Cranberry Square road request denied

January 15, 1993|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

The Westminster planning commission rejected last night a request from Cranberry Square Shopping Center for direct access from westbound Route 140 but left open the possibility of access from Cranberry Road.

And the commission deferred a recommendation to the City Council on a proposed manual that would give the city its first written standards for landscaping for residential, commercial and industrial developments.

Constellation Real Estate Corp., which owns Cranberry Square, asked the planning commission last November for a right-turn lane that would provide direct access to the shopping center from westbound Route 140.

Shopping center representatives said customers, particularly senior citizens, were confused by lanes of traffic coming from both directions on Route 140 and northbound Center Street to the shopping center entrance on North Center Street.

No representative of the shopping center attended last night's meeting. However, attorney Donald J. Gilmore, who represented the owners, indicated earlier that allowing traffic to turn left off Cranberry Road into the shopping center would be an acceptable alternative.

The commission followed the recommendations of the State Highway Administration, city police and city planning staff in rejecting direct access to the center from Route 140.

The proposed landscape manual brought a question from Westminster developer K. Wayne Lockard, whose subdivision, Cliveden Reach at Meadow Branch, was scheduled for final approval last night.

If developers are to plant trees or shrubs to screen storm water management ponds, "Would that preclude the necessity for installing the ugly 6-foot chain link fence the city has been insisting on?" he asked.

The fence would still be required, Planning and Public Works Director Thomas B. Beyard replied. Mr. Beyard said the fence is recommended by the city's insurance carrier.

"It's more a health, safety and welfare issue than a landscaping issue," he said.

Mr. Lockard noted that the county government does not require chain link fencing around storm water management ponds, although it, too, has liability to consider. He said alternative measures exist to deal with safety concerns.

He did not elaborate, but Neil Ridgely, county program manager for landscaping and forest conservation, offered to discuss alternatives.

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