Planning & Zoning Meeting Minutes
November 5, 2012
Absent: Mary Losty; William Craig, Vice Chairman; Dwight Cromwell & Marshall Rickert
Others in attendance included: Anne Roane, City Planner; Dan Brandewie, City Planner II
Chairman Jerry Burroughs called the meeting to order and asked for a moment of silence.
For the record, Mr. Burroughs said Mary Losty is unable to attend this meeting, William Craig is in Seattle, Dwight Cromwell is unable to be here and Marshall Rickert is in a Baltimore hospital with his mother-in-law. The Planning Commission (PC) will go through Popeye's proposal for preliminary recommendation and will give them guidance. He requested this information be entered into the record, so if any questions come up about it, they can entertain it later. He asked each PC member if they had a problem with this: they both said no.
Antonio Akaras is Principal in the company that is opening up Popeyes in Cambridge.
Paul Patel said he is one of the partners of Popeyes; Ashish Patel is one of the partners and operating member of Popeyes.
Mr. Burroughs stated the PC does not have a quorum tonight. Tonight the Popeyes members are the only ones on the agenda. He knows they need permits; the PC will go over some issues.
Mr. Akaras requested consideration to keep the pylon sign. One of the overriding factors in Popeyes coming to Cambridge was the visibility of the pylon sign coming from the bridge.
Ms. Roane said the pylon sign should have come down within 90 days of the former Popeyes closing; the City was in error of not making that happen. The PC has the authority to tell you they don't want the pylon sign; the applicant can appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA).
Ms. Loeffler said the new ordinance will enforce regulations on signs that need to be removed. She suggested applicant take pictures of the proposed sign and the location they want for the sign; scan the pictures into the computer. Using a computer program applicant can cut and paste the sign in different locations to see how the sign relates to other existing signs.
Mr. Burroughs said the PC is under restrictions by the Governor to clean up all of the signs from the Bay Bridge to Rt. 50 all of the way down to Ocean City. That is one of the decisions made to get rid of these high signs as well. Ms. Roane said there is a lot of visual clutter that is on Rt. 50 that has been an issue for years.
Ms. Roane requested the applicant submit a proposal. As soon as they do Ms. Roane will submit it to the PC. The PC wants to work with the applicant. Ms. Roane suggested the applicant come back at the November 20th meeting.
Ashish Patel asked if they could keep the sign separate and move forward with the permit because Popeyes wants to open by the end of this year. Mr. Burroughs said since they do not have a quorum, he can call a PC member and obtain a vote via telephone. He asked the PC members if they both were comfortable with that; Ms. Loeffler and Mr. Trego both said they are.
Mr. Burroughs spoke to Marshall Rickert via telephone and told him there was one issue - signage. The applicant will be coming back to the PC on November 14th or the 20th, but the PC wants the applicant to move forward with the exterior of the building. Mr. Rickert's voice was audible through a speaker phone and he said he will go on record supporting that, but he also wants to go on record that he will not support any re-use of the signage structure that is there. Mr. Rickert said he is delighted that Popeyes is coming to town.
Mr. Burroughs told applicant they can continue working. Ms. Roane said applicant can continue to get all of their permits, but the sign permit.
Ashish Patel said thank you; that keeps Popeyes on schedule.
Mr. Burroughs said on behalf of the Planning Commission, welcome to Cambridge Popeyes, glad to have you; hurry up and open up.
Ms. Loeffler told Popeyes that if they are looking at the fluctuation of people that come here, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge has numbers on how many visitors they bring in a year and it is in the 100,000's. Also, Cambridge has the Eagle Man Triathlon and Chesapeake Man.
It was properly moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting at 7:55 p.m.
Anne D. Roane
Note: These minutes were approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on December 20th, 2012.