M.
The meeting convened in the Council Chambers at 6:00 P.M., with Chairwoman Mitzi Betman presiding. The roll was called with Ward 2 Councilmember Mr. Keith R. Sydnor, the Honorable Rick Wilson, Mr. William Wellford and Alternate Mr. Dennis Grant. Also present were City Solicitor Mr. Todd Pounds, Mr. Robert Love, Department of Economic & Community Development Director, Mr. Saheed Bundu, Planner I, Department of Economic & Community Planning, and Ms. Brooke Quillen, Secretary to the Commission. There were approximately twenty-one (21) members of the public in attendance.
The minutes from the June 14, 2022, meeting were approved as written, on motion by Mr. Wellford seconded by Mr. Wilson and carried on a roll call vote of all members present.
The next agenda item was for Special Exception Application No. 929 for 132 Washington Boulevard Laurel, Maryland 20707, filed by New Leaf Investments LLC., 132 Washington Boulevard Laurel, Maryland 20707. Mr. Love stated the applicant is seeking Special Exception approval to add rental hall use to existing building. The building was constructed in 1920. The structure is over 5,400 square feet commercial storefront. The structure is in the City of Laurel parking modification zone.
The applicant, Ms. Natalie Davis, 9 Alpen Court, Burtonsville, Maryland 20866, explained they expect to have approximately 200-250 people maximum for events. The Commission expressed concern regarding the location being in a dangerous area so close to U. S. Route 1 and stated security would be strongly recommended since these events are from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. The applicant added there will not be food or alcohol however wine will be served for weddings. There are two (2) bathrooms in the building and they are moderate in size.
Mr. Wilson made a motion to recommend approval to the Board of Appeals of Special Exception No. 929 for 132 Washington Boulevard Laurel, Maryland 20707, as presented in the Technical Staff Report. Mr. Wellford seconded the motion and a roll call continued with Chairwoman Betman voting “No” and the final vote of “Yes” by Mr. Grant.
The next item on the agenda was for Preliminary Subdivision Revision Application and Resolution No. 22-12-PC for 14115 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, filed by CS Patuxent Greens LLC., 6290 Montrose Road Rockville Maryland 20852. Mr. Love stated the applicant is seeking Preliminary Subdivision Revision Plan approval for the Patuxent Greens Development to construct an additional 61 dwelling units to bring the total for the development to 450 dwelling units. The property was part of the First 1981 Annexation for the City of Laurel that was enacted on February 2, 1982. Approximately 267 acres of land was annexed and placed into the PUD zone. The original final site plan approval for 389 dwelling units was approved in 2018 which is currently under construction.
The next item on the agenda was a Amended Site & Landscape Plan Application and Resolution No. 22-11-PC for 14115 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, filed by Patuxent Greens LLC., 6290 Montrose Road Rockville Maryland 20852, Mr. Love stated the applicant is seeking an Amended Site and Landscape Plan approval for the Patuxent Greens Development to construct an additional 61 dwelling units to bring the total for the development to 450 dwelling units. The property was part of the First 1981 Annexation for the City of Laurel that was enacted on February 2, 1982. Approximately 267 acres of land was annexed and placed into the PUD zone. The golf course known as Laurel Pines Country Club at the time is 191.71 acres and is located at 14415 Greenview Drive in Laurel, Maryland, on the eastern corner of Greenview Drive and Clubhouse Boulevard. The property is approximately one-tenth of a mile southeast from the intersection of Laurel Bowie Road (Maryland Route 197) and Clubhouse Boulevard.
At the time of annexation an approved preliminary plan to have dwelling units, office, retail and a recreational facility was approved. The approved plan was later amended twice to change the development mix; and once to change the name of the development. The community’s name was amended to Greens of Patuxent in 1984. The original final site plan approval for 389 dwelling units was approved in 2018 which is currently under construction.
The surrounding area within one-half mile of the property is comprised of mostly single-family detached and multifamily residential dwelling units with some office, religious, educational, and community uses. The Patuxent River is to the east of the property. Along the western boundary, the property abuts approximately two (2) acres of the City recreational facility that includes, Greenview Drive Pool Complex, Cabana and park. Single-family detached and multifamily residential developments abut forest/parkland along the northern, eastern, and southern boundaries. Across from the Greenview Drive entrance is an office complex known as Lakeview at the Greens. The five (5) story, two-building site, consists of 150,000 SF of Class A office space with on-site surface parking. The two buildings were constructed in the late 1980’s. The two residential communities abutting the proposed project are: Patuxent Glen – 132 dwelling units built in the mid-late 1980’s, Greens of Patuxent- 156 condominiums, distributed as three-story four-plex units built in the mid to late 1980’s.
