***This will be a virtual meeting via Zoom***
The public wishing to speak on any items are asked to register for the Zoom meeting information at https://www.cityoflaurel.org/clerk/meetings by 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting.
- Roll Call
- Approval of Minutes- May 26, 2022 Meeting
- Special Exception Application No. 930; Resolution No. 22-07-BOA, 595 Main Street, filed by Paw Perfect Dog Daycare, seeking approval to operate an animal boarding facility at the existing Paw Perfect Dog Daycare business.
- Public Hearing on Application
- Final Action
- Appeals Application No. 928; Resolution No. 22-05-BOA, 425 Prince George Street, filed by Michael Sciscenti, the applicant is requesting that the City of Laurel Department of Fire Marshal and Permit Services not enforce Sec. 18-82.17. IRC-18, Part 2, Chapter 3, Section R311, Means of Egress, R311.1.1 - Means of Egress of the Laurel City Code for the renovation project relating to City of Laurel Permit No. 20220207.
- Public Hearing on Application
- Final Action
THREE HUNDRED SIXTY EIGHTH MEETING
CITY OF LAUREL BOARD OF APPEALS
THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2022 – REGULAR
***This meeting was conducted through Zoom Virtual Platform ***
Convened: 6:00 P.M.
Board Members Present (During Roll):
Robert Love, Director, ECD
Joshua Mitchum, ECD
Brooke Quillen, Secretary to Board of Appeals, ECD
Darnell Butler, Production Assistant, Communications
Lawrence Taub, City Solicitor
Citizens Present: Approximately: Approximately six (6)
The minutes of the May 26, 2022 meeting were approved as written on motion by Mrs. Collins and seconded by Mrs. Snyder, carried on a roll call vote of all other members present with Mr. Collins abstaining.
Next, the Board heard the request for Special Exception Application No. 930 and Resolution No. 22-07-BOA, 595 Main Street Laurel, Maryland 20707, filed by Paw Perfect Dog Daycare, 595 Main Street Laurel, Maryland 20707. Mr. Mitchum completed the reading of the record for the administrative approval process and presented the technical staff report dated May 27, 2022. The Applicant is seeking special exception approval to operate an animal boarding facility at the existing Paw Perfect Dog Daycare business located at 595 Main Street Unit 133, Laurel, MD 20707. The property is zoned Commercial Village (C-V) and is a part of the Patuxent Place Apartments complex.
Chairman Smalls opened the public hearing at 6:07 p.m.
There was nobody signed up to speak.
Chairman Smalls closed the public hearing at 6:07 p.m.
There was discussion between the Board, Applicant and staff. Staff explained there are no known restrictions however Prince George’s County will do inspections for the license which would also need to be regularly renewed. Additionally, Prince George’s County typically state they don’t want animals alone for more than eight (8) hours. The Applicant stated she plans to have someone there at all times once business picks up. Currently the maximum number of dogs depends on the size of the dogs, five (5) for large dogs and six (6) or seven (7) for small dogs. Ms. Oti explained each dog will be in a 10 x10 or 12 x 12 play pen and the illustration provided is just an example and not an exact layout. The Board expressed they would have like to have seen the exact layout. The Applicant responded it currently would be hard to do that since she is not in full capacity. She added there is a front office which is where the additional staff would be during overnight shifts. The applicant also stated the dogs will have a set schedule to go out for walks and this is a dog friendly complex with dog receptacles. Her business is ground level which also is convenient. Most dogs are already trained to go out at certain times because of their owners being at work most of the day. Ms. Oti stated she will use an app that will help her determine when she is at full capacity. Staff added that if any violations arise that can not be resolved the City could revoke the Use & Occupancy permit.
The Board asked staff how will the City routinely check on this business. Staff stated Prince George’s County will be inspecting as well as the City. The Board advised staff to look into periodic welfare checks on these types of businesses. Staff agreed to work with the Mayor and City Council on new regulations.
On motion by Mrs. Collins seconded by Mrs. Leszcz and carried on a unanimous vote by all members present, Special Exception Application No. 930 and Resolution No. 22-07-BOA were approved as presented in the Technical Staff Report.
Next, the Board heard the request for Special Exception Application No. 928 and Resolution No. 22-05-BOA, 425 Prince George Street Laurel, Maryland 20707, filed by Michael Sciscenti, 425 Prince George Street Laurel, Maryland 20707. Mr. Selby completed the reading of the record for the administrative approval process and presented the technical staff report dated June 21, 2022. The Applicant is seeking a waiver of the Laurel City Code requirement for egress stairs to exterior grade and to allow the two as-built egress points in the basement to be sufficient for finishing the basement.
Chairman Smalls opened the public hearing at 6:44 p.m.
Mr. Adrian Simmons, 310 Sandy Spring Road Laurel, Maryland 20707, stated it’s good to know the City is checking on these kinds of plans for meeting requirements, however, the applicant originally went through all the proper channels and its very unfortunate he would now have to fix this issue. Mr. Simmons added he believes an exception should be made by the Board. He stated he is here as a friend and neighbor of the applicant.
The applicant, Mr. Michael Sciscenti, 425 Prince George Street Laurel, Maryland 20707, thanked the Board and the City for their time and consideration on this application. He explained the original plans were submitted in August of 2021 and there were 25 pages, however, nine (9) pages highlight the basement which was included in the packet. He stated when they received their approval with stamped plans, they assumed everything was good to proceed so they started with the building plan. Then they had (5) five inspections and nothing was mentioned about any violations until they had the framing/close-in inspection. If the issue had been caught earlier there could have been revisions made to fix the problem. Prior to 2020 when code was updated this would have been approved. There were other minor issues there were caught and fixed. Mr. Sciscenti added there is currently an egress window with a ladder and since they were just under 50% they did not have to get the addition sprinklered. They received a waiver from the then Fire Marshal, Mr. Steven Allen. The applicant then explained the basement is to be used for a playroom for his kids and a guest room. It currently sits unfinished.
Chairman Smalls closed the public hearing at 7:10 p.m.
Mr. Lawrence Taub, City Solicitor, explained the code language states a door is required, not that it is simple to turn a window into a door however it currently doesn’t meet the building safety code for the City of Laurel. The architect should have been familiar with that as well, it is up to them to design up to code standards. Even though the building permit was issued in error that does not mean that it is valid. Mr. Taub stated he is sympathetic to the applicant for being in this situation.
The Applicant, Mr. Michael Sciscenti, stated this was a large project to take on and the problem is the violation wasn’t discovered until after 6 (six) months after the permit was released, when much of the work had already been completed and now there is no easy fix.
Chairman Smalls asked for a motion to approve the staff’s recommendation to deny this request. There was no motion. Mrs. Snyder asked for more information such as inspection records regarding the project before making a decision. Mr. Smalls stated they can take this time to review the laws and rules. The Board asked staff to provide further information on the property to move forward.
On motion by Mrs. Snyder seconded by Mrs. Collins and carried on a unanimous vote by all members present, Appeals Application No. 928 and Resolution No. 22-05-BOA were TABLED as presented in the Technical Staff Report.
The Board asked staff to send the applicant a letter stating this application has been tabled for further information and reminded the applicant any work regarding the basement needs to remain on hold and nobody should be occupying the basement at this time.
Adjournment: 7:20 P.M.
APPROVED: Brooke Quillen DATE: 7/28/2022