Town leaders have approved a plan that
should bring new residents, and those residents could have a
few new places to shop.
Wednesday night, Woodsboro's planning
and zoning commission gave conditional approval to Ausherman
Homes' site plan for 37 single-family homes on the former site
of Woodsboro Livestock. The decision allows Ausherman to focus
on getting required county, state and federal permits to build
the subdivision, which will be called Woodbury.
Later in the meeting, Jason Hess of
BET Investments presented preliminary drawings of a small
retail center the company may build and manage at the south
end of town between the Park-n-Ride lot and the cemetery. He
got general approval for the center from the commission.
The shopping center, however, is a
concept with-out an application, much less approval. The
housing development, which would increase Woodsboro's housing
base by about 12 percent, has its go-ahead from the town.
Ausherman representatives spent about
an hour going over changes made to plans based on questions
raised by commission members. The developers either had made
the changes or satisfactorily explained why an alteration
couldn't be accommodated.
The planning panel paid particular
attention to the stormwater management pond located near the
area for a small neighborhood park. "I don't want some little
kiddie down there getting drowned," said Hartwood Cornell, the
Jim MacGillivray, vice president of
Ausherman, said the company would fence the area. He said they
typically erect four-foot-high fences, which is what Frederick
County requires around swimming pools, and that standard
satisfied the commission.
After the developer answered all
questions and agreed to a few more conditions, the
commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the subdivision pending
minor revisions in the plans.
Terre Rhoderick, project manager for
Ausherman, said Thursday that grading could begin as early as
June if no problems arise in the permitting process.
Unlike Ausherman, BET Investments'
plan is in its beginning stages. Mr. Hess, vice president and
general council for the Pennsylvania company, said discussions
are under way with "several" grocery chains about filling the
Preliminary plans show a grocery store
covering 28,000 square feet, 8,000 square feet for a drug
store with a drive through window, and 8,000 square feet for
other retailers. Two outer parcels, ideal for restaurants or
banks, also were pictured on the 14.57 acres targeted for
development. The remaining 5.9 acres would remain undeveloped
wetlands or be used for stormwater management or open space.
Questions were raised about whether
sit-down restaurants would be allowed at the site. Mr. Hess
said the annexation agreement excludes all restaurants, but
planning commission members recall only wanting to prevent
fast-food restaurants from going on the property.
Mr. Hess said that before he continued
working on the project, he wanted to see if the planning
commission might be receptive to such a center.
"When we annexed this property, as I
remember it, this is what we envisioned," Mr. Cornell said.
"So I don't know how we could say no to it."
In other planning business, the panel
also unanimously approved a site plan for American Eagle
Automotive, a vehicle repair center located at the south end
of Main Street.
Frank and Mary Pescatore, who own the
business, said they need to store some cars outside while
waiting for parts. They agreed to park no more than 30 cars in
front of the business and in an area behind the business that
will be fenced.
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