The attorney for the applicant, Mr. William Shipp, 7850 Walker Drive #310 Greenbelt, Maryland 20770, thanked everyone for their time and requested his presentation be put in the official record. He briefly went over the history of the project and explained the current applications. He stated they retracted any plans regarding the clubhouse after hearing several concerns from the community and they will make time in the future to work with the everyone moving forward.
Chairwoman Betman announced these applications tonight do not have anything to do with the clubhouse.
Chairwoman Betman opened the public hearing at 6:32 p.m.
Ms. Nina McDaniel, 14225 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, stated there is a discrepancy regarding the round-a-bout. The Commission explained that concern will not be voted on tonight however staff can put that on record and it can be discussed with the developer. Ms. McDaniel added there are additional issues with drainage at the park as it is a public health hazard with water sitting for long periods of time. Staff commended that this issue will be addressed with the Department of Public Works and the developer.
Mr. David McDaniel, 14225 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, also spoke on drainage problems at the park and the round-a-bout issue.
Mr. Stanley Spalding, 1162 Patuxent Greens Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, explained he was originally in attendance to discuss the clubhouse project. He stated he understands the driving forces that would change a single-family home to a townhouse. He also appreciates getting certified mail regarding this hearing and would like to stay involved in community matters.
Mr. Viorel Amariei, 148 Lyons Creek Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, stated his initial concern was regarding the clubhouse. He believes there is a safety issue at the intersection and asked to please consider modifying it to a traffic circle, at the main intersection at Clubhouse.
Mr. Robby Amigliore, 110 Battle Creek Way Laurel, Maryland 20708, stated people can’t turn right if someone is already at the stop sign, there is an issue at the intersection as it is too small. Additionally, the traffic light is the most dangerous in Laurel, he hopes it can be fixed. He also understands the change from 389 to 450 units but asked how this will affect people already living in Patuxent Greens, will it be enough to accommodate everyone for the pool and gym. He suggested a presentation or mailer with a brochure before the meeting with the developer. The City is doing a terrible job with the drainage at the park and water management because currently their backyard is flooded, the developer is working to help fix he requests this issue be put on record. He loves his house but the water is a major problem.
Ms. Nakia Davis, 6513 Clubhouse Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, initially came to discuss the clubhouse but now has comments on the increasing number of townhomes and asked how much will increase in people in the neighborhood, will the clubhouse sustain the increase. She is concerned about the property value and believes it will drive current homes down. Additionally, there is no other way-out which causes more of a delay.
The Commission stated the clubhouse and traffic analysis was conducted using the maximum allowed which was 450 units. The builder initially requested a lower amount and now they are asking for the full 450 units. The Commission also reminded Ms. Davis and everyone in attendance to stay involved in their community and keep the City informed with their concerns.
Mr. Jamie Freeman, 119 Hawlings River Road Laurel, Maryland 20708, stated the turn is difficult as the road is small, there are also too many blind spots pulling in and out of the neighborhood. Also, the roads seem too narrow, seems like not enough room.
Chairwoman Betman explained coming into the neighborhood there will be a dedicated left-hand turn. Additionally, the widths of the roads were approved to code standards.
Ms. Margo Osbourne, 14239 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, explained she is a retired NASA employee and has lived in Laurel for over 30 years. She wants to be on record that when it rains the park is covered with water and as a public open space this should be important. She believes the city should require the developer to install some kind of mitigation. She turned in a copy of a letter to City staff.
Ms. Courtney Savage, 157 Lyons Creek Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, stated some issues she wanted to mention have already been addressed. The roads are definitely tight and is dangerous. She stated she disagrees with the more townhouses request because she spent over 500k to move to this neighborhood with expectations of how it was. Additionally, the mosquitos are out of control as well as the geese. There is also way too much signage in the neighborhood. She asked about the trails that was supposed to be available, is that still happening. The presentation makes the development look really nice but in reality, there are not a lot of trees or shrubbery. The mulch has not been changed.
The Commission explained that the proposed information is based on the maximum amount that is permitted. If the applications are approved tonight that will not change.
Chairwoman Betman read the written comments from Shomari Robinson, 152 Lyons Creek Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, which stated they disagree with the plans to add additional units and the essential downgrade of the clubhouse.
Chairwoman Betman then read the written statements from Aija Rhodes, 163 Lyons Creek Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, which said there is currently only one entrance into the development and with the change there is concern of more congestion and traffic. Lastly they would like to hear from the developer regular on status of changes to community.
Mr. Aldric Johnson, 104 Battle Creek Way Laurel, Maryland 20708, has concerns of integrity of ownership, also asked how they document who they will be sold to, what is the difference in number of people for single family homes to townhomes. He stated storm water management is an issue, as well as the mosquitos and geese problem which is a safety risk. Lastly the clubhouse is a major amenity issue.
