Town of Brookeville
Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Planning Commission Members:
Present: Andy Spagnolo, Chris Scanlon, Harper Pryor, Garrett Anderson, Fred Teal, Miche Booz Absent: Stefan Syski
Quorum present? Yes
Town Resident Present: Commissioner Sue Daley, Commissioner Buck Bartley, and Commissioner Jeff Johnson. Harry & Karen Montgomery, Roland & Shirley Bowker, Barbara Ray, Sandy Heiler, Chris Haris, Mary Kay Spagnolo, Kathryn Farquhar, Debbie Wagner, Leszek Syski
Others Present: Philip Sardelis, his business partner, Nicole Sardelis, Olvia Demetriou, Jody Klein, Diana Weinrich, and Melinda Butterfield.
Proceedings: Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chair, Andy Spagnolo
Permit: 301 Market TBBP for new construction of a shed and a barn. The application was asked to submit the following items at the June BPC meeting before a TBBP would be granted:
Push the proposed barn back a minimum of 20 feet from the property line with 104 Water
Show dimension setback from the lot line for both the proposed barn and shed:
Barn = lot line with 307 Market and 104 Water
Shed = lot line with 104 Water and Water Street
The applicant submitted the required information to Chris Scanlon. Miche Booz recused himself from the permit approval. Motion to approve called by Chris Scanlon; the permit was approved and signed by Andy Spagnolo. The applicant was advised that he needed to resubmit his HAWP since he changed the location of the barn since the HAWP was approved.
Inn at Brookeville Jody Klein, lawyer for the Inn’s owners, advised his clients took the BPC’s input from the March 2017 meeting and follow up correspondence to the architect and the Inn’s owners have a preliminary design to share with the BPC. Olvia Demetriou, the architect for this project, shared the vision for the Inn’s redevelopment: villas designed to look like houses cluster around a swimming pool on the plot of land within the Town’s boundaries. The vision is to retain the rustic, farm-like feel but make the lodging classy. The plan would be for 10 cottages for a total of 22 beds.
The Inn’s renovation and development would be completed in phases, probably over several years:
Phase 1: Renovation of the existing building housing the Inn at Brookeville; build a 20×60 addition onto the Inn as a venue to host events.
Phase 2: the development of 10 cottages for overnight guests. The cottages would be located within the Town’s boundaries and will have a residential feel. A pool is also planned for the cottage development.
Phase 3: build an event building in style to look like a rustic barn. This building would be behind the Inn.
There were several questions / comments:
The proposed pool would have a grass deck; there will not be a lot of hardscapes.
The event barn would hold 300-350 people.
The cottages would not be ‘cookie cutter’ styled but will be natural earth tone.
Will the cottage rentals have limits to the length of stay; how will they be used? The owners have not thought that far out about length of stay limits; the cottages will be rented like hotel rooms and are not intended to be long term rentals. The primary renters would be wedding guests, families.
Parking: will be considered in later phases. There will be 2 additional parking lots in addition to the existing parking.
Jody Klein provided color coded zoning and easement maps. There are several easements on the Inn’s property and the lot within the Town is zoned residential. There would need to be zoning changed if the Inn is redeveloped.
Cottage: the footprint for each cottage would be between 1,000 sq. ft. to 1,200 sq. ft.
Town Residents were asked for their thoughts:
Barbara Ray is in favor of the Inn’s proposed redevelopment.
Increased traffic may be an issue; the Inn’s current capacity is between 170-200 people, and the redevelopment will increase traffic within the Town. Parking will be a problem if the Inn is used to capacity. The Inn replied that parking would be per MoCo density rules.
The Inn’s restaurant is currently not open to the public; the owners may open a farm-to-table restaurant.
Karen Montgomery is in favor of this redevelopment plan; she does not want overflow parking on the streets.
Kathryn Farquhar, who owns a B&B, says guest like the quiet feels of this area.
Question was asked if the Inn would allow membership to Town Residents for the pool.
Leszek Syski requests that the Inn allow people to walk the trails around the Inn. The Inn plans to include hiking and walking paths in their plans.
The addition to the existing building will be 20 x 60 = 1,200 sq ft.
Concerns were raised about losing green space for parking. The proposed addition is not small and would double the capacity of the Inn. The Inn needs to clarify where the additional parking will be located and where the existing parking is located. The Inn’s owner stated that the proposed addition was in the original redevelopment of the Inn but was never built. The current parking area was constructed to handle the proposed addition.
The BPC requested the Inn submit phasing plans and timeline.
