Friday, January 25, 2013

The January 2013 Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

On a chilly night the January 2013 Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting was held at 7 PM at town hall.  By 8:45 it was over with. Those present were Robt Thompson, Bunky Luffman, Joe Dixon, Wm. Boyan and Eric Catellier.

Some of the items discussed were;

Andrew Rementer from the Delmar Fire Department came and asked for guidance in putting a 40 by 60 building that will be 20' 1" tall on a residential lot the Fire Department owns.  After much hemming and hawing, dithering, and  as the politicians say “keeping your options open" the commission approved it (with one abstaining -  Robert Thompson) and directed him to work with town employees; William Hardin and and Gaylon Bounds.

I picked up early on in this meeting there was not going to be many clear cut answers tonight.

Next was Greg Jonson who wants to build a 40 by 80 storage building on the overflow parking lot to the west of the old Bonanza Building (the new Financial center).  It will be used to store merchandise and will not be used as retail or wholesale operation nor repair service work, merely storage.  Again favorable approval was given.

Finally the man of the hour - Doug  Marshall - was on stage with three requests for Planning and Zoning.

Before I write about what occurred let me say that Bunky Luffman said Carl Anderton and him, (elected  Commissioner and elected Mayor) had had a meeting with Doug Marshall to discuss the plans for Heron Pond and the amphitheater.  I don't know if they were the only two elected officials at this meeting so we don't know if the Maryland sunshine Law was broken.  The purpose of the law is to ensure elected officials hold their meetings out in the public eye.  Delmar Maryland and Delaware both are bad for going to executive sessions to discuss items and it certainly reflects poorly on them as it has the appearance of private deal making.   The Maryland side of Delmar has in the works an ethic law - ironic isn't it?  I can't think of anything that should be held in secret that concerns the way the tax payer dollar will be spent.

The entire discussion with Doug Marshall was a rambling affair that sounded more like a sales presentation then a request before the P & Z Commission.  In the part about his request for approval of the Subdivision Plat for Heron Pond he brought the wrong drawing so nothing went on but blue sky talk. 

The only firm request was approval for a ten foot monument sign to go to the East of the Heron Pond entrance.  Favorable approval was given it.  The problem with Marshall and the Chairman of the Commission - who should control things- is he rambles on and throws in a lot of "it's not shown here but...." and then he adds on items that is not in the request.  Five years ago the P&Z commission would have told someone presenting a case like Marshall did to go home and get his act straight and then come back again, this commission however just seems to agree with what ever he puts out.  Besides the monument sign that was approved there are two of signs at the entrance way.  At one point Marshall agreed to remove one of them but later in the evening, I think (it was very rambling), the commission said he could keep all three plus they found something in the P&Z manual that said he could have a construction sign on each lot under construction so he could have 300 signs. 

Finally, altho it was suppose to be a preliminary approval for the amphitheater it ended up into a sales pitch with added "it's not shown here but...." thrown in.  One point I found interesting is he is addressing the noise (sound) issue from the amphitheater by buying a non-American tent that has acoustical properties (Warner Shelter System in Canada http://www.wssl.com/index.html ) ensuring the direction of the sound is away from neighbors and is putting a beam with landscaping on the back to reduce sound traveling to property next to him. I don't know if favorable approval was given or it was accepted he would give a sales pitch to the Maryland Council next Monday.

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