Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
E-mail this article
Print this Article

Plans for a townhouse development and a mixed-use residence moved forward Wednesday with approvals from the La Plata Planning Commission.

The townhouse development, Charles Street Overlook, will consist of six townhouse units on a half-acre on Charles Street, next to the La Plata Manor apartments and the Richard R. Clark Senior Center.

The plan included changes to the neighborhood’s trash pick-up site in order to be accessible by a ramp instead of stairs, which the commission requested at its Aug. 6 meeting.

The commission also had requested additional clarification on stormwater management in the development, which will be required to be met on-site, according to the town’s staff report on the project.

The mixed-use residence, called Cannery Road, will consist of a two-story 2,100-square-foot building between Oak and Kent avenues and behind the Port Tobacco Players Theater. The bottom floor will have office space, and the top floor will have one residence. The building also will have an elevator tower, a 300-square-foot green roof and a one-bay garage. Seven parking spaces, five on-site and two off-site, will be provided, including a handicapped-accessible space with pervious surfacing.

Concerns from an adjacent landowner about the building’s plan to share a dumpster with the theater on the landowner’s property led commission Chairwoman Debra Posey to recommend a condition that adjacent property owners agree to a trash pick-up plan before building permits are issued.

Alternate commission member James Breitinger said a trash pick-up plan that the town code approves also needs to be provided, and Councilman Keith Back said residents in the town are required to have a town trash collection account.

Town clerk Danielle Mandley said residents are required to have a town trash collection account, but businesses have flexibility with trash plans and are not necessarily required to use the town’s service, meaning that the building’s office owner can have flexibility.

The building is in the town’s central business district, meaning that it is permitted to have mixed uses.

The commission also reviewed potential changes to allow a conformity review for projects with a Traditional Neighborhood Development designation.

The conformity review would allow the commission and town planning staff to review plans developed over a long period of time to ensure they meet all requirements.

Projects with a TND designation are meant to have mixed-use development, be amenable to pedestrian activity and promote a sense of community.

Members considered having the review allow for a three-year extension. Currently, TND designations are active for three years and are permitted one one-year extension.

David Jenkins, the town’s director of planning and community development, said the review was meant to account for the fact that TND neighborhoods are larger projects and take longer to develop, especially considering the “aggravated housing market.”

Members agreed to defer considering the changes until more information about grandfathering and stormwater management was provided and for more commission members to give their input.

Three of six commission members were present at the meeting.