ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS SUBMITTED AT THE JOINT PUBLIC HEARING
RE: ARMORY SQUARE ZONING ORDINANCE CHANGES

 

Several citizens went to the public hearing armed with questions they wanted answered, but the Commissioners refused to allow any questions. The Coalition has done extensive research and is providing its answers below, with links to the supporting documents when available.

 

  1. The proposed amendments will have a major impact on transportation.  The Calvert County Transportation Plan was adopted in 1998. Have there been any updates to it since?  Are there any plans to update it?

  2. The summary of the Charrette that’s available online states that the following is recommended: “A range of retailing options - from specialty retailer to medium box and possibly one large box.” Yet your presentation indicates, “A range of retailing options - from small, specialty retailers to large box retailers.”  Which is it?  

  3. Is there currently a Development Agreement in effect?

    • Answer: NO (according to the Commissioners’ Clerk via email dated June 9, 2016).
       

  4. The Prince Frederick Master Plan was adopted in 1989.  Are there any plans to update it anytime in the future?

    • Answer: NO: (according to Dept. of Community Planning & Building, via email dated June 9, 2016).
       

  5. Are there any plans to allow similar development in other areas of the Prince Frederick Town Center?

    • Answer: NO (which bolsters the allegation that this is definitely a clear case of Spot Zoning).
       

  6. (a)Who owns the properties that will be affected by these changes?  (b) How many properties in the New Town District are not part of the proposed Armory Square development?  (c) Were the owners of those properties notified of this hearing?

    • Answers: (a) The BoCC and Bargo, LLC; (b) At least 9 other properties are not part of the Armory Square development (another case for Spot Zoning); and (c) None of the owners were properly notified because that is not required for a text amendment.  However, with a development of this magnitude proposed by our own Commissioners, it would’ve have been common courtesy to reach out to those property owners.
       

  7. Are some of the dwellings that will be allowed with the increased density to be located above the retail stores?

    • Answer: We still don’t know this because no plan has been presented.
       

  8. What is the purpose of the proposed reduction in setbacks?

    • Answer: To take more power away from the Planning Commission, who is already authorized by the Prince Frederick Zoning Ordinance to reduce setbacks on a case-by-case basis. See Excerpt from Prince Frederick Z.O. here.
       

  9. Under the proposed changes that will allow buildings hat are 60' in height, will those buildings conform to the height of other buildings in the New Town District and nearby developments?

  10. For the proposed residential development, is a mix of low- or mid-income and/or elderly proposed?

    • Answer: UNKNOWN. To be consistent with the Calvert Comprehensive Plan, this should be made a condition if the development is to be approved.
       

  11. What is the status of the traffic study submitted by the applicants? What is the status of the 2013 SHA study that was scheduled to be updated?

  12. How many new traffic lights and new entrances onto Route 2/4 are proposed as part of the Armory Square development?  Where will they be located?

  13. How many trips per day will be added to the road system if the property is fully developed as proposed?

    • Answer: According to our calculations from Bargo’s own traffic study, 31,638 new trips per day; however, the accuracy of that traffic study is questionable, and the latest traffic study has not been shared with the public.
       

  14. If the proposed changes and development result in the need to improve/build roads, schools, and water & sewer facilities, who will pay for it?

    • Answer: If the County is to pay ANY PART of the improvements, a fiscal analysis is REQUIRED by the Comprehensive Plan and should have been done BEFORE the text changes were proposed.
       

  15. Has the adequacy of local schools been evaluated?

  16. Where is the location of the Baltimore & Drum Point Railroad Trail in relation to the Armory Square development?  Are there plans in place to preserve the Railroad Trail?

    • Answer: UNKNOWN.  If there are no plans to preserve the Railroad Trail, it should be made a condition of approval.  Otherwise, the development is in direct conflict with the Prince Frederick Master Plan and the County Open Space Plan.
       

  17. Have the Prince Frederick water and sewer facilities been evaluated as to whether they are adequate to handle the development allowed by the proposed changes?

    • Answer: NO.  No such improvements/expansions are included in the latest Capital Improvements Plan.  Specific plans to accommodate this development should be developed and evidence of who will pay for water and sewer improvements (and how) should be shared with the public.

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