Zoning change is sought for a new post office Sykesville building called too small to meet growth

August 08, 1996|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,SUN STAFF

The owners of Eldersburg Business Center will ask the Board of Zoning Appeals late this month to grant them a conditional use to build a post office on a 3-acre site there.

The U.S. Postal Service wants to replace its Sykesville facility with one at the northwest corner of the center at Route 32 and Bennett Road.

A new facility is needed, Sykesville Postmaster Norma West told the County Commissioners last week, because of growth in the Eldersburg area. The post office is processing three times the amount of mail it was designed to handle, West said.

West made her remarks at an Aug. 1 appeal of the county planning director's denial of a preliminary site plan under the county's new growth control law.

Philip J. Rovang ruled that the site plan was incompatible with adjoining land uses because it called for patrons to enter and leave from Bennett Road -- a route planners said is designed primarily for residential use.

Westminster attorney William B. Dulaney, representing Leroy M. Merritt, owner of Eldersburg Business Center, argued that public buildings are exempt from the new growth law and that his client should be allowed to proceed with his plans.

Rovang agreed, and wrote Merritt this week telling him. The exemption would have been granted earlier, had Merritt applied for it, Rovang said.

The exemption allows the owners to go ahead with the development review process. It does not guarantee that a post office will be built on the Eldersburg site in accordance with the preliminary site plan.

The Board of Zoning Appeals first must grant a conditional use. If it does, the site plan would go to Rovang for review.

Rovang said Eldersburg needs a post office. "It is extremely important that there be a new post office that is more accessible to the public," he said.

Meanwhile, Rovang has directed the planning department to determine whether land-use applications automatically are exempt from the growth control law.

The planning office had not received a request for an exemption until Dulaney asked for it at the hearing Aug. 1, Rovang said.

Pub Date: 8/08/96

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