A proposed 10-acre annexation into the town of La Plata received a recommendation from the La Plata Planning Commission on Tuesday.
The property in question, 5780 Crain Highway, which is located east of Route 301 south of Rosewick Road, already has several commercial businesses on site, including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, a construction company’s warehouse and a church.
The property formerly housed a Chevrolet dealership, according to local attorney Stephen Scott, who is representing the current property owner, Johel Limited Partnership.
During discussion, James Fangmeyer, who is one of the landowners, said he “just signed a lease” with a fireplace and hot tub business for five years with a five-year option.
He expects a “spring-time move in” with an affiliated business moving onto the property by the end of June.
In addition, Scott said that an adjacent property is looking to bring in a grocery store to anchor that site.
According to the annexation petition, Johel L.P. purchased the property from Builders FirstSource for $3.3 million on June 16, 2017.
The town’s 2016 Comprehensive Plan lists the property, which would be in the town’s northwest quadrant, as part of the “incorporated town growth areas.”
Nick Speach, a senior project manager with Bohler Engineering, said the property adjoins the town to the north and west. He noted that water and sewer connections currently exist on Rosewick Road. A tie-in could be made through an adjacent property or on Route 301.
Scott said the proposed annexation is “a bit of an unusual situation” because it’s a developed property with businesses already in place. Property tax revenue is expected to significantly benefit the town, according to the April 2020 annexation petition.
The petition requests that the zoning be converted from Community Commercial to Community Highway, which Scott said “makes sense” due to numerous businesses along Route 301 already having Community Highway zoning.
The annexation received a unanimous approval recommendation from the planning commission. A public hearing before the town council is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 25.
Development and restaurant are on board’s next agenda
In other news, Jeanine Harrington, the town’s planning director, noted that the planning commission’s next meeting is Feb. 2. On the agenda so far are a master site development plan for Heritage Green, a 1,100-acre mixed use master planned community that includes a traffic study, and a site plan amendment for Chick-Fil-A. In the latter case, changes to the parking lot could ease congestion, she said, adding that a second drive-thru lane is proposed.
Near the end of the meeting, Councilman Mike Simpson, who also sits on the planning commission, noted that the town council in December continued working on updating its ordinance to deal with fat, oil and grease getting into the town’s sewer system. The council “is trying to put enforcement teeth behind the ordinance to prevent pipes from getting clogged,” he said.
Simpson added that the council also continued working on its shopping cart ordinance because carts are “ending up all over the place.” He said the town is trying to “get stores to police themselves.”
Simpson noted that town council meetings this year will begin at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. Council work sessions have already been scheduled for 6 p.m., he said.