Chick Fil-A cow and unidentified Southern Marylander
Prince Frederick, MD – The much anticipated arrival of a popular fast food franchise to Calvert County has a few hurdles to overcome before it begins to take shape. On Wednesday evening, May 17 the Calvert County Planning Commission had on its agenda as an item for discussion/action a request from the agent for the proposed Prince Frederick Chick Fil-A. The applicant, Curtis Investment Group (CIG), is seeking a grading and clearing permit for the proposed site on a tract of land between Route 2/4 and Costley Way prior to the final site plan approval. In a memo to Planning Commission Administrator Carolyn Sunderland, Dan Kelsh of Collinson, Oliff and Associates Inc. (COA) noted the panel could grant the request if it “determines issues related to the protection of natural features have been addressed satisfactorily.”

The proposed Chick Fil-A appears to have widespread community support. It would be the franchise’s first location ever in Calvert County.

“Development of this property is complicated by the surrounding areas having been mass-graded and developed previously,” Kelsh stated. “The result leaves the site elevated relative to the surrounding roads and parcels. In order to construct the project, significant clearing and grading must occur. As such, several natural features will be impacted—non-tidal wetlands, non-vegetated stream channel, forested areas and potential archeological finds. Each of these has been addressed or is in process.”

Kelsh also noted in his missive that the property owner will mitigate the removal of trees with the purchase of forested transfer of development rights. He added that the property owner—CIG, as of last month—has conducted an “initial archeological investigation at their expense and the direction of the Calvert County Historic Preservation Planner. There were no findings on these properties.” Kelsh further noted that “the original site plan layout” received full comments from Calvert’s Technical Evaluation Group last September, adding that the original plan has been modified.

In her memo to the planning commission, Sunderland stated that “the applicant did not submit the request package far enough in advance of the deadline date, to allow staff sufficient time to complete a review of the proposal.” Sunderland said staff was recommending CIG’s request be deferred until the planning commission’s June 21 meeting. 

“It seems to me a lot of miscommunication,” Planning Commission Member Maria Buehler remarked.

A motion by Planning Commission Vice Chairman Gregory A. Kernan to accept staff’s recommendation was approved by a majority of the panel. The applicant’s agent has until June 2 to submit any additional information required by the assigned agencies.

Sunderland did state in her memo to the planning commission that “to assist the applicant and possibly prevent any additional delays in the project, staff offers the following option for consideration. If agency comments reflect that the submitted request properly addresses the disposition of any on-site nature features and/or any conditions recommended by the reviewing agencies for the approval of the request are acceptable to the applicant, then the planning commission administrator may move to approve the exception on behalf of the planning commission.”

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com