June 3, 2014
Commissioners in Attendance: Jerry Burroughs, Chairman; Mary Losty, Chantay Nelson and W. Marshall Rickert
Others in attendance included: Anne Roane, City Planner and Robert S. Collison, City Attorney;
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Jerry Burroughs. A moment of silence was asked. We have one item on the Agenda for tonight and that is the site plan modification, Planning & Zoning case 04 FY 13/14 Heron Point modified site plan and preliminary architectural.
Ms. Roane addressed the Commission about the Heron Point modification. This plan did get a final site plan approval in January of 2006 and it was approved for 43 single family homes and 88 townhomes, but it would be under a condominium ownership. And that is important, because that relates to setbacks, those were not deeded lots, or they were not recorded lots, the townhouses were all one condominium ownership. The initial infrastructure was installed and the required by-pass, the roads but not the sidewalks obviously and the utilities. The property has sat there for a very long time vacant and Mr. Ricker, whom is here with his wife Eileen and his partner have bought the development and have come back in with a new product. They want to do an age restricted 55 and over development. After looking at this piece, since there are no changes to any of the lot lines, just a change from the townhomes and there is no change from the condominium ownership, it is a change in the type of product, but it is low density and this in new for us.
After talking with the Chair and the Co-Chair of the Commission that in determining, what kind of process this would go through. It was already recorded and we have already seen it you are lowering the density, so we consider this a modification to the approved final site plan. As we discussed that if any of the lot lines changed, that would then constitute a re-subdivision and we would have to go back through the process. But in this case just the product and their lessoning the density by 40 units.
Was there an increase in the open space, because of the change or has that not been calculated?
That has not been calculated as of yet. As you recall as part of this in the original development, part of the approval process required the developer to contribute towards a round-about circle that the State Highway had required, based on traffic studies in this area all new developments being proposed must comply with this requirement. That is not off the table, Mr. Ricker and his partner have been meeting with the State, State Highway, State Delegation and the Local Mayor on how to best approach the round-about circle and he can explain more of issue. We have been helping Mr. Ricker to facilitate those meetings and those are ongoing negotiations.
This is going to be an active adult community you should have the elevation of the quads or what they are calling courtyards. We have run these plans by the Fire Chief and he was very pleased with it and very supportive of it. The new buildings now have to install sprinkler systems from a fire protection stand point from the previous plan and with that I am going to let you asked questions from Mr. Ricker.
When do these sprinkler requirements kick in?
They have been in for this type of development that has townhouses, because they are attached.
The City was able to get a deferral of another year in a half on single family and so we have until
December 31, 2015 or January 1, 2016 all new construction will be required.
Mr. Ricker addressed this Commission with his name and address of 117 Riverview Road, Stevensville, MD. He co-owner with Steve Stowrow ???? on this project as you know it as Heron Point, in the future they are going to rename the project to Waterford. They also own 90 lots across the street and we will be coming back to you in the future with a site plan for that area. All of the single family homes, again they are not doing any revisions to the lot lines across the street and it is 90 single family and we are going to keep it as 90 single families.
To give you a little history, I have developed and Steve has built a project in Prince George's County, known as Cameron Grove, which is adjacent to Evangel Cathedral on Central Avenue in upper Marlboro Maryland, across the street from Six Flags. We are down literally to our last two lots, so this is a natural progression for us to start another new active adult community. I have attached all of our architecture plans, we have retained, and we believe an award winning architect out of Ellicott City, Dave Robbins of Architecture Collaborative, Inc.
He thanked Ms. Roane and the entire Planning staff here in Cambridge, they have been great to work with and have been very helpful and we are looking forward to working with them in the future.
