Big Route 2 Carwash Proposed

Severna Park Council, Calling For More Study, Refuses To Endorse Project

August 15, 1991|By Robert Lee | Robert Lee,Staff writer

An Annapolis man is asking the Greater Severna Park Council for helpin building a carwash along the east side of Ritchie Highway.

Butthe council is waiting until next month to see impact studies and tore-examine its own principles before deciding whether to throw its political weight behind the plan.

Clark Porter has asked the county for permission to more than double the size of the building now housing H. H. Bunker & Sons well-drilling operation.

The Bunker property, south of Cypress Road at theheadwaters of Cypress Creek, is zoned for residential use but was allowed to retain its current use when the county passed its initial zoning ordinance. Porter needs permission from the county -- which means he needs strong support of the community -- to expand the building more than 30 percent.

"I know its an unusual request, but it's notlike office space or anything of that nature; the building is simplyneeded to house theequipment," Porter said to the GSPC Tuesday night. "I'd like to ask for your support to allow us to offer this needed service to the community."

Porter says his studies show the Severna Park/Ritchie Highway corridor bisects an area with 150,000 people, with only one self-service carwash along Robinson Road.

He has proposed a "world-class" full-service carwash, with 20 full- and part-time employees, that could clean up to 90 cars an hour. The carwash would include cloth brushes, vacuum stations, water-reclamation equipment, a waiting area for up to 60 cars and three paint-detailing bays. Acarwash would cost about $5, he said.

Council members received Porter's appeal politely but were concerned by several issues.

"I don't think that in the past there have been any variances this large that have been allowed," said council zoning chairman James E. Gutman.

The building would increase by 140 percent, from 2,770 square feet to 6608 square feet.

Gutman also wants to see traffic and critical area impact studies

before recommending a position to the council.

One delegate said he opposed special exceptions to the zoning code on principle.

Alec Tatum, the delegate representing residentsnear the proposed car wash, said Porter's presentation was the firsthe had seen of the plans and wants to consult with his community association.

The council plans to take a position at its Sept. 9 meeting. Porter has a hearing before the county zoning hearings officer Sept. 24 at 10:30 a.m.

In other business, the council:

* Agreed to send a letter to County Executive Robert R. Neall asking for help with the drainage system near the B & A Trail, which has swamped a property near Jones Station Road.

* Decided to begin looking for a new meeting place outside of the Severna Park Library that would stay open past 9 p.m. The $128,000 meeting room was built in the late 1980s at the request of the GSPC, but library administrator Edward Hall says the meeting room must close due to recent cuts in his budget.

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