• City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
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BZA Minutes

September 23, 2014

The Board of Zoning Appeals for the City of Cambridge met at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, in the City Council Chambers located at 305 Gay Street, Cambridge, Maryland.

Jane Devlin, Chair called the meeting to order and took the roll call of members present.

Board Members in Attendance: Jane Devlin-Chair, Brian Manning, Ted Brooks,-Vice Chair.

Other Representatives in Attendance: Anne Roane, City Planner, Charles Lednum, Jr. co-owner of Lednum Hearing Center.

Ms. Devlin discussed the order of proceedings and proceeded to swear in anyone wishing to testify on any of the agenda items. She asked those who were sworn in to give their name and address for the record.

NEW CASE

BZA#04, FY 14/15, 400 Maryland Ave. Cambridge MD: Lednum Hearing Centers, LLC-Charles Lednum III and Charles Lednum, Jr. (applicants): Special Exception (SE) request to allow a commercial apartment in the NC-3 zoning district. Tax Map 0303, Parcel 5249

Ms. Roane stated that everyone had a packet of information including the application, report from staff and a report from the State Fire Marshall. There is not a separate report from the City Fire Chief, because he was on the same visit with the State Fire Marshall. This project is located at 400 Maryland Avenue, currently vacant; prior to this it was for sale and Mr. Lednum has a contract pending on this for a Special Exception to allow the commercial apartment. Commercial apartments are allowed in the NC zones, with Special Exception. This location has had an apartment for years. The issue that the applicant has run into is that the building has been vacant for over 90 days, which makes it-that the Special Exception does not go with the land. It was previously operating as a commercial apartment with an insurance office underneath on the first floor. The apartment above was prior to the 2003 ordinance being adopted. Mr. Lednum is now going through the process. Special Exception (applications) goe before the Planning & Zoning Commission for a recommendation; this Board actually grants the Special Exception. Also, in her staff report is the supplementary use regulation, Section 256.3 regarding Commercial Apartments (Zoning Ordinance May 12, 2003). Planning & Zoning Commission reviewed the proposed application and voted to make a favorable recommendation to the Board of Zoning Appeals with the condition that in lieu of a secondary exit from the commercial apartment that the applicant provide an emergency ladder. That was also a recommendation from the State Fire Marshall made verbally to the applicant. The applicant agreed to do that. There is also sufficient parking on the site. The recommendation was made at the meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission on September 9, 2014. All the notices and ads were run for the timeframe required for this hearing tonight.

Mr. Manning had no questions at this time.

Mr. Brooks asked if we need to include the conditions that the State Fire Marshall recommends. Planning & Zoning Commission included the emergency ladder which was not on the report from the State Fire Marshall. Ms. Roane stated that we do not have to mention them; the applicant has to comply with the conditions from the State Fire Marshall. The ladder was not required by the State Fire Marshall, it was a suggestion from her. The complete application goes in as part of the record.

Ms. Devlin wanted a clarification that the ladder was a side recommendation from Heather White, the State Fire Marshall and the others will have to be done; and then Ms. White will sign off. The City Codes does not require a second floor egress. Ms. Roane said that the Code does not require it and we are fine just as Staff to have the emergency ladder.

The meeting was now open to applicant.

Mr. Charles Lednum, Jr., part owner with his father of the Lednum Hearing Center, Cambridge. We had asked the State Fire Marshall and the City Fire Chief to come and inspect our property on Poplar Street and while we had them, we asked if they could see the Maryland Avenue property. He wanted to know if they needed the second floor egress for the apartment and Ms. White said that it was not required and just simply suggested that it would be nice to provide a ladder to escape out a window in case something were to happen. When it was brought up at the Planning & Zoning meeting, I made the suggestion that the State Fire Marshall had offered this and that seemed to please everyone.

Ms. Roane stated that is why it is placed in the recommendation from the Planning & Zoning Commission. A commercial apartment is defined as an apartment over an existing commercial or office structure. To add, something that does not need this Committee's approval, but we had discussions with Mr. Lednum about needing a sign permit for his sign; that it will be to code. This Special Exception for tonight is for the land use only.

Mr. Manning made a motion to close the meeting to public comments and was second by Mr. Brooks and voted all in favor.

Discussion:

Mr. Manning said that the property has been commercial for years and there are no real changes of the use from what it has been. No one from the neighborhood is disapproving of the use. The outside of the building will not be changed to affect the neighborhood.

Mr. Brooks thinks that the use of the building for this type of business will be good for the neighborhood. There are medical offices all around the area, so therefore it is a good idea and to take another empty property off the market and also on a major gateway.

Ms. Devlin asked for a motion to close deliberations. Moved by Mr. Brooks and seconded by Mr. Manning. All in favor: 3 yes.

Mr. Manning made a motion to grant the Special Exception based on the standards that the establishment, maintenance and operation of this use will not be detrimental to public safety, convenient and morals, etc.; is not injurious for the use of enjoyment of other properties in the immediate vicinity; no change in the architectural appeal or function in any way and there are adequate utilities, adequate measures to provide egress, parking etc.; is not contrary to objectives in the current Comprehensive Plan and the Special Exception shall in all respects conform to all applicable regulations of the District, which located, it does. Therefore I find it warrants a Special Exception. Adding the inclusion of the providing an emergency ladder. This motion is seconded by Mr. Brooks. Voted all in favor: 3 yes.

Ms. Devlin asked for a work session at the next meeting, October 28, 2015.

Ms. Devlin asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Brooks. All in favor: 3 yes.

Signature: ____________________ Date: _________________
Chairman, Board of Zoning Appeals

Note: These minutes were approved at the BZA meeting conducted on __________, 2014.