The townhouses just do not work so we went back to our architect and asked him to come up with a unit that would fit on this site and be attractive to the market and what he came up with were these four unit, we call cottages. According to the County and City, we meet the requirements of attached units and you will see that all four units are attached via a storage shed or even could be a covered golf cart area. There are two different units, different elevations on all of those cottages and there are four different elevations for the single family units. On the interior site we are showing the Club House, that is not what this Club House is going to look like, that is just our first version of it. We intend to have a swimming pool and indoor recreation center style like facility.
The status of the project across the street is again for 90 single families to be a total of 180 units. We are working with the property owner to try and occupy his property. His property with ours, we could have well over 400 units, all active adults, all seniors and all at market rate. We are not looking for subsidies or tax credits, not anything from the State, the City or the County.
We are looking for help on the round-about circle. We have had numerous meetings with Delegate Tawanna Gaines, whom is on the Local & Regional Transportation Funding Task Force, Delegate Adelaide Eckardt, the City Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, the State Highway and at our last meeting, we all agreed to go down to MML in a few weeks and the State Highway actually called him and asked for some plans. The game plan is that everyone throws something at it to get this circle built. We cannot start building until the circle is built. So it is in our interest to get the circle built, we are committed to paving the western by-pass, all the interior roads and we are looking for some help with the circle, because it is a big number. To be honest with you, we are trying to keep the prices down, as low as we can, because we want to provide the best product for the lowest price on the Eastern Shore, not just Maryland but Delaware included. That is why we are looking for help with the circle.
All of the units will be two car garages, including the cottages, you have the architecture plans. If you have any questions.
Mr. Marshall Rickert commented to Mr. Ricker that he was very familiar with this subdivision and he understand the changes that are proposing. He was curious to Mr. Ricker's timing and faith. Do you have any feeling for that?
Mr. Ricker addressed Mr. M. Rickert that if the round-about circle was built and we had these plans approved, we would start tomorrow. We are now starting, as we have hired a marketing group out of Baltimore. Steve and I, we believe that the economy is definitely on the rebound and there is a big time market here. If we could start we would. To answer his question, it would be later this year or early next year and it really isn't broken down in phases, as we sell we build. We own the property and we have it financed and we are just waiting to get our approvals.
Are you planning to but the amenities in early in the project?
That has been discussed, when we did Cameron Grove at the time, our investor was Sun America and they wanted to wait. We do not want to wait and to answer that question better after we meet with our investor tomorrow.
Mr. Marshall Rickert commented that some of our experiences here, in the past that we are putting more of a premium on having the amenities closer to the front end of the development. We have several projects where it has been close to a decade and no amenities. I think anything that you can do and comment to on timing should lend itself favorable.
Mr. Ricker answered that he will make this commitment, when we come back before this Commission, for the Waterford site, he will have an answer for you on time for the Club House.
Mr. Collison also comment to Mr. Ricker that, what he can see the City is moving on that as well, if it is not in the first phase or so, there will be a bonding requirement. We would incorporate those types of facilities as well. That is important on a time standard.
The small dotted lines at the front of the project near the road, is this going to be a sidewalk?
When we met originally, we asked to see the backside of the quads. Do you have a picture of them?
No, I can get those with the elevations.
No section eight, right?
Mr. Burroughs liked the project, what it looks like and loves the quads and everything else. We had some questions about parking in between, but since you are going to have fronts on fronts, towards the street, we appreciate that very much.
Mr. Ricker stated that it is over parked, the property was designed originally for 72 townhouses and the all the parking bays were in, so we are reducing the density, but leaving the parking. So now everybody has a two car garage and a parking space in front of their unit, there is also parking out on the street.
Other questions about the site plans were:
Could you tell us please, about the different product and the price points?
The price points, when we did our market study in house, our closest competition was Del Webb
in Easton and they are built out. Caruso Homes is in Centreville and their smallest unit is 1,401
square feet and are selling for $289,000. Our smallest unit which is the B product of the cottage, is 1,700 or 1,800, we want to be in the low 2,000. If you get the optional second floor, it gives you over 2,000 square feet. So it would be $50,000 under Caruso and about 600 square feet larger.
