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.