The Inn would like the BPC’s approval for Phases 1 and 2 and will send the phasing plan for the BPC’s comment. As of yet, the Inn has not approached MoCo.
1 High Street: Diana Weinrich, with her real estate agent Melinda Butterfield, would like to redevelop 1 High Street into luxury apartments. Ms. Weinrich has read the Town’s zoning, which allows B&B’s and accessory apartments. A building that houses apartment might be a gray area within the Town’s zoning. Ms. Weinrich would do little to the exterior of the building – change a window to a door and maybe take out the chimney. The 1,500 sq. ft. interior space would be turned into 3 – 500 sq. ft., high-end modern apartments. There would be no increased traffic or parking needed. The renters would use the existing parking areas of the lot. Ms. Weinrich owns several rental properties, and her research shows she could charge about $1,300 monthly for the apartments. She would like the BPC’s cursory approval before she comes up with design ideas.
Ms. Weinrich was advised that the Town’s zoning would need to be changed; the BPC would need to talk about if apartments are what the Town would like to see within its boundaries. Also, that a zoning change is a lengthy process. There was a discussion about accessory apartments within Town; not all are owner occupied buildings.
Karen Montgomery states she is in favor if the leases are 2-year leases but is opposed to having 3 apartment in the building. She is ok with 2 apartment, but not 3 apartments. She feels there will be too many cars if there are 3 apartments. She does not like the concrete parking lot.
There was a discussion about parking: 1 High parking lot was only used during business hours, leaving the parking lot unused at night time by the business. Ms. Weinrich was asked if she would be willing to issue parking permits and limit each unit to 2 cars spaces total.
Commissioner Johnson: Having a vacant property does not benefit the Town; having high-quality renters would be a tax benefit to the Town in the time of decreased income tax reimbursement.
There was more discussion about 2 vs. 3 apartments, parking, limiting the number of occupants, and use of the parking lot.
The BPC will discuss Ms. Weinrich proposed use of 1 High Street. Ms. Weinrich will attend the next BPC meeting as Ms. Weinrich representative.
One-room Schoolhouse proposed use and easement: Sandy Heiler wants to update the BPC on the proposed use of the Schoolhouse. Ms. Heiler made a presentation at the March 2016 BPC of this proposal, which had that full support of the BPC at that time. The Town and Heritage Montgomery have a signed MOU to create a partnership to provide an interpretive program for the schoolhouse. Heritage Montgomery applied for grant money from the Maryland Historic Trust (MHT). The grant application was submitted for capital improvements and educational programming bundled together. MHT required the grant application be separated into 2 grant request, one for capital improvements and one for the education programming. MHT will only allow capital improvement grants if the owner agrees to provide a preservation easement if asked. The preservation easement would be in perpetuity. The requested preservation easement is a hang-up: the capital grant, total $10K, will be given if the Town Commissioner agree to the a preservation easement, which the Town Commissioners are not willing to agree to, the Commissioners are reluctant to give up sovereignty on the Schoolhouse. If the easement is granted, 3 items would need to occur:
1 – to make any significant changes to the property, the property owner would need MHT and HPC approval. MHT and HPC have the same approval process and guidelines.
2- any property with a preservation easement qualifies for 50/50 grant funding for projects.
3 – MHT pays for any damage due to accidents; MHT also provides technical assistance including to climate change assistance.
Mrs. Heiler advised unless the Town donates an easement, if required, to MHT for the Schoolhouse, there will be no grant money for the capital improvements need to the Schoolhouse.
There was a discussion about the pros / cons for the preservation easement. The preservation easement would be on the exterior of the building and the lot, but not on the interior of the building. There is no way to know in advance if MHT would request a preservation easement; MHT usually asked for a preservation easement when there is more than one building on the lot. A preservation easement was requested for the Academy due to the extensive amount of renovation needed.
The grant request from HM to MHT asked for $10K for capital improvements and $10K fir the educational program.
Question was asked if the Town pays for the $10K for the capital improvements would HM still be granted $10K for the educational program. Mrs. Heiler is unsure of the answer. She asked that the preservation easement be looked at as a protection of the Schoolhouse, not a liability.
Mrs. Heiler will get a copy of the wording for a preservation easement for the BPC, Commissioners, and the Town’s attorney to review prior to any commitments. Today was the deadline for the letter from the Town to donate the easement to MHT.
Open Discussion: none
Meeting adjourned at 10:00p.m.
Cate McDonald, Town Clerk