Friday, February 22, 2013

The February Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

I went to the February Planning and Zoning Commission meeting last night at the Maryland Town Hall.  It was a short meeting - overwith by 7:45PM.  The members of the commission that were present were; Catellier, Ring, Luffman, Boyan and Dixon.  Robt Thompson was missing.

Among the items discussed were the proposed Tap Room that is looking at going into Caurso's Pizza at Delmar Commons.   The person who is looking at opening this bar is Erik Williams who is co-owner of Anejo Mexican Grill and Tequila bar in Trolly square Wilmington, Delaware. I understand he was originally from Laurel, Delaware and has family around Delmar.  He had an interesting run in with Ruby Tuesday back last year.  Ruby Tuesday bought a chain of restaurants in Florida called Lime Fresh Mexican Grill.  At that time William's bar was called Lime Tequila Bar.  Ruby Tuesdays sent him a letter saying they had a patent on the name Lime in restaurants and he had best change his name or be sued.  He decided he didn't have the money to fight it, so he changed the name.  The commission had a discussion centered around which percentage of sales would be alcohol and what percentage would be food - it would appear if it is a higher percentage of food it is classified as a restaurant and could come under the current zoning.  They finally decided since it was being called a tap room it would be a bar (beer joint -  after all a rose by any other name is still a rose or in this case a beer joint).  The commission decided to table the request until next month.

Next came Chris Gilkerson of Amber Ridge LLC who wants to built a single family home on lot 16 Amber Ridge II subdivision.  The home will be 1200 sq ft, 3 bedroom, 2 baths, stick built and sell for about $140,000.  Again this commission seem very loose on the requirements of layout and plats and what the house will look like from the builder and developer.  Gilkerson said the photo of the image of the house was one he got off the internet and the actual house would vary slightly.  He also did not map out driveways.  In the end the commission gave it a favorable variance and moved it on to the Joint Council meeting next Monday night.

Finally Chris Gilkerson requested to build a new home at 403 East Chestnut, Delmar, Maryland.  For those who may remember 403 East Chestnut had a two store house that caught fire a couple of years back and the house was torn down leaving an empty lot.  The Real Estate agent told how the lot had been on the market for 9 months and he had no potential buyers for it.  He said it would be a great thing if Gilkerson would build a house on the lot as so many people want to move to Delmar due to the great school system ( was that a kiss ass approach to one of the P&Z Commission members?) .  The house Gilkerson wants to build however is a single story, 1,000 sq ft, 3 bedroom 2 baths, sells for $140,000 and is long and narrow.  Again his drawing were confused as it didn't seem to have a backdoor to the house and decks and driveways were unclear.   Simply put this house is out of character for the neighborhood.  The neighborhood is made up of American Four Squares and Victorians built around 1920.  A single story house will stick out like a sore thumb.  The Commissioners looked for ways to justify the house and eventually they gave a favorable recommendation (4 ayes 1 nay)  to the Joint council to approve the building of the house.  The one vote against it was from Bunky Luffman. 

Altho Gilkerson didn't think a two story house could be built and sold at that price there have been several built in town that has sold.  Most notably are the ones to the East of Cheers on State street and behind the one on State Street.  Also when I think back to 2008 when Bill Mervine came before the commission asking for a favorable recommendation to build a house on lot #3 of Bynum Lane all the shit they gave him about the house design (it also was two story).  Today no one on the commission seem that much concerned as to what the house looks like nor how many windows nor what color it will be.  It is an insult to those people who have tried to build in Delmar in past years and had to jump thru hoops to do so and today people such as Gilkerson and Marshall can submit almost anything for a design and get approval.

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