Mr. Andrea Phillips, 14104 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, first problem is the traffic, asked has anything changed in the traffic studies. He stated back when this development was a golf course water would run and get absorbed. Now there is a fence that creates a curve for the water and splits into the pond. He added he gets a lot of water in his backyard when it rains which is causing problems.
The Commission requested everyone to speak to City staff and the developer about these concerns, adding that if someone rejects the spray for mosquitos, the city cannot spray in that area.
Ms. Jen Mathaingmalual, 106 Battle Creek Way Laurel, Maryland 20708, announced her basement recently flooded in her home, the sub pump is broken and backyard is always full of water. Additional townhouses will bring value of single-family homes down. She does not let her kids go to the playground alone. Roads are very tight.
Mr. Viorel Amariei, 148 Lyons Creek Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, asked if the City has a plan regarding the geese issue.
Mr. David McDaniel, 14225 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, asked why they need to keep calling about all the problems such as the mosquitos and trash in the ditch, it’s a simple concept as there are flood certificates through FEMA. He has been requesting a public meeting for (4) four years to get the water channels cleared and snagged. The studies for traffic currently online show unsatisfactory, asked how the changes will be satisfactory.
Ms. Mariam Vilmehay, 1130 Patuxent Green Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, asked how the Homeowners Association will be affected with more homeowners in the area, will the fees increase. She suggested new landscaping and there are not enough pipes underground. She asked what if things with this development keep changing, what can be done.
Ms. Nina McDaniel, 14225 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, the light is useless for a left hand turn at 3 seconds that’s only (2) two cars, as it doesn’t stay on long enough. She asked what the time length of the green arrow will be.
Chairwoman Betman closed the public hearing at 7:39 p.m.
Councilmember Sydnor thanked everyone for attending and stated he joined the City Council in 2017 and Patuxent Greens was the first project he voted on which he fully supported and still does. He apologized to everyone dealing with these issues that he was unaware of and encouraged everyone to continue to reach out and advocate for their communities and attend these meetings. He asked everyone to have faith in this project as it is still ongoing and not completed yet.
The applicant, Mr. Alan Cohen, 6290 Montrose Road Rockville Maryland 20852, asked to speak on a few topics that were brought up. He stated he has had several meetings with the community. Ultimately, he thought there was too much dead space with the current clubhouse. When they learned the public had an issue with the plans, they pulled it. Mr. Cohen added there are a few other options, and it can be worked out. If the public wants the original clubhouse, then that is ok too. Regarding the geese, they will work to get rid of them. He believes he has been transparent about everything, and this is the first time he has heard about the sub pump issue. Regarding the drainage problem, they have a certificate from an engineer, but can’t speak on the City’s portion of the property. He is here to help if he can. In regard to investors buying properties in the community, that is not allowed, is actually prohibited.
Mr. William Shipp, 7850 Walker Drive #310 Greenbelt, Maryland 20770, stated there are obviously a lot of concerns from the public. The issues with the Homeowners Association and clubhouse will be worked out with the community. The city portion staff will look into. All of their plans were approved by appropriate authorities. The project is still under construction and the clubhouse changes were withdrawn due to residents’ concerns. A round-a-bout will be constructed, and the Department of Public Works can look into the signage issue. He reminded everyone they originally had approval for 450 units and that’s what they are back for now. The traffic study if showed unsatisfactory would cause improvement to create better levels of service. The park issues will be investigated, and the silk fences will be removed once the construction is complete. He is happy to work with staff and anyone to get all this worked out. The intersection radius is per city code as are the streets in the community. They will work with the builder on homes regarding flooding and reach out to homeowners directly. The trails are still in the plans, there will be at least 2 miles of trails installed in the development. The single homes will hold their value with more townhomes, there are no cheap townhomes they will be very high end. They will plan a meeting with the community very soon.
The Commission reminded everyone that traffic will not disappear but will only get worse over time, Laurel is a great location between Baltimore and Washington D.C. so it is the price we pay to live here, however, the city could do better to manage more vehicles on the road. Chairwoman Betman thanked everyone again for their attendance and reminded them to stay involved.
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 Preliminary Subdivision Plan Application and Resolution No. 22-12-PC for 14115 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, as presented in the Technical Staff Report, not including the Clubhouse.
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 & Landscape Plan Application and Resolution No. 22-11-PC for 14115 Greenview Drive Laurel, Maryland 20708, as presented in the Technical Staff Report.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:08 p.m.
Approved: Brooke Quillen Date: 9/13/2022