So in the cottages, do you have A and B?
The front of the units are A and the ones in the back are B.
How large are the A? A little under 2,100.
The A unit which is the front units are 1,428 and with the optional second floor will give you up
to 2,000 each.
So B is actually larger?
The B units is 1,290 square feet and then just a little bit smaller.
What is the other price point on the A?
A would be $249,000.
Can you tell us about the single family?
The single family units will start around $289,000 or $299,000 and I believe that is affordable
luxury, because these floor plans are excellent.
The architectures is beautiful and the floor plans look lovely. So between the A and the B, you will have all single families, just the one type.
We have four different models with various elevations and they are attached.
The parking, I see all of these existing parking and you said that every even the cottages will have two car garages.
Is there a condo fee associated?
Yes there is going to be. We have not established that yet. We have not finished designing the
Club House and that is where, I was going to ask the City for some help. There is going to be a Condo Association and within that Condo Association, because of the cottages there are not fee simple Lots. If we wanted to look at selling the fee simple lots and then we get into different setbacks.
Ms. Roane commented that it does change your setbacks and makes it very difficult to do these quads and where the quads are now, they are all within one lot. It would further reduce your density plus there is figuring out how to do those lot lines in a quad.
Mr. Ricker continued that Steve had done that with the Prince George's County for Cameron Grove, with this similar issue. The people just like fee simple units and did not like to share roof, garage or shared storage areas. We will have to address that, there is no getting around it.
Continued questions or concerns were:
The cottages that are detached should be simple, but will they have maintenance fees for the Club House and common areas?
What would not have a fee?
All of the family detached will be fee simple, they are individual.
So 42 cottages will not be fee simple?
The 42 are the detached homes and they will be fee simple and the 48 will not, but they will all
have general maintenance fees. The maintenance fees will cover their lawn care and they will
own it out right.
Mr. Marshall Rickert commented to the way that this is presented on the agenda, is really a question to Mr. Collison and Ms. Roane. This says that it is a modified site plan and preliminary architectural. Can we include the architectural in a motion of the approval?
Mr. Collison answered as he guess the question would be, "if you are going to request to see the rear view, if you wish to defer that depending on the review of the approval," he will leave that to your discretion.
Marshall Rickert question also, "I think that if we have that within the scope of that, on a preliminary basis, I would like to go on the record that the architectural are driving a lot of the approval, are you okay with that?"
Mr. Collison advised, "That is a very important point, to emphasis that the City again is moving forward to dependent upon the architectural that are represented. In the past we have had certain architectural represented and the final product not look the same."
Mr. P. Ricker addressed the Commission that he had cut the architect loose to work on the working drawings, before this architecture. He will need to get this Commission the elevations for the rears views.
Is there another project that had similar houses on it.
These are the same products that we built in Prince George's County and were designed in 1996.
This is brand new.
Can we spend a few minutes actually describe the materials to be used?
Sure. That is stone that you are looking at, there will be a combination of stone, brick and vinyl
and a new material that does need to be painted. The shingles again with a standard roof will be
asphalt shingles. I can get a detailed list of what the facades will be.
We have had a few issues with architectural features in the past. Are the shutters wooden?
How about the garage doors, what are they made of?
I will have to get you that information.
Mr. Rickert asked if he could get a copy of the minutes to see what information he would need to get before coming to the next meeting. Ms. Roane agreed to get a copy of these minutes.
We need a list of the building materials?
Mr. Burroughs asked the Commission, "Tonight we are going to give the approval of what?"
Mr. Collison commented that it would be conditional to approve of the modification of the site plan, condition upon the receipt and review approval of the architectural that Mr. Ricker is submitting.
Marshall Rickert stated that, "We are missing the rear elevations."
Mr. Rickert stated that these are our architectural drawings, these construction drawings are based on these plans.
