SYKESVILLE — The Planning Commission agreed Monday to notify developers seeking project approval that the town is establishing new planning guidelines.
The seven-member commission also voted to complete the small town guidelines, which offer alternative design plans, in four months.
The guidelines, if adopted, will significantly revise zoning and subdivision requirements for development projects.
The statement advises developers their projects may be affected by the new guidelines, but places responsibility for decisions concerning the project on the developer.
"The Planning Commission and the town do not want to be placed in a position of telling the developers whether to go forward or to wait for the guidelines," town attorney Cynthia K. Hitt wrote in a letter. "That is a business decision the developers must make entirely on their own."
Town Manager James L. Schumacher said the policy statement will be included in the letter of approval for sketch or site plans or preliminary plats during the next 120 days.
Commission members last month said they wanted to work with developerson project plans while the guidelines are being established and invited builders to offer design ideas.
Chairman Dennis Karr scheduledtwo workshops for later this month to work on the new design plans, which must then be approved by the council.
The commission also approved a motion to amend the town's zoning ordinance to give it authority to review site plans for local and general business projects of two or fewer commercial units or a radical change in use of a building.
"As it is now,the commission can review only residential and planned business centers of three or more units," said Jonathan Herman,commission member.
The Town Council is expected to have a public hearing on the amendment at 7 p.m. Monday.
In other business, the commission discussed preliminary plans for Boulder Hill Estates and Shannon Run.
Boulder Hill Estates, a 19-home project, will include a new infiltration system for storm water management, rather than thestandard storm water pond.
The commission wants the system deededto the town for maintenance and requested the developer to put up a maintenance bond of 10 percent of the construction cost of the system.
Questions also were raised about Shannon Run's storm water pond location.
Commission members request ed the site be reviewed and that tree-lined hillsides be kept intact as much as possible.