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St. Leonard Plan's Third Draft Presented
St. Leonard, MD - 8/2/2012
By Marty Madden
The third and possibly final draft of the St. Leonard Town Center Master Plan update was presented to the public at a July 31 public hearing. The joint hearing—conducted by the Calvert County Commissioners and Calvert County Planning Commission—was held at the St. Leonard Volunteer Fire Department. It was the latest step in a process that began in 2008.
According to Department of Community Planning and Building Principal Planner Jenny Plummer-Welker, the latest plan expands the town center boundary to include St. Leonard Elementary School and splits the current “Village District” into the “Mixed Use” and “Core” districts.
Other modifications include reduction of the “upper” number of potential additional dwellings from 860 to 340, deletion of the goal and action to explore the feasibility of providing a public sewer system and elimination of a plan to establish a “form-based code” for the previously proposed commercial core.
While the master plan does include consideration for a second access road in and out of the Long Beach-Calvert Beach subdivisions, Plummer-Welker said “nothing is specified in the plan.”
“I like this one a lot more (than the previous drafts),” Commissioner Susan Shaw [R] stated during the afternoon work session.
Several area residents offered their comments during the evening hearing.
Sandy Anderson stated the second access road to the beach subdivisions was important to residents in that it provides an additional escape route in the event of a hurricane or an accident at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby. Currently, Calvert Beach Road is the only way providing the subdivision residents a way in and out of their community.
Despite five years of meetings and work sessions, one town resident, Darrell Johnson, said “I had no idea this meeting was going to take place.” Johnson warned that if commercial development isn’t carefully handled, some of the problems plaguing communities in Prince George’s County could happen in St. Leonard. “What businesses are expressing an interest in St. Leonard?” Johnson asked.
Another town resident, Tammy Grover, indicated at some point the feasibility of a public sewerage system in St. Leonard needed to be researched. “This is not a small, quaint community,” said Grover.
Bob Pace of the Oakhill Farm Homeowners Association expressed concern about Woods Road and Toms Lane being identified as connection points for the second access for Calvert Beach and Long Beach. Both roads are within residential subdivisions.
The planning commission opted to accept the county government staff’s recommendation to leave the public record open for 30 days. That would mean the panel could make a final decision during its September meeting. “We’ll certainly look at any suggestions we receive,” said Maurice Lusby, the planning commission chairman.
The planning commission recommendation would then be forwarded to the county commissioners. Commissioners’ President Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark [R] said the board cannot change specific line items. The commissioners will vote to either adopt or reject the planning commission’s recommendation.
One county commissioner has stated he will not be voting on the St. Leonard Town Center Master Plan when it comes before the board. Commissioner Steven R. Weems [R], who resides in St. Leonard and owns a business within the town center, will recuse himself from the final call.
For more information on the St. Leonard Town Center Master Plan and submitting comment on the third draft, visit the Calvert County Government web site at www.co.cal.md.us
Contact Marty Madden at email@example.com
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