THREE HUNDRED SEVENTIETH MEETING- REGULAR
THURSDAY– JULY 28, 2022- 6:00 P.M.
***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- June 30, 2022 Meeting
- 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. This item was tabled on June 30, 2022.
- Public Hearing on Application
- Final Action
- Special Exception Application No. 929; Resolution No. 22-06-BOA, 132 Washington Boulevard filed by New Leaf Investments LLC., seeking approval to allow for Rental Hall use.
- Public Hearing on Application
- Final Action
THREE HUNDRED SIXTY NINTH MEETING
CITY OF LAUREL BOARD OF APPEALS
THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2022 – REGULAR
***This meeting was conducted through Zoom Virtual Platform ***
Convened: 6:00 p.m.
Board Members Present (During Roll):
Robert Love, Director, ECD
Monta Burrough ECD
Darnell Butler, Production Assistant, Communications
Danny Selby, FMPS Director
Clifton Steed, FMPS Building Inspector
Lawrence Taub, City Solicitor
Citizens Present: Approximately: Approximately four (4)
The minutes of the June 30, 2022 meeting were approved as written on motion by Mrs. Snyder and seconded by Mrs. Leszcz, carried on a roll call vote of all other members present with Mr. Whitley abstaining, as he was absent at the last meeting.
Next, was the request for Appeal Application No. 928 and Resolution No. 22-05-BOA, 425 Prince George Street Laurel, Maryland 20707, filed by Michael Sciscenti. This item was tabled at the June 30, 2022 hearing.
The City Solicitor, Mr. Lawrence Taub explained to the Board that the particular section of the code that is noted is in regard to (1) one or (2) two family dwellings and there is a minimum of (2) two exits, must have a door to the outside. That is what has been appealed and the applicant’s argument is the current ladder to the window is equal to or better than a door requirement. The Board would need to agree with that to grant the appeal. Lastly, he stated he is able to answer any questions.
Chairman Smalls asked everyone on the call referring to this application identify themselves. Mr. Clifton Steed, Building Inspector, Department of Fire Marshal & Permit Services and Mr. Danny Selby, Director, Department of Fire Marshal & Permit Services and the Applicant, Mr. Michael Sciscenti all introduced themselves. Chairman Smalls then asked if there were any new information regarding this project to be presented. Staff stated there was not.
Mr. Selby completed the reading of the record for the administrative approval process and presented the technical staff report dated May 20, 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 at 425 Prince George Street.
Board member Mr. Whitley asked the City Solicitor if he would still be able to vote on this application since he was absent at the last hearing. Mr. Lawrence Taub stated yes he can as long as he has received and reviewed the information in the packet for this meeting.
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.
The Applicant, Mr. Michael Sciscenti, asked what new information was provided since being tabled at the last hearing. The Board and Staff stated there was no additional information provided.
Board member Mrs. Snyder asked the applicant to identify any confusion regarding this appeal. The Applicant stated he submitted plans for an addition last August. The plans were approved and the permit was issued in September. Construction began and there were approximately five (5) inspections completed before he was told he needed to put in stairs with a door in the basement, however funds were not available for that. The Fire Marshal informed him the permit would not pass final inspection until its fixed because it does not meet current code. The basement has not been finished. He would like to close out the permit so he can close out the loan at the bank. He understands the Fire Marshal can refuse to close out the permit due to any mistake however it is unfair to the homeowners of Laurel.
Board member Mrs. Snyder made a motion to approve Appeals Application No. 928 for property located at 425 Prince George Street Laurel, Maryland 20707. Mrs. Leszcz seconded the motion and a roll call continued with Mr. Whitley “abstaining” from the vote, and Chairman Smalls voting “No”.
The City Solicitor, Mr. Lawrence Taub advised with a quorum, a motion and a second the motion has passed however he will confirm and let staff know.
The applicant thanked everyone for their time and efforts on this application.
Next, the Board heard the request for Special Exception Application No. 929 and Resolution No. 22-07-BOA, 132 Washington Boulevard Laurel, Maryland 20707, filed by New Leaf Investments LLC., 132 Washington Boulevard Laurel, Maryland 20707. Mr. Burrough completed the reading of the record for the administrative approval process and presented the technical staff report dated May 20, 2022. 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.
Chairman Smalls opened the public hearing at 6:28 p.m.
There was nobody signed up to speak.
Chairman Smalls closed the public hearing at 6:28 p.m.
There was discussion between the Board, Applicant and staff regarding parking being contingent with the use of the property. The applicant stated there is a pedestrian crosswalk across from the building. The applicant added they will have security helping patrons at both entrances. Also, the maximum number of people allowed in the building per the Fire Marshal is 99 people. The building is currently not sprinklered however there is no kitchen in the building therefore it would have to be something dramatic to cause a fire. Staff confirmed the parking is contingent with the use. The applicant explained the hours of operation would be 6pm-12am and 6pm-11pm on Sundays, which is peak hours for events. They anticipate smaller celebrations for graduations, birthday parties and baby showers. They will not be serving alcohol unless they have a wedding in which the caterer would be licensed to serve through Prince George’s County liquor board. There is loading and off-loading parking spaces in the front of the building for quick access. They have an exit door in the front and two (2) in the back. Members of the Board expressed great concern for safety hazards of the building and location.
Board member Mrs. Snyder made a motion to deny Special Exception Application No. 929 for property located at 132 Washington Boulevard Laurel, Maryland 2070. Mrs. Leszcz seconded the motion and a roll call continued with Mr. Whitley “Yes” (to approve), and Chairman Smalls voting “Yes” (to approve). The motion did not carry.
Chairman Smalls made a second motion to approve Special Exception Application No. 929 property located at 132 Wahington Boulevard Laurel, Maryland 20707. Mr. Whitley seconded the motion and a roll call continued with Mrs. Leszcz voting “No” (to deny), and Mrs. Snyder voting “No” (to deny). The motion did not carry.
The City Solicitor, Mr. Lawrence Taub stated the motion failed and application is not approved. Additionally he announced the vote regarding 425 Prince George Street also did not pass as (3) three members are required to pass a motion for the Board of Appeals.
The Board asked staff to look into meeting with the first applicant, Mr. Michael Sciscenti to explain what the vote means regarding his application since he is no longer on the meeting.
Adjournment: 7:05 P.M.
APPROVED: Brooke Quillen DATE: 11/17/2022