Friday, January 27, 2012

The January Delmar Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting - 2012

The January Delmar Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting was held last night in Town Hall. Commission members Joe Dixon, Wm Boyan, Robt Thompson, Carl Anderton, David Ring, Thomas Luffman, and Ed Ferro were present. Since Carl was elected Mayor after voting on last month's minutes, he stepped down from the Commission tonight and passed the gravel to Robert Thompson.

Charlie Towers came asking for approval of the pylon sign for the Atlantic Financial Building (Old Bonanza)for which he was given approval to use at the Delmar Delaware Board of Adjustments. Of course the approval was given altho he still did not know who the actual owner of the sign was and the owners were not there.

Next Dilip Katrodiva of Shayona Pharmacy came before the commission to request a 4' by 8' sign to be put on the back of his pharmacy so vendors making deliveries and potential customers could see where he was located. A similar argument was put up by Atlantic Financial to justify putting an added sign on the East side of their building. The Commission denied Katrodiva request by saying if permission was given they may have a rash of other people wanting the same thing and the signage ordinance only allowed one sign per building. Interesting

Stuart Brittingham of SELAB, Inc came requesting a sign change for his building Brickyard Garage (the old Autoworld, Skywatch, Bread Company Building) to include the name of a Car Title Loan Company going into the building. God just what Delmar needs another car title loan company. David Ring should be happy as those people have to pay into the Delaware education fund in order to operate in Delaware. Naturally approval was given for the sign.

And the high point of the evening was Doug Marshall who finally presented his concept plan of a pavilion at Heron Ponds Development. Mr. Marshall has been talking to people privately since before the last Maryland election about this concept so I am sure everyone in the meeting room was aware of it. He acquired the Heron Pond Development last year, which is approved for 301 single family homes and is on the Maryland side of East Line Road and is the Afghanistan of Delmar developments. The development has gone thru a number of owners.

The concept is to put a Pavillion, Stage, covered seating area for 2,000 people, two restaurants and an outdoor seating area for 3,000 people, and a fire department substation in the western end of the development. Think Wolf Trap, Merriweather Post pavilion. This will remove a number of single family homes from the development which would also remove the negative impact of added students in the Delmar school district and requirements for Delmar infrastructure. It would employ a number of part-time employees and a few full time employees for the events which may be concerts, outdoor town functions and any festival etc that would require that much space and facilities.

But tonight he merely wanted the property (Heron Pond) rezoned as a PUD (Planned Unit Development). A planned unit development (PUD), is both a type of building development as well as a regulatory process. A PUD is a designed grouping of varied and compatible land uses, such as housing, recreation, commercial centers, and industrial parks, all within one contained development or subdivision.

As far as I know that type of zoning does not exist in Delmar nor is it in the Planning and Zoning ordinance, nor the comprehensive plan. It is however used in Salisbury and we all want to be like Salisbury.

Now it is my opinion that PUD's are the same as no zoning, it means the developer can do what he wants with the property as long as he has the approval of the Delmar council and you know how easy the councils are when it comes to developers.

Anyway Mr. Marshall threw in a few veiled threats of government subsidized housing and $99,000 homes if he didn't get what he wanted. Which frankly if he gets a PUD zoning he may do anyway.

Now Doug Marshall appears to be a nice guy. He is local, unlike the other owners of Heron Pond and I think he will be around for a while. In previous times he has appeared before the P&Z commission he has always done his homework. I personally think the Pavillion would be a great thing but I also think it is the carrot on the stick to allow Mr. Marshall the PUD zoning. He says he needs to sell houses in the Heron Pond Development in order to finance the pallivion and like anyone who has a debt to meet I am sure he will do what he needs to do in order to stay solvent.

Anyway this concept and request will come before the Joint council this coming Monday so come out and see and hear about it.


Dixie said...

When the sign ordinance was worked on many years ago, Delmar Commons didn't exist so there was no need for more than one sign on a building. I understand the pharmacy wanting/needing a sign on the back of the building for vendors. However, I do belive 4x8 is extreme.
I don't think having just the name on the back door is a problem and I don't feel it would be unsightly.
I understand holding people to an ordinance, but they approved Atlantic Financial's request. Why approve one and not another? Something's not right here!

John said...

One sign per building? Then why do Sleepy's and the loan service right next door to the pharmacy have two? They're all in the same strip too.

Dixie said...

This guy wants to put an ampitheatre in Delmar. What's whis guy smoking?
When are you going to be able to use an open air facility like that here? You can't use it when it's cold, the people won't sit and freeze themselves, you can't use it much in July and August because it's too hot, and if it rains or snows, well, you're done there too.
What a pipe dream this is! Just to get the Maryland elected officials excited and keep them from "thinking"!
They should have never caved in to this guy. Especially after he bullied them, but hey, that's how the Maryland side has grown for all these years, not thinking things through.

karen said...

I assume you were at the meeting since you are commenting on it. Apparently, I missed the part where the council got "excited" and quit thinking. In fact (since you were there), you should recall that the council asked many questions about the feasibility of the project and brought up traffic and noise concerns. Of course, as you know, the zoning issue came up as well and the Mayor and Council all agreed that his request for the PUD zone would not be accepted. As far as public comment, there was a gentleman there who had traffic concerns as well. Otherwise, there seemed to be a positive response from the residents who were there (and there were many more than usual). If you have ever been or even heard of the Merriweather Post Pavillion in Towson, you know that it is a feasible project. We all realize that this project is in its beginning stages, so as this project moves forward, I am sure there will be plenty of questions and concerns that will need to be addressed. The Commission AND residents will work together with Mr. Marshall to find resolution to all of our concerns and make this a successful project.

Karen Wells

Track fan said...

Well START by killing the Mosquito's and what about the race track, that could interfere a bit. Great job to your new council.

Dixie said...

You're right Karen, I was not at the meeting, but I do have knowledge of the meeting.
I hope you continue to try and belittle people on behalf of the commission. I'm sure that tactic will get you re-elected. Not.
I think it would be nice if you'd atleast attempt to talk to people with some respect. After all, you are supposed to represent the people, right?

Karen said...

You are correct, Dixie. And I am trying my best to represent the people and tell them what really happened at the meeting. If you felt I was belittling you, or anyone else, I apologize. That was not my intention. My intention was, obviously, to let people know what really happened at the meeting. I would love to see all of the Delmar residents come share their thoughts and concerns about Delmar issues. THEN, if they feel the council has done something wrong, they could comment, or better yet, call us directly to discuss it. My number is 443-366-3435. If I am not available to take your call right away, I will get back to you ASAP.

Karen Wells