Com­mis­sion­ers sched­ule hear­ing for Hugh­esville zon­ing

Pro­posed dis­trict will pro­mote de­vel­op­ment laid out in 2007 re­vi­tal­iza­tion plan

Maryland Independent - - News - By PAUL LAGASSE pla­gasse@somd­ Twit­ter: @PaulIndyNews

The Charles County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers on Aug. 1 voted unan­i­mously to sched­ule a pub­lic hear­ing in Septem­ber on the pro­posed Hugh­esville Vil­lage Zon­ing Dis­trict fol­low­ing re­vi­sions to the plan based on pub­lic com­ments.

Amy Blessinger of the Charles County De­part­ment of Plan­ning and Growth Man­age­ment ex­plained that the goal of the new zon­ing was to im­ple­ment the vi­sion out­lined in the 2007 Hugh­esville Vil­lage Re­vi­tal­iza­tion Plan. The plan pro­poses turn­ing Old Leonard­town Road into a pedes­trian-friendly “main street” and pro­mot­ing re­de­vel­op­ment and em­ploy­ment ini­tia­tives while main­tain­ing the “ex­ist­ing vil­lage char­ac­ter and scale.”

Blessinger ex­plained that the pro­posed zon­ing amend­ment re­clas­si­fies the six ex­ist­ing zones into four “sub-zones” that es­tab­lish res­i­den­tial and em­ploy­ment dis­tricts as well as a “core” near the in­ter­sec­tion of Old Leonard­town Road and Prince Fred­er­ick Road, and a “gate­way” zone a lit­tle fur­ther east around the twin traf­fic cir­cles at the Leonard­town Road ex­its.

“It’s im­por­tant to note that the map changes fol­low the ex­ist­ing vil­lage bound­aries,” Blessinger said.

The plan­ning com­mis­sion had sought pub­lic com­ment at open meet­ings in 2015 and 2016. Fol­low­ing a pub­lic hear­ing in April, the com­mis­sion held an open work ses­sion in July to in­cor­po­rate some mi­nor re­vi­sions. At that time, the com­mis­siom voted to sub­mit the zon­ing pack­age to the com­mis­sion­ers with a rec­om­men­da­tion to adopt the pro­posed plan.

The plan also calls for pro­vid­ing own­ers of his­toric prop­er­ties with in­for­ma­tion on how the pro­posed zon­ing changes pro­vide in­cen­tives for pre­serv­ing his­toric struc­tures and a list of pro­grams and fund­ing sources for own­ers who want to pre­serve their prop­er­ties.

The pub­lic hear­ing on the pro­posed zon­ing changes will be Tues­day, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. in the Com­mis­sion­ers Meeting Room at the Charles County Gov­ern­ment Build­ing in La Plata.

Also dur­ing Tues­day’s meeting, Com­mis­sioner Ken Robin­son (D) com­mended the Charles County Safety Of­fice for its ef­forts to se­cure a grant of nearly $20,000 that en­abled it to pur­chase 54 au­to­mated ex­ter­nal de­fib­ril­la­tors for in­stal­la­tion at county-owned build­ings, parks and com­mu­nity cen­ters. “Th­ese de­fib­ril­la­tors can eas­ily save the life of some­one who is hav­ing a car­diac in­ci­dent,” Robin­son said. “I en­cour­age ev­ery­one to be aware that th­ese ex­ist and if you see any­body in dis­tress, know that help is pretty close by.”

Com­mis­sion­ers’ Vice Pres­i­dent Amanda M. Ste­wart (D) an­nounced that she will be host­ing her third an­nual Back to School Com­mu­nity Fiesta on Satur­day, Aug. 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Mat­ta­woman Mid­dle School, 10145 Berry Road in Wal­dorf. “All Charles County stu­dents K through 12 are in­vited to come out for a day of fun while learn­ing,” Ste­wart said. The first 200 stu­dents to at­tend will re­ceive a free back­pack.

The com­mis­sion­ers are in re­cess un­til Tues­day, Sept. 12. The items on the agenda for the morn­ing meeting in­clude a re­quest for ap­proval for the 2017 Land Preser­va­tion, Parks and Re­cre­ation Plan and a brief­ing on the pro­posed De­vel­op­ment Rights and Re­spon­si­bil­i­ties Agree­ment (DRRA) Amend­ment for the Town Cen­ter South project. There will also be brief­ings on the county li­brary master plan and ease­ment con­ser­va­tion op­tions for the county-owned In­dian Head Tech­nol­ogy Park prop­erty.

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