If ever bicyclists traveling the B&A Trail need flats repaired, their thirsts quenched or hot showers, they may soon get their chance.
A zoning officer has granted Robert G. Rodriguez a special exception to operate a health spa, bicycle shop and cafe on 2.5 acres in Pasadena. The property at the intersection of Maryland Route 10 and Ritchie Highway abuts the trail.
The county Office of Planning and Zoning and Department of Parks and Recreation recommended approval of the project two months ago.
"Evidently, the addition of a bike shop and small cafe would be welcomed along this portion of the B & A Trail because of the lack of any refreshment facilities at the present time," wrote Administrative Hearing Officer Robert C. Wilcox in his Aug. 13 decision.
Mr. Rodriguez will not be the first bike shop along the 14-mile trail between Glen Burnie and Arnold. Last year, an established Glen Burnie shop moved from Delaware Avenue to Central Avenue to be closer to the trail.
Mr. Rodriguez has proposed building a 20,000 square-foot facility on a wooded lot in the 8300block of Ritchie Highway. A patio with access to the B & A Trail and a gymnasium would be constructed at the rear.
Soft drinks and fast food will be served, though alcohol and sit-down meals won't be.
Public restrooms and public telephones will be available.
The property's R-1 zoning classification typically restricts its use to single family homes, allowing one house per acre. However, Mr. Wilcox noted, the law allows him to grant special exceptions to commercial recreational facilities if they do not create a nuisance.
No one from the community opposed the facility at the July 7 hearing. With the exception of the patio, activity will located indoors
and should not generate excessive light or noise, Mr. Wilcox said.
Water, sewer and road service appear available, he said.
Granting the special exception, Mr. Wilcox imposed several conditions. He barred the sale of alcohol, prohibited sit-down meals and required Mr. Rodriguez to "make every attempt to locate the entrance/exit north of the Route 2/Route 10 intersection."
The bike shop and cafe must be part of the health spa and cannot be operated independently, he said.
Built on the old railroad bed of the Baltimore and Annapolis Short Line, the trail was opened in the fall of 1990 by the county Department of Recreation and Parks.