Westminster council rezones parcel to allow store relocation Vote on site plan is expected Thursday

August 11, 1998|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

The Westminster Common Council voted yesterday to approve land-use changes that could allow a Lowe's home improvement store to relocate behind Weis Markets.

The 4-0 vote of the council rezones 95 acres of land for commercial use. Most of the property lies along Route 140, to the rear of Weis Markets and Target Store.

Seventy-one acres are owned by the Church of the Open Door. Lowe's is eyeing a 20-acre section of the property for a 115,000-square-foot retail space and a 35,000-square-foot lawn and garden center.

If the site plan for the new store is approved, Lowe's would be responsible for the extension of Center Street to the eastern edge of the parcel it intends to develop, said city planner Katrin L. Tucker, who is reviewing the plan. The street now ends at Malcolm Drive.

The Westminster Planning and Zoning Commission is expected to take action on the site plan submitted for the Lowe's store during its next meeting, which is scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday in City Hall.

City planners said it is not clear what would happen to the Lowe's store near the Englar Business Park, on Route 140, a few miles from the church property.

Lowe's opened in Westminster, by the Englar Business Park, in February 1993.

In addition to the church property, the council's vote also rezones for commercial use a number of parcels behind Lowe's current location and Wal-Mart.

Those lots total about 20 acres and are zoned industrial, Tucker said.

The rezoning actions will go into effect Aug. 20 -- with one notable exception.

The land-use designation for a 2.35-acre parcel behind Wal-Mart and adjacent to Westminster's new post office will not be changed from industrial to commercial until Aug. 1 next year.

Council members unanimously agreed to delay the rezoning of the parcel at the request of the Englar Business Park Limited Partnership, which intends to develop the site as a self-storage facility.

"My client intends to build a 40,000-square-foot building, which would contain about 270 self-storage units," said Charles D. Hollman, the Westminster attorney representing the Englar Business Park Limited Partnership.

Construction must begin before the rezoning action goes into effect. A self-storage facility is a permitted use in an industrial area, but not in a commercial zone.

Hollman said that his client submitted a site plan for the facility to the Westminster Planning and Zoning Commission in June.

The zoning amendments that were approved yesterday are consistent with the city's comprehensive land-use plan, which was adopted last month. The plan was developed by city planners and a six-member Citizens Advisory Committee.

In other business, the council unanimously approved the purchase of two trucks from Davis Buick GMC Trucks of Westminster. One will cost $34,639, the second $24,020.

The city had expected to spend $62,000 for the vehicles, which rTC will be used by the Water and Sewer Department. Davis Buick GMC Trucks of Westminster was the only company to submit a bid.

The council also asked the Public Improvements Committee, headed by Councilwoman Suzanne P. Albert, to investigate concerns expressed by residents of Eagleview Estates.

In July, the Eagleview Homeowners Association wrote to Mayor Kenneth A. Yowan and the council, urging them to examine drainage problems and traffic issues in their neighborhood of 145 homes.

Albert is expected to report the committee's findings to the mayor and council at a future Common Council meeting.

Pub Date: 8/11/98

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