- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The Charles County Planning Commission tabled discussion last week on four new signs to welcome people to Westlake Village, part of the planned community of St. Charles, due to safety concerns.
The signs are 40-inch-by-40-inch and dark green with gold letters, reading “Welcome to Westlake Village A Covenant Community.” The plan is to mount the signs on a 52-inch-by-60-inch stone wall with matching 18-inch-by-18-inch-by-66-inch stone towers on either side.
The signs are planned for the intersections of St. Patrick’s Drive and Western Parkway, West Smallwood Drive and Middletown Road, St. Patrick’s Drive and Bilingsley Road and West Smallwood Drive and St. Patrick’s Drive.
The stone structure plus the proximity to the road led to questions from the planning commission. Members of the commission raised concerns about the stone components of the signs being too close to the road for traffic safety.
Earlier this month, Bria Monyae Warren, 19, of Indian Head died after crashing into the Charles County brick welcome sign on Indian Head Highway.
The commission agreed to allow planning staff to work with the Westlake Village Association to resolve safety concerns with the signs.
Preservation, recreation plan goes to comissioners
The commission recommended the 2012 Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation plan to the county commissioners July 9 after planning staff removed several references to a Priority Preservation Area intended to preserve rural areas.
The PPA was rejected 4-3 at its April 9 planning commission meeting.
The only reference kept in detailed the PPA’s history and the final action the commission took on the PPA, which Charles Rice, director of environmental programs for the Department of Planning and Growth Management, read for commission members.The plan includes recommendations for parks and recreation needs primarily, including new ballfields, shoreline access, community centers and indoor basketball courts. A parks plan is prepared every six years for the state.
Commission extends Brookwood II, Linden Grove
Two subdivisions that were part of a county adequate public facilities agreement last year received extensions last week from the commission.
Brookwood II and Linden Grove received one-year extensions, resulting in a new deadline of April 19 for each.
Brookwood II was originally approved for 60.32 acres and 146 lots, but a proposal to route traffic from several subdivisions through Brookwood Estates spurred community action, resulting in an agreement between the county and the developer, Wetherburn Associates.
As part of the agreement, the county determined that 165 lots previously approved could not be developed without proposed sections of the cross-county connector being built to provide adequate roads for traffic.
As a result, Brookwood II can only develop 17 lots, which the developer plans to do, while Linden Grove, on 54.24 acres can develop 100 of its 136 proposed lots without the connector.
The agreement also gated off a proposed connection between Linden Grove and Brookwood Estates to be used only for emergency vehicles.
Parliamentarian too expensive, Aluotto says
Director of Planning & Growth Management Peter Aluotto told commission members last week that a parliamentarian would be too expensive to hire at a minimum $140-an-hour bid, offering instead to have a training seminar on Robert’s Rules of Order, which governs democratic proceedings.
Commission Chairman Courtney Edmonds said he had concerns that the parliamentarian would be used to have greater power than him and Deputy County Attorney Elizabeth Theobalds in conducting meetings and said the rules of practice and procedure would have to be changed by a clear majority to occur.
Commission member Steve Bunker made a motion to drop the parliamentarian idea entirely.
The motion failed.Commission member Lou Grasso recommended adding the parliamentarian’s role to Robert’s Rules of Order.
Commission Vice Chairman Joe Richard said that such a move requires a supermajority, five of seven members, to approve it.
No vote was taken on that issue.
Instead, the commission agreed to have Theobalds draft a legal opinion on how a parliamentarian would impact the commission’s proceedings.
Paul S. Warner