Mount Airy panel deadlocks on allowing gas station

December 01, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Mount Airy's Planning and Zoning Commission's last night deadlocked on a special exception for a gas station and sent no recommendation on it to the town's board of zoning appeals.

The gas station, to be owned by Ewing Oil Co., would be located on the proposed extension of East Ridgeville Boulevard off Route 27.

Howard Bowen, Ewing Oil's president, said before the commission vote that he does not want the special exception if the State Highway Administration does not allow him access off Route 27.

However, two commission members said they voted against the proposal because the request was premature.

"I like the idea of the road pattern going in there," said commissioner Keith Gehle. "But I have reservations that if I say 'yea' on the special exception at this point and the road doesn't go through, I'm not sure [the present road] would be considered adequate.

"Once it [the special exception] is granted, precedents are being set."

Because the commission vote was a tie, Mr. Bowen has the option to withdraw his application. If he does not, the application will go before the zoning appeals board at a public hearing.

Commission members also recommended town council denial of the proposed annexation of the Doub's Farm project, which would bring a 126-acre farm into town limits and rezone it for low density housing.

The land, east and south of Watersville Road, currently is zoned agricultural in Carroll County. At last month's meeting, commission members recommended denial of the request by the town council. However, the owners -- Doub Farm Limited Partnership -- asked to add a justification statement to their application during the council's Nov. 2 meeting and it was sent back to the commission.

The owners argued that the annexation would give the town control over a strip of land along the Patapsco River for recreation, possibly two more wells for the town's water supply, combined access to the adjacent Stevens property and access to the proposed Gillis Falls Reservoir.

But town planner Teresa Bamberger, who has steadfastly opposed the annexation, again recommended denial of it.

"I feel the some of the negatives outweigh the possible advantages," she said. "The topography isn't great for any type of development.

"Also, there is a lot of vacant land that we are able to develop already, and other properties around the town have higher priority and more advantages for development."

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