Town cen­ter to get new pub­lic road

Fire­house site plan also OK’d

The Calvert Recorder - - Front Page - By TA­MARA WARD [email protected]­

The Calvert County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion ap­proved a re­quest to cre­ate a pub­lic road in the Vil­lage District of Prince Fred­er­ick Town Cen­ter dur­ing a spe­cial meet­ing Nov. 27.

The pro­posed Calvert Hills Road and pro­posed round­about con­nec­tion to Prince Fred­er­ick Boule­vard is as­so­ci­ated with the Calvert Hills apart­ment devel­op­ment. The pub­lic right of way will ex­tend west from the pri­vately owned Ra­dio Drive.

“The ul­ti­mate goal is to have a pub­lic right of way that ex­tends east-west from Prince Fred­er­ick to tie in

to a re­served fu­ture right of way that was plat­ted with Col­lege Sta­tion [but not yet fully ap­proved], which ul­ti­mately leads out to Route 231 at the in­ter­sec­tion with J.W. Wil­liams Road,” county plan­ner Olivia Vi­dotto said. J.W. Wil­liams Road, home to the county’s Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land cam­pus, is not cur­rently part of the town cen­ter but could be in­cluded in the new town cen­ter bound­aries if the new draft com­pre­hen­sive plan is ap­proved.

Ra­dio Drive LLC, aka Osprey Devel­op­ment Group, owner of Calvert Hills, sub­mit­ted a sub­di­vi­sion ap­pli­ca­tion for lots and the pub­lic right of way along with a site plan for phase 1 of an apart­ment pro­ject.

Ac­cord­ing to staff doc­u­ments, the pro­posed pub­lic road will be plat­ted in its en­tirety and built to the point of ac­cess for the pro­posed apart­ment com­plex and slightly beyond to main­tain the use of an ex­ist­ing ac­cess ease­ment and road that runs through the prop­erty.

Once the align­ment of the right of way is ap­proved by the plan­ning board, the as­so­ci­ated sub­di­vi­sion and site plan will be pre­sented at a fu­ture plan­ning meet­ing.

Vi­dotto said the Prince Fred­er­ick Town Cen­ter Mas­ter Plan and Zon­ing Or­di­nance pro­motes new lo­cal roads to pro­vide more space for busi­nesses, al­ter- nate routes for emergency ve­hi­cles and the abil­ity for traffic to be di­verted from Route 2/4.

“We know how im­por­tant that is, right?” Vi­dotto rhetor­i­cally asked.

Prior to ap­prov­ing a road right of way in a town cen­ter, the plan­ning com­mis­sion is re­quired to hold a pub­lic hear­ing and no­tify ad­ja­cent prop­erty own­ers.

Vi­dotto said the com­mis­sion ap­proved the hear­ing process and time­line on March 21 and that Ra­dio Drive LLC has fol­lowed the time­line and re­quire­ments for no­ti­fi­ca­tion to ad­ja­cent prop­erty own­ers and ad­ver­tis­ing of the pub­lic hear­ing.

One ad­ja­cent prop­erty owner is Johnny Gott, pres­i­dent of The Gott Com­pany, which owns Q-Dog Fu­els, heat­ing oil, propane and petroleum prod­ucts; eight FaS­top con­ve­nience stores; and the Magic Tun­nel Car Wash, which is lo­cated at Route 2/4 and Ra­dio Drive. This por­tion of Ra­dio Drive will re­main pri­vate.

Con­cept plans in the staff doc­u­ments show the pro- posed right of way con­tin­u­ing through the ad­ja­cent prop­erty that is also owned by Ra­dio Drive LLC with a small por­tion cross­ing the Gott prop­erty.

“So this ex­ten­sion was re­quired by the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works as well as Plan­ning and Zon­ing to en­sure that the road could con­tinue and meet road or­di­nance re­quire­ments to avoid prob­lems at a later date,” Vi­dotto said. “You don’t want to plot a pub­lic road that stops at a cer­tain point and when the de­vel­oper comes in ad­ja­cent to that to con­tinue the road, it [can’t] be done. It can’t meet the road or­di­nances.”

A wider por­tion of the pub­lic right of way abut­ting the Gott prop­erty will pro­vide ad­e­quate frontage to build a fu­ture com­mer­cial en­trance on that par­cel. Vi­dotto ver­bally amended her staff doc­u­ments to in­clude that the land owned by Gott as part of the ap­proval by the plan­ning com­mis­sion for the por­tion of the pub­lic right of way con­tained in the pro­ject shown as Calvert Hills, and that the por­tion beyond that is owned by Ra­dio Drive LLC.

