The county Planning and Zoning Commission voted yesterday against rezoning a 10-acre tract for business use along Finksburg's heavily traveled Route 140 corridor, which is primarily commercial.
The commission will send its recommendation to the county commissioners, who will schedule a public hearing before rendering a final decision. The tract is zoned conservation, which would allow three houses.
The county Department of Planning also recommended denying the petition, citing concerns about increasing traffic at a dangerous intersection and adversely affecting a wetland and water quality in nearby Liberty Reservoir.
A lawyer, a surveyor and a land appraiser representing petitioners Michael G. and Fotini M. Cornias argued that county planners didn't take into account the entire Finksburg area when considering the request. They cited business development that stretches nearly to the reservoir and several other rezonings in the area from residential or conservation to business uses.
Planners confined their analysis to the area surrounding the intersection of Routes 140 and 91, where the rezoning is proposed. They concluded that the "neighborhood" hasn't changed substantially and that no mistake was made in the original zoning.
The State Office of Planning also opposed the Cornias' request, saying it would be in conflict with a multi-jurisdictional agreement with other area governments to preserve the quality of the reservoir.