Zoning Board Chairman C. Vernon Gray, D-3rd, said yesterday that he expects to conclude hearings on two zoning cases -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Waverly Woods II -- and the comprehensive rezoning of westernHoward County by March 31.
The board rescheduled for Feb. 12 a hearing on Wal-Mart's petition to rezone 54 acres near U.S. 29 and U.S.40 for retail rather than office use. Both the county Planning Office and the county Planning Board have recommended against granting thezoning change.
The Waverly Woods II case -- a petition to rezone 682 rural acresoff Marriottsville Road between Interstate 70 at Route 99 as a residential, commercial, and golfing village -- will come to the Zoning Board March 11.
The county Planning Office recommends approval of the Waverly project. The Planning Board, which heard the Waverly case Jan. 15, has yet to make its recommendation.
Because of opposition by nearby residents to the Wal-Mart and Waverly Woods proposals, Grayhas reserved the nights following each hearing for additional testimony, if necessary.
Gray said he has not fixed the dates for comprehensive rezoning hearings, but plans to schedule them for six nights in March.
The final vote on comprehensive rezoning might not come until June, however, because the County Council will be taking up thebudget in April, Gray said.
BOARD BACKS LIBRARY SITE
The county Planning Board yesterday approved a plan to use a 26.6-acre site next to Owen Brown Middle School in Columbia for a new county branch library.
The parcel was designated as a potential high school site until last March, when the county school board relinquished its claim to the land.
At its next meeting Feb. 4, the Planning Board is expected to consider plans for the East Columbia branch library building, which is expected to cost $8.1 million and open sometime around the beginning of 1994.
The library will use about 36,000 square feet of the 46,000-square-foot structure, while the remaining space will be used as a multipurpose center. County soccer fields are also planned for the property.
The new branch library will also house offices that will move from the county's Central Library in Town Center, makingroom for more public library space there.