By Sean Tubbs
Thursday, January 13, 2011
“Currently Kohl’s cannot get a certificate of occupancy until [Meeting Street] is built,” said
, chief planner, just prior to the board’s vote Wednesday. A sign near the newly constructed store states that the store will open in March.
However, the board did not accept a second request that would have reduced the amount Wood must pay over 10 years to pay for transit operations in the area as soon as a bus route is established.
Meeting Street is a north-south connector road slated to connect, eventually, to
Berkmar Drive Extended
. The timetable for that road’s construction depends on whether Wood is successful in having land south of
Hollymead Town Center
brought into the county’s designated growth area,
which will be decided when the board takes up
Places29 Master Plan
later this year.
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Under the amended proffer, Wood simply needs to reserve and dedicate the land for Meeting Street at this time but can construct it later.
“We believe that what you’re merely doing is enabling a timing mechanism that was simply not thought about when the original proffers were done,” said Ron Higgins, zoning administrator. “We don’t want to eliminate the obligation. We want to phase it.”
Senior planner Judith Wiegand said county staff does not feel that Meeting Street is necessary at this time.
“The county is concerned that if the whole segment is constructed … you basically would be constructing a road to nowhere,” Wiegand said.
At least a portion of Meeting Street has to be complete for an adjacent movie theater to receive a certificate of occupancy. That project is also being developed by Wood.
Wood had made a second request to reduce the amount of funding he must contribute to public transit to serve the development. The original proffer required him to spend an annual $50,000 for 10 years, but only after bus lines were extended to the property.
“I would like to have some type of relief,” Wood said. He added that many of his surrounding neighbors do not have such an obligation, which puts him at a competitive disadvantage.
recommended Tuesday that Woods’ obligation for transit be cut in half, and added a sunset date of 2018.
“I would be more inclined under the current circumstances to end up with a proffer that actually gets paid,” Commissioner
Ann H. Mallek
said she could not support the reduction.
“This was a contract made with the citizens,” Mallek said.
A majority of supervisors refused to reduce the transit funding.
Because of the urgency associated with keeping the Kohl’s opening on schedule, Wood agreed to drop his request to have the transit proffer amended, but said he would bring it back before the board later.
Wood said he expects the store to open on March 6.
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