The purpose of this meeting was mainly for the Commission to make a recommendation to the Town Council in regard to the rezoning petition for the “Joy Property” at 7306 Springfield Avenue (Triangular Parcel 1).
Town Planner, Kevin Rubenstein explained that the owners of the Joy property are continuing their request of rezoning from business local to business general for auto repair business. The Commission has 3 recommendation options: approve new zoning as Business General, modify Business Local to accommodate service stations, or disapprove any changes. Mr. Rubenstein emphasized that the Commission’s focus must remain on whether the business is appropriate for the location under business general allowing for a service station establishment. If the Commission agrees it is and the Council approves, issues of the site plan which will address specific issues such as parking, screening, and sight lines would be the next step. Mr. Rubenstein reviewed the full Town staff report in regard to this rezoning request as well as the property owners petition for this zoning change. These documents can be found respectively at:
In public comment, a resident expressed concern in regard to traffic near the Middle School and the proper disposal and storage of hazardous fluids and solid waste such as tires.
Kelly Miller, attorney for the property, and the owners explained that once the property is a business again, regulation by Maryland will take care of concerns about hazardous fluids and solid waste as it is regulated and inspected. Concerns of expansion can be alieved as the size of the property at 0.2 acres will not allow for any other of the limited commercial uses under business general. Regardless, the intent of the Joy family is to keep it a service facility, not to grow or expand it. While not part of the rezoning process, the owners plan to put screening on property they own behind it as well as parking. They also spoke about the history of this property. It opened as a service station in 1917. The Joy family’s father later took over that business as a gas and service station. Additionally, there is history of school kids stopping on the way home for soda and candy.
Additional discussion continued in regard to setbacks on the 2 other properties (zoned residential) and parking spots. Town Manager, Joe Consentini indicated that the code allows for offsite parking, which the Joys intend to make 3 parking spots on the north side of Parcel 1. Ms. Miller mentioned that this was discussed at the March meeting with the Town. Onsite parking would require 8x20ft size parking spots. The number of spots required is based on the floor area of the business to accommodate customers which will fit on Parcel 1. This is for retail parking not storage. Ms. Kelly says this reinforces there is not a lot can be put in this site. Either the site plan or Board of Zoning Appeal (BZA) process would address restrictions for additional parking on additional lots.
The Commission decided to take another meeting to keep the conversation going. The Town staff will work on the modification or text amendment to Business local to include service stations if the Commission decided that would be a better way to proceed. The Planning Commission’s December meeting will continue the discussion and it was requested that the engineer be present to help determine the feasibility of resolving sight line and other concerns.
This meeting can be viewed in its entirety at https://www.facebook.com/carrollmediacenter/videos/347972937790151.