De­vel­oper presents traf­fic study for for­mer camp property



— A Tow­son de­vel­op­ment firm took the next step in its plan to build a ware­house on the for­mer Nazarene Camp property when it pre­sented a traf­fic im­pact study to the town plan­ning com­mis­sion Tues­day.

Caves Val­ley Part­ners orig­i­nally met with town of­fi­cials in March to dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of amend­ing cur­rent zon­ing laws to al­low a cross dock ware­house fa­cil­ity to be built at the site of the for­mer Chris­tian camp.

The 60-acre property lo­cated off of Route 272 is cur­rently zoned high­way com­mer­cial, but a cross dock ware­house is not among the zon­ing’s per­mit­ted uses. Caves Val­ley is not ask­ing the town to re­zone the property, but merely to mod­ify the cur­rent zon­ing’s per­mit­ted uses to al­low for a cross dock ware­house.

A cross dock ware­house dif­fers from a tra­di­tional ware­house fa­cil­ity in that ship­ments are de­liv­ered by one truck or train and then quickly trans­ferred to a dif­fer­ent truck or train with lit­tle or no stor­age time in be­tween.

Fol­low­ing the March meeting, Caves Val­ley was asked to con­duct a traf­fic


im­pact study of the area around 200 Nazarene Camp Road and then pre­sent those re­sults to the plan­ning com­mis­sion. The study pre­sented to the com­mis­sion on Tues­day night showed that the pro­posed ware­house would gen­er­ate sig­nif­i­cantly less traf­fic than a pre­vi­ously ap­proved shop­ping cen­ter at the same site, said Mark Dob­bins, chair of the plan­ning com­mis­sion. How­ever, the pro­posed ware­house would gen­er­ate more heavy truck traf­fic, he added.

“We’re look­ing at the eco­nomic im­pact of jobs and de­vel­op­ment, but also want to take into ac­count the im­pact of the truck traf­fic,” Dob­bins said, not­ing that Route 272 al­ready fre­quently gets con­gested around rush hour.

The next step in the pro- cess is to get com­ments from the State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion about the traf­fic im­pact study, Dob­bins said. The plan­ning com­mis­sion will likely get those back by ei­ther the Oc­to­ber or Novem­ber meeting, he added.

If the zon­ing us­age is ap­proved, it would be the cul­mi­na­tion of a nearly eightyear ef­fort to re­de­velop the site. The property has been va­cant since the Nazarene church sold the land to North East Com­mons LLC, of which Caves Val­ley is a man­ag­ing part­ner, in 2008.

When the com­pany first bought the for­mer camp, it orig­i­nally planned to turn the land into a 300,000-square­foot shop­ping cen­ter that would have space for restau­rants, stores and of­fices. Al­though the town ap­proved this con­cept, the eco­nomic down­turn saw many re­tail­ers pull out of the pro­posed cen­ter, and the project never went for­ward.

Then in Fe­bru­ary 2014, North East Com­mons asked the plan­ning com­mis­sion to amend zon­ing laws so it could build a cross dock ware­house — the same re­quest that’s be­fore the com­mis­sion now — but that re­quest was turned down.

Bran­don Freel, a prin­ci­pal at Caves Val­ley Part­ners, pre­vi­ously told the Whig that if North East does ap­prove the zon­ing change, the com­pany would likely build the ware­house “on spec,” or with­out a spe­cific ten­ant in mind. North East Com­mons has done some “light mar­ket­ing” of the site in the last two years and sev­eral com­pa­nies have ex­pressed in­ter­est, though none want to com­mit un­less the land is prop­erly zoned.


A Tow­son de­vel­op­ment firm hopes to even­tu­ally build a ware­house on the site of the for­mer Nazarene Camp property in North East.

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