Zoning commission OKs Route 32 Pizza Hut project Plans approved for store, warehouse, BGE gas tanks

November 18, 1998|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

The Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission gave approval yesterday for an Eldersburg commercial center that will house a Pizza Hut restaurant.

The vote to approve the site plan for the $1 million project at Route 32 and MacBeth Way was unanimous.

"I was hoping to break ground last spring. Now I'll be happy if we can start construction before winter sets in," said John Schulze, vice president of Pizza Hut of Maryland Inc., the developer. He presented his plans to the county 18 months ago.

Since then, the plans have undergone several revisions, most notably the removal of an entrance on Route 32. The new development will be accessible only from MacBeth Way.

"I had to re-create the wheel to get approval for this plan," Schulze said.

Schulze said he purchased the 1.66-acre parcel two years ago with a plan to build a restaurant and two other buildings on the site. Pizza Hut leases a space on Route 26 in Eldersburg.

The existing restaurant opened in 1974 and employs about 50 Carroll County residents, Schulze said.

"It's simply too small," he said of the site. "It's difficult to find a place to park."

The restaurant is also outdated, Schulze said, and has been remodeled twice over the past two decades.

Schulze said the two buildings included in the development will be adjoining and built in the northeast corner of the property, facing the restaurant. He was not sure what kind of businesses would use the buildings.

"We're going to have to wait and see what the needs of the restaurant are," said Schulze. He mentioned the possibility of a retail outlet or insurance office leasing the space.

As a condition of approval, the planning panel ordered Pizza Hut to conduct a traffic study after the three buildings are occupied. If the study shows that a traffic light is needed at Route 32 and MacBeth Way, Pizza Hut would have to contribute to the cost of its installation.

Schulze said he hopes to open the 4,634-square-foot Pizza Hut three to four months after construction begins.

In other action, the commission approved three site plans yesterday. Two will affect the populous south Carroll area.

High's of Baltimore was granted approval to build a convenience store and gas station on Route 32 in Eldersburg, a half-mile from its current site on the same road. The replacement facility will be built on a 1.1-acre parcel at the northwest corner of Freedom Avenue.

Eldersburg Business Center will have another warehouse. The planning commission approved plans for a 28,000-square-foot building on Progress Way near Route 32.

The panel also approved plans for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. to place two 35,000-gallon liquid natural gas storage tanks at Northern County Landfill on Route 140, west of Reese Road.

"The new tanks will help us maintain gas pressure on Route 140," said Robert Lowe, project engineer for the utility company. rTC BGE serves about 3,500 customers in the Westminster area and 18,000 in Carroll County.

Construction on the $1.9 million project is expected to begin in April and be completed by November, Lowe said.

The commission also elected new officers for next year. By unanimous vote, Deborah Ridgely, former vice chairwoman, was elected commission chairwoman, and Thomas Hiltz, former chairman, was elected vice chairman. The commission postponed a vote on a secretary until its next meeting.

Pub Date: 11/18/98

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