Shopping center OK'd in Hampstead

September 02, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

HAMPSTEAD -- Despite the low murmur of discontent Monday night, Hampstead's Planning and Zoning Commission voted to approve the proposed Oakmont commercial site on Route 30.

The new shopping center will be home to Festival Foods and four shops when the current Super Thrift changes its name and moves across the street.

"Seeing what is planned in the area -- four residential areas, an industrial park and building outside of the town of Hampstead, considerable business centers and that there are less empty storefronts this week than last -- I think this community needs to add this business center," said Chairman Arthur Moler.

But the nearly 30 people attending the meeting did not agree. Laughing quietly and mumbling sarcastically at the commission's comments, the residents pointed out, as they have for the past few months, that there are still many unleased business spaces in Hampstead.

In addition, they noted that while moving Super Thrift from one side of the road to the other does not reduce the need for it, the shop will leave a vacant storefront in its wake.

"Is there some sort of contingency plan [for the empty store]?" asked Steve Harmon of Small Crossings.

"That's a county problem, not ours," replied commission member Oden Kemp. "We're not in the real estate business; we're strictly a planning board."

Traffic was also a citizen concern.

"You can't get out on the road at 5 a.m.," said Lee Coles of the 2100 block of Hanover Pike, also known as Route 30. "Are you going to wait until someone is dead?"

But again, commission members said it was not their responsibility since Route 30 is a state road.

"Oakmont is agreeable to placing a signal at Eagle Ridge Drive," said Mr. Kemp. "But until such time as the state feels it is necessary, they can't do anything."

Site approval was granted with several conditions, including a fence along the adjoining property and a provision that trucks enter and leave the center by Eagle Ridge Drive.

The commission also decided to accept the 41-foot by 15-foot sign for the grocery store, to reduce the number of cart corrals from six to three and to accept the developer's landscaping proposal that provides fewer trees than suggested by the county.

"That would take away about four parking spaces per aisle," Mr. Moler said.

In addition, since the project will not use public sewer, the county health department must identify the amount of sewage the center will generate and ensure it can be handled on site.

The project is estimated to generate more than 5,000 gallons of sewage a day, to be handled by septic tanks holding a total of 6,000 gallons, said Charles Zeleski, assistant director of environmental health for the Carroll County Health Department.

"It does not appear the health department will delay the project," Mr. Zeleski said. "This is a routine procedure, nothing out of the ordinary."

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