Church, nursery withdraw petition

March 29, 1995|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

The Church of the Open Door and Westminster Nurseries Inc. withdrew a request to create a business-zoned area on 15.5 acres north and east of Weis Market hours before a scheduled public hearing on the request yesterday.

The two petitioners took a request for business zoning on a much smaller piece of land to public hearing before the Westminster planning commission last night. The Carroll County planning commission joined the hearing because part of the property lies outside city limits.

Westminster Nurseries owns the approximately 100 acres of land between Gorsuch Road and commercial properties fronting on Route 140. The Church of the Open Door, an independent, nondenominational church, has a contract to buy the land. The church initiated the rezoning petition.

Charles M. Preston, the church's lawyer, said he pulled the 15.5 acres out after learning that the city staff might recommend against the rezoning from residential to business.

Mr. Preston said he didn't want an unfavorable recommendation on one parcel of land to interfere with the requested zoning changes on about 4.8 acres along Gorsuch Road and 0.36 acres of property adjoining the planned extension of Center Street. The church also wants to change the zoning on those parcels from residential to business.

Rezoning the smaller properties is more critical to the church's acquisition of the approximately 100 acres, the lawyer said.

He apologized to the two commissions for withdrawing the petition "so late in the game" and said the decision was complicated by the number of people involved.

City planner Katrina L. Tucker said the city staff "didn't find sufficient evidence to support the rezoning" of the 15.5 acres.

The county planning commission voted last night to recommend that the county commissioners approve the rezoning. Westminster's commission scheduled a vote at the April 13 meeting.

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