Sunday, February 3, 2008

Commissioners Questioned About Zoning Changes

Commissioners Questioned About Zoning Changes

Jan. 31, 2008

The Garrett County Planning Commission on Jan. 2 unanimously approved a proposal to amend several definitions in the Deep Creek Watershed Zoning Ordinance. That proposal was then presented the following week to the county commissioners, who expressed concerns about some changes.

Kevin Potter, owner of Point View Inn, asked the commissioners this week what their specific objections were to the amendment.

"It's my understanding then that the unanimous decision of the Planning Commission did not satisfy your requirements in this specific case," he told the commissioners.

The amendment would provide a new and more detailed definition for hotels and motels, according to Director John Nelson, Garrett County Department of Planning and Land Development. The intent is to establish parameters for the operation and management of hotels/motels and to specify the extent of kitchen facilities allowed within individuals rooms and suites.

Commissioner Denny Glotfelty told Potter there were concerns about the bedrooms, bathrooms, and size of the units. As presented by Nelson to the commissioners on Jan. 8, one definition in the proposed amendment reads, "Contain sleeping accommodations in each guest room or suite with not more than two separate bedrooms and not more than two bathrooms and may contain a kitchen or kitchenette. The maximum size of any guest room or suite shall not exceed 1,000 square feet."

Other definitions establish the length of occupancy for guests, provisions for registration and maid service, parking lot requirements, and signage.

"We've got to make sure we distinguish between motels and condos in someway," Glotfelty told Potter. "And we want to make sure we have that very clear when we do this for the future. It's not just for Point View; it's to take care of the future."

Point View Inn LLC plans to build a hotel with units containing kitchens. This project would not involve closing a portion of Deep Creek Drive, as previously proposed by the company. But the ordinance definitions must be redefined before Point View and other businesses can build hotel/motel units containing kitchens at Deep Creek Lake.

Potter asked Glotfelty about the status of the proposed amendment, noting that the Point View Inn project was now stalled.

"There were some other things brought up on it, and we're moving slow on it to make sure we get it right," Glotfelty said. "It will go back to the Planning Commission for them to review."

A public hearing must also be held before the commissioners can adopt the proposed amendment.

Potter asked Glotfelty if he had any personal or professional objections to the Point View project and/or its owners.

"I have none," Glotfelty said. "And I'm in nobody's hip pocket like I've been accused of, Kevin."


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