“The ap­pli­cant and Mr. Gott are cur­rently work­ing to­gether and both par­ties are will­ing to deed the right of way area and con­struc­tion ease­ments to the county,” Vi­dotto said, shar­ing a re­cent phone con­ver­sa­tion with Gott and Randy Bar­rett, pres­i­dent R.A. Bar­rett & As­so­ciates, a Prince Fred­er­ick based en­gi­neer­ing, land plan­ning and sur­vey­ing com­pany. Bar­rett and Gott have a part­ner­ship, Bargo LLC, which owns 60 acres slated for devel­op­ment at Ar­mory Square.

“Our goal is to have the right of way and ease­ments in place that will al­low ei­ther Osprey or Gott to pro­ceed uni­lat­er­ally or co­op­er­a­tively,” Bar­rett said in a fol­low-up email to Vi­dotto on Nov. 27.

Bar­rett in­formed The Calvert Recorder that he was con­sult­ing for Gott on this pro­ject.

Vi­dotto said the pro­ject has been un­der re­view for over a year, pub­lic works has re­viewed and ap­proved pre­lim­i­nary road plans, and while there is more work to be done with the plans, they are com­fort­able with the lo­ca­tion of the align­ment of a pub­lic right of way, but ac­knowl­edged they “may shift a lit­tle.”

Plan­ning Com­mis­sion At­tor­ney John Mattingly said mi­nor re­vi­sions to the plans do not have to come back be­fore the plan­ning board, but if there are any ma­jor de­vi­a­tions they will have to come back for another pub­lic hear­ing, ac­cord­ing to Vi­dotto.

“At this time, both en­gi­neers — Nel­son Aro­cho, Bay En­gi­neer­ing and Randy Bar­rett — feel that what you see be­fore you is pretty much the align­ment that will work to meet the road or­di­nance,” Vi­dotto said.

Vi­dotto re­called a joint ap­pli­ca­tion for a devel­op­ment called Vil­lages of Calvert sev­eral years ago, where Gott and Osprey were work­ing to­gether. The plan­ning com­mis­sion ap­proved of the pre­lim­i­nary plans and the ex­ten­sion of West Dares Beach Road in De­cem­ber 2008. Road con­struc­tion plans for the ex­ten­sion of West Dares Beach Road were also sub­mit­ted and ap­proved pend­ing stream mit­i­ga­tion, but all have since ex­pired.

Now the two en­ti­ties are work­ing in­de­pen­dently. Osprey has to ac­quire the ease­ments and land that would cross through prop­er­ties it did not own. While there are en­vi­ron­men­tal con­straints as­so­ci­ated with the ex­ten­sion of West Dares Beach Road, Vi­dotto said both keep that option open.

“As a mat­ter of fact, Johny Gott is ask­ing them to pre­serve the area that clips their par­cel and they in turn are go­ing to work with them for the [for­est re­ten­tion area trans­fer­able devel­op­ment rights] they need to off­set their for­est re­ten­tion,” Vi­dotto said, not­ing they may both be plot­ted and built.

Staff rec­om­mended the ap­proval of the pro­posed right of way with the con­di­tion that com­pleted road plans must be sub­mit­ted and ap­proved by pub­lic works prior to sub­mit­tal of the fi­nal plats for the re­lated sub­di­vi­sion or fi­nal site plan ap­proval. Any sub­stan­tial changes to the lo­ca­tion would re­quire another pub­lic hear­ing for ap­proval.

Mattingly said “this is just the align­ment. There will be some­thing more for­mal go­ing for­ward prob­a­bly.”

Plan­ning com­mis­sion mem­ber Carolyn McHugh mo­tioned for the ap­proval of the pro­posed right of way with the rec­om­mended con­di­tions and found it was in com­pli­ance with all ap­pli­ca­ble zon­ing or­di­nances. It passed with­out op­po­si­tion.

The com­mis­sion also ap­proved an ap­pli­ca­tion to raze the ex­ist­ing 18,000-square-foot Prince Fred­er­ick Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment build­ing and re­place it with a larger 29,929-square-foot build­ing. The Calvert County Board of Ap­peals ap­proved a vari­ance in June for the height lim­i­ta­tion from 36 to 40 feet to con­struct a re­place­ment fire sta­tion sub­ject to the con­di­tion that the ap­pli­cant suc­cess­fully com­plete the per­mit process.


The Calvert County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion ap­proved the pro­posed Calvert Hills Road, which ex­tends to Prince Fred­er­ick Boule­vard and is as­so­ci­ated with the Calvert Hills apart­ment devel­op­ment lo­cated in Prince Fred­er­ick. The pub­lic right of way will ex­tend west from pri­vately owned Ra­dio Drive.

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