A building on Penwick Lane, Dunkirk MD
Dunkirk, MD – A portion of a Northern Calvert County property that was once the location of a popular restaurant may become the site of a venture that might have been unthinkable 40 years ago. An application for zoning appeal has been filed with the Calvert County Board of Appeals requesting a special exception for the Dunkirk Town Center to operate a used auto sales business. The small scale business would be located on Penwick Lane, a segment of the Dunkirk Town Center that includes white office buildings and is visible from Route 4.  

The applicant, identified as Joseph Barker of Owings, stated on the application that the used car sales would have a 10-vehicle inventory. “The property is a single dwelling with a lot a little over one acre and its own entrance,” the application states. Barker and the property owner, Marshele Burgess of Bowie, have signed the application.

“The plan as of right now was to use the office upstairs, which has its own entrance on the rear of the building,” the application states. “The hours of operation would be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday with myself being the only employee,” Barker stated in the application. “I will only be using the rear section of the upstairs second floor. I will not be using the first floor.”

At one time the area that is now Penwick Lane was the site of a local landmark. The Penwick House was a local restaurant where wait staff dressed in colonial era costumes. The restaurant was owned and operated by Audrey Davenport, who was a major advocate for the tourism industry in Calvert County. Davenport died while on vacation in 1995. Maryland Travel and Tour Summit named their hospitality person of the year award in tribute to Davenport.

Earlier this month the Dunkirk Area Concerned Citizens Association (DACCA) asked area residents to weigh in on the possibility of a used car dealership in town. Most of the residents who have commented on the issue via the Dunkirk, Maryland Facebook page have indicated they are opposed.

Burgess was not immediately available for comment was this story was being filed.

The item is on the agenda for the Calvert Board of Appeals’ Jan. 5 meeting.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com