Prince Frederick, MD – A proposal to bring an iconic fast food restaurant to Calvert County appears to be drawing the support of the county’s planning authority. The Prince Frederick Chick-Fil-A project was presented to the Calvert County Planning Commission (CCPC) Wednesday, Sept. 21.
“It looks like you’re on track,” CCPC Vice Chairman Mike Phipps told the agent for the project. The panel’s chairman, Maurice Lusby, who is a Prince Frederick business owner, recused himself from the discussion of the project, even though the agenda item was for information purposes only.
A memo from CCPC Administrator Carolyn V. Sunderland stated the proposed project was presented to the county’s Technical Evaluation Group (TEG) during a meeting in April. A site plan application was submitted last month and distributed to various state and local agencies for review. The reviews are due Sept. 26 for review later next week by the TEG.
The applicant for the Prince Frederick Chick-Fil-A is identified as CG Properties LLC. The agent for the applicant, Dan Kelsh of Collinson, Oliff and Associates Inc. (COA), stated in a memo to the CCPC that the fast food restaurant “is proposed for two adjacent parcels on the southbound lanes of Solomons Island Road (Route 2/4) just south of the Market Square Shopping Center. The existing Maryland [Route] 2/4 access will remain and a secondary access across from Costley Way is proposed to remove some traffic from Maryland [Route] 2/4. The proposed project meets the required building setbacks with the exception of the southeast corner of the building, which is 25 feet from the southern boundary shared with the Ruby Tuesday parcel.”
Kelsh stated during his presentation that the project was being presented at this time since his client’s purchase of the parcels is pending. He added that Chick-Fil-A would be leasing the property. The project’s unresolved issues includes how many parking spaces the eatery will be required to have. “We think the need is around the 50 range,” he said.
The Chick-Fil-A will have a drive-through, but planners want to configure the area roadway to avoid traffic congestion. A project traffic study is currently under review by the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and the Calvert County Department of Public Works. Kelsh noted there are plans in the pipeline by the state to widen Route 2/4 in the Prince Frederick area, which should “mitigate” any traffic problems the new restaurant and its drive-through might create.
Prince Frederick resident Jim Winship stated during the comment period that the current site plan drawing doesn’t include the widening. Kelsh, however, pointed out that the project area does include a 35-foot setback from the main road. Winship also asked planners to consider a less-impervious parking pavement surface for the project. “This is an opportunity to move toward permeable parking surfaces,” he said.
Announcement of the proposed Chick-Fil-A, the first-ever in Calvert County—has created some excitement among the public. “Do you anticipate a hiccup?” Planning Commission Member Robert Reed asked staff regarding the project’s track to become a reality. Department of Community Planning and Building Principal Planner Judy Mackall there may be some small issues but that they would be addressed.
Kelsh told the CCPC the site plan would be officially presented for review “in the very near future.”
Commercial lot subdivision approved
The planners also discussed a major subdivision application for preliminary approval that would carve out space in Prince Frederick for a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts to be built. The store would sit in an area called Duke Street Commons, on Route 2/4 and Old Field Lane.
Planner Olivia Vidotto explained a 3.2-acre parcel adjacent to the Holiday Inn Express Prince Frederick would be subdivided under the current proposal, with 1.058 acres designated as the location for Dunkin’ Donuts. That project, said Vidotto, is “on hold and awaiting revisions per review agency comments.” She added the proposed building will include “a drive up facility.”
Earlier reports of the plan to build the Dunkin’ Donuts in Prince Frederick had indicated a kiosk-like facility inside the hotel—a concept many national franchises are employing as a way to expand—was likely to happen for the project known as “Dunkin’ Donuts at Holiday Inn Express.” Instead, the doughnut and coffee franchise is proposed to front the multi-story hotel.
Since several agencies have reviewed the subdivision proposal and found it consistent with the Calvert County Comprehensive Plan, the Calvert County Zoning Ordinance, and both the Prince Frederick Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance, Department of Community Planning and Building staff recommended preliminary approval of the subdivision.
After receiving assurances from COA representative Dan Kelsh that “we’ll measure twice,” to address such issues as adequate parking, the CCPC gave preliminary approval for the application.
Contact Marty Madden at email@example.com