Commission approves rezonings, conditional use permits
Published 7:12 pm Wednesday, July 20, 2022
The Planning Commission had a busy Tuesday, spending more than four hours deliberating on rezoning and conditional use permit requests.
Commissioners made recommendations to approve rezonings for the new downtown library, a White Marsh Road property to allow for residential development and the Port 460 Logistics Center and another to add residential units to a development off of Turlington Road, along with conditional use permits for the downtown festival event park and a shooting center and school off of Hosier Road near the Suffolk Executive Airport.
The commission voted unanimously to approve rezoning property for the new, downtown library. City Council will hold a public hearing and could vote on it at its Aug. 3 meeting.
The new $23.3 million library will be two stories and 37,800 square feet, located on three downtown properties just down West Washington Street from the current Morgan Memorial Library across from City Hall.
Festival event park
The commission unanimously approved a conditional use request for the festival event park to be located at the corner of West Washington and South Saratoga streets.
The park is made up of four separate properties on two acres and will be a community park for the city’s downtown historic district.
City officials said the park will bookend a block with the new library, and could draw more than 100,000 additional visitors downtown to support retail, restaurants and other services.
The city set aside $150,000 from the previous fiscal year for the park through its capital improvements program and plan. Another $550,000 is expected to be spent on the project in the next two years, but council would have to approve that money when it approves subsequent capital projects.
Port 460 Logistics Center
Despite opposition from many people who filled the council chambers and spilled out into the City Hall lobby, the commission voted 5-3 to recommend rezoning 540 acres of property off U.S. Route 460 for an industrial park to be known as the Port 460 Logistics Center.
Residents cited concerns with safety along the corridor, as well as issues with stormwater and the environment, as reasons to deny or delay the rezoning request. However, project officials said the project would provide an economic boost for the city, and bring along with it much-needed road improvements.
Hosier Road shooting center and school
In separate 7-1 votes, with Commissioner Anita Hicks the lone no vote for each, the commission voted to recommend a conditional use permit for a shooting range and school on property on Hosier Road. Council will hold a public hearing at its Aug. 17 meeting.
The owner of the shooting range and the civic league representing the nearby Skeetertown area of the city met several times to resolve issues related to the permit request for the 284-acre property after the commission delayed action on the permits for 30 days.
The applicant, Jack Claude of Hoggard-Eure Associates on behalf of property owners Kevin Glenn and Hosier Road Associates II LLC and Hosier Road Associates III LLC, has proposed several shooting ranges — a 200 and 800-yard rifle range, and a 50-yard pistol range on four acres of the property at 1255 Hosier Road.
They’re designed to accommodate 12 members at one time. It also proposes retail sales of firearms and ammunition to serve as an accessory use to the shooting ranges. The ranges are already there and would require no new construction.
A school has also been proposed on 10 acres of the gated property at 1444 Hosier Road to provide tactical and non-tactical training for federal, state, local and municipal personnel and the general public, and guests will have to pay dues to become members.
The commission voted unanimously to approve the rezoning of nearly 35 acres of property at 1355 White Marsh Road from agricultural and rural residential to residential urban zoning to allow for the construction of 170 homes.
The property is about one mile south of the intersection of White Marsh Road and East Washington Street, south of the central downtown area.
Though the developer is considering a combination of 30 single-family homes and 140 townhomes, it did not proffer that, and the units could end up as both those types, or as other multi-family living units.
Council is expected to take up the matter at its Aug. 17 meeting.
Linwood-Turlington Road development
The commission unanimously recommended a rezoning request to amend previously approved conditions for about 65 acres on Turlington Road near the intersection of Carolina Road to allow for 42 additional single-family homes to be built.
While it is officially listed as a rezoning request, the proffers, if council approves it, will amend them to allow for the additional units, increasing the amount of homes allowed from 105 to 147. Council is expected to hold a public hearing Aug. 17.