Prince Frederick, MD  –
With comments finally received from various agencies a request to allow the developers of a proposed Chick Fil-A restaurant in Prince Frederick to grade and clear their property before submitting a site plan was approved unanimously by the Calvert County Planning Commission during the panel’s June 21 meeting.

Since the proposed restaurant will have a drive through facility the project needs the conditional approval of the Planning Commission. According to Planning Commission Administrator Carolyn V. Sunderland, engineer Dan Kelsh of Collinson, Oliff and Associates (COA), on behalf of Curtis Investment Group, submitted the request for a special exception to the Prince Frederick Town Center Zoning Ordinance. Since the request was submitted in late April there was not enough time for the required agencies to review it. A majority of the planning commission members voted to defer the item until the June meeting.

According to Sunderland’s memo to the Planning Commission, the applicant is requesting the exception under a provision that allows for it if there are issues related to the protection of natural features. The comments were received from the county’s environmental planner, Historic Preservation planner and Department of Public Works Engineering Division.

“An archeological survey has been completed for the overall site,” stated Calvert Historic Preservation Planner Kirsti Uunila, who added “there remains a high probability of accidental discovery of archeological resources” on one of the parcels.

Department of Public Works Project Engineer Douglas Ostazeski noted that the current site plan shows a “site access provided off of Costley Way. This access crosses over a strip of land which is owned by the Board of County Commissioners.” Ostazeski stated the applicant “must obtain a formal agreement with the Board of County Commissioners prior to obtaining a grading permit and performing any work on this parcel.”

The environmental planner notes “conflicting information” about whether “non-tidal wetlands and streams” are located within and in proximity to the project site. A report submitted last September by COA indicates “jurisdictional wetlands are present within the site.”

Jim Winship, a Prince Frederick resident who attended the meeting, reminded the Planning Commission that “Route 4 is scheduled to be widened significantly. We have a major State Highway improvement that directly impacts this site.” Winship stated the site’s current retention pond may not prove adequate with the two projects underway. Kelsh indicated that the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is reviewing access to the site, adding that SHA officials are likely to make sure any stormwater management plans in the project area are sufficient.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com