Regarding the storm water management, since it is out by the street. Can you give us a little detail about the surround of the storm water?
On that side it is in pretty good shape and it has a fence surrounding it, Tom Davis our engineer
has looked at it and said that it is functioning. We do not see any issues with the storm water.
We are not changing any of the storm water or road network, we are just changing the town to the
Mr. Collison had a suggestion, particularly with Mr. Ricker owning the other side of Route 343; he mentioned the golf carts to travel internally within. If he could possibly design a walking cart path in lieu of a sidewalk near Route 343 to get over to the other side and maybe with some planning with other properties to get the golf carts down to the Country Club.
Mr. Ricker has wanted to make a deal with Mr. Saunders whom owns the farm behind this site, and that is where the Club House wants to be, because there is where most of the lots are. The Club House on the original plan is right here. These lots are not finished and the road stops here.
Mr. Burroughs has asked for a motion to be made.
Mr. Marshall Rickert, "I move that the Planning Commission approve the modified site plan, as presented tonight and the preliminary architectural as submitted tonight, subject to the additional information on the architectural, which will be presented at a later date. Also, the condition upon the receipt and review approval of the final architectural."
Mary Losty had second the motion.
Mr. Burroughs stated that it has been moved and second all of those in favor, all Yeas.
Any Opposed. NONE
Ms. Roane spoke to the Commission that the first meeting in July 1st is for new sub tower at Sandy Hill Elem. School on the roof. I think that is just an antenna and not a cell tower on the roof.
Mary Lost stated that to follow up on our last meeting, was there any progress with the sign situation.
Ms. Roane stated that she was just telling Chantay that she has not done much with the.......do you mean Spicer's. The hearing is in August with Circuit Court.
Mr. Marshall Rickert spoke to, "NO with the Zoning change."
Mr. Collison commented June 16th meeting for the re-zoning changes.
Mr. Marshall Rickert stated clearly that, "and a condition on that was that the property owner is committing to conforming by signing." Has he signed that yet?
Ms. Roane had sent the information to Mr. Collison whom that it was going into the report.
Mr. Marshall Rickert clearly stated that, "We made it that, it is an incomplete submittal from the Planning Commission without that signed."
Mr. Collison asked, "Have they agreed to do that?"
Ms. Roane answered, "No, they have not agreed to do that."
Mr. Marshall Rickert, "The owner did not apply for the zoning change, the owner did not apply."
Mr. Collison stated that his understanding was that was Mr. Rickert's recommendation to the City Council was that they only approve it with that condition.
Mr. Rickert made the comment that, "The owner has to apply for the permit and in his application has to agree to conform to the sign. Because to me if I were on the Council and concern about that sign I would not approve of re-zoning. If he was going to pursue or keeping that sign in a new zone. And I think the other way, the woman said that she take care of that, she would remove that and put up a proper sign. It looks like a win all around."
Mary Lost stated that the problem was that the applicant had no standing. Ms. Roane reminded everyone that the applicant is the one wanting to lease the property. Mr. Collison stated that the non-property owner can be an applicant.
Mr. Rickert asked that he could request to re-zoning of Frank's property. Mr. Collison said that Frank would have to sign off on the application. That is what Mr. Rickert was stating is that the property owners have not signed the application and the conditions that we put on to the conforming to the sign ordinance, need to go in to whatever it is that he signs.
Ms. Roane told Mr. Collison that is the information that she had sent him.
Mr. Rickert stated that if the owner was here and we had asked him that question, and he had not made that commitment, I do not think that this Planning Commission would have recommended a zoning approval. Mr. Burroughs also agreed with this statement. If the owner signs this, Mr. Rickert believes that a court case would be moot, because of the timing.
Mr. Burroughs asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting which was moved by Mary Losty and seconded by Marshall Rickert. The meeting was closed.
Note: These minutes were approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on ???????????
Jerry Burroughs, Chairman Date