Aquatic therapy

Leonardtown, MD — The St. Mary’s County Planning Commission approved April 11 the concept site plan for a new building in Mechanicsville that will house a physical therapy business on the first flour and four apartments on the second floor. The building will include facilities for aqua therapy.

The 14,211 square foot building for Freedom Therapy will be on the southbound lanes on Route 5 between the Morgan Building and a gas station and liquor store. The building will replace an existing house on the property which also has frontage on Old Village Road.

Wayne Hunt with consulting engineering firm Little Silences Rest told the commission there was a critical need for the facility in the northern part of St. Mary’s County. He said the aqua therapy would be the first of its kind for that area.

The building will have buffering along Route 5 and also to protect an adjacent house. But Board member Shelby Guazzo also argued for a sidewalk to the rear of the property along Old Village Road. She said there was a need to begin a pedestrian network in the area leading into the old village of Mechanicsville.

Hunt said the amount of land available for a sidewalk was limited because of the area dedicated for the septic field. He said a sidewalk could be constructed at the edge of Old Village Road’s right of way. But he also said he wasn’t sure whether the county’s Department of Public Works and Transpiration would allow the sidewalk in the right of way.

According to Freedom Therapy Solutions’ website the company is owned by Michael and Jen O’Brien. He is a native of St. Mary’s County and has 17 year of experience in physical therapy. They are currently located in an office building on the opposite side of the Morgan Building

In the end the approval by the commission was near unanimous, with Guazzo voting against, restating her desire for the sidewalk.

Contact Dick Myers at