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Calvert's Parking Regulations May Change
Prince Frederick, MD - 8/17/2012
By Marty Madden
If you’re looking for a place to park Calvert County appears to have plenty of room. Though they were three members short Aug. 15, the Calvert County Planning Commission discussed with Department of Community Planning and Building staff possible changes in parking regulations for new commercial and residential development.
In a memo to the planning commission, Department of Community Planning and Building Deputy Director Mary Beth Cook reported the department’s Policy and Development Review Division has done a comprehensive examination of the parking regulations that were adopted in 2006.
The division hopes to reduce the number of spaces for businesses “to enhance economic viability,” Cook stated. Other objectives are to reduce the amount of impervious surface, which would reduce stormwater runoff and “eliminate parking requirements based on legal occupancy, which requires a determination from the [State] Fire Marshal’s Office.”
Cook told the planning commission that a code enforcement officer recently conducted a survey of parking at the Fox Run Shopping Center and the Walmart—both located on Route 2/4 in Prince Frederick—and neither location was maxed out.
In staff’s parking regulation comparison, it was noted that Walmart was required to have 428 spaces when its site plan was approved. The site provides 554 spaces and under the proposed regulations 306 spaces would be required.
“Are we opening up a can of worms?” Planning Commission Chairman Maurice Lusby asked. He cited as an example the Prince Frederick Shopping Center, which appears to have a full lot Fridays and Saturdays due to the big crowds at the Greene Turtle. Prior to the opening of the franchise sports bar during the latter part of the last decade, the shopping center had amble parking at all times.
In addition to parking regulations, Cook stated the county’s landscape regulations are also being considered for modification. “The amount and type of landscaping is being modified to improve the character and appearance of streets, parking areas and the buffers between land uses,” Cook stated.
Planning commission members will get another look at the proposed changes and discuss the issue further prior to sending the amended regulations out to agencies. A public hearing on proposed changes could be scheduled once the planning commission reviews the agency comments.
Contact Marty Madden at email@example.com
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