Commissioners schedule hearing for Hughesville zoning
Proposed district will promote development laid out in 2007 revitalization plan
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.