PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to be heard at this meeting please sign the speaker list provided online at cityoflaurel.org.
The Chairman reserves the right to limit the amount of time each speaker has for each agenda item.
***This meeting will be held virtually through Zoom***
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 989 9053 8166
Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
Meeting ID: 989 9053 8166
Find your local number: https://cityoflaurel-org.zoom.us/u/acGZ3K1p2B
- Roll Call
- Approval of Minutes from the January 12, 2021 meeting
- Variance Application No. 912, 113 St. Mary’s Place, filed by Pallotti High School, for recommendation to the Board of Appeals
FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTIETH MEETING
CITY OF LAUREL PLANNING COMMISSION
TUESDAY- FEBRUARY 9, 2021 – 6:00 P.M.
The meeting convened on a virtual platform through Zoom at 6:00 P.M., with Chairwoman Mitzi R. Betman presiding. The roll was called with Vice Chairman John Kish, Mr. Bill Wellford and Ms. Krystiana Bonheur. Also, present were Mr. Larry Taub, City Solicitor, Mr. Robert Love, Acting Director and Ms. Brooke Quillen, Secretary to the Commission. Present from the Office of Information Technology, Ms. Cinnamen Fisher, Application Specialist, and Mr. Darnell Butler, Communications Department. There were approximately two (2) members of the public in attendance.
The minutes of the January 12, 2021 meeting were approved as written, on motion by Ms. Bonheur seconded by Mr. Kish, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present.
Chairwoman Betman noted The Honorable G. Rick Wilson has recused himself from attending as he is on the Board of Directors for Pallotti High School. Additionally, she requested all questions from the Commission to be asked at the end of the Applicant’s presentation.
Next, was Variance Application No. 912, 113 St. Mary’s Place Laurel, Maryland 20707 filed by St. Vincent Pallotti High School c/o Jeffrey A. Palumbo, 113 St. Mary’s Place Laurel, Maryland 20707, for recommendation to the Board of Appeals. Mr. Love stated the Applicant is seeking a Variance to construct an indoor 36,500 sq. ft. multi use athletic facility addition and a 28,000 sq. ft. outdoor turf field. The Variance is seeking to deviate from the code for the reduction of the green area required, increase in active recreation area percentage allowed, and reduction in setback requirement along the 9th Street side. The current use of the property is Saint Vincent Pallotti High School. The subject property was built in 1959 and has lot area of 289,617 square feet and an existing above-grade building of approximately 59,556 square feet.
Chairwoman Betman noted for the record there were zero (0) members of the public signed up to speak on this item.
The Applicant, Mr. Jeffrey Palumbo, President/Principle, St. Vincent Pallotti High School, 113 St. Mary’s Place Laurel, Maryland 20707, thanked staff for all their hard work and assistance. He reported that the school is celebrating 100 years and they are proud of their Laurel roots, pointing out that they have had partnerships with the Church, Early Learning Center, The Laurel Boys and Girls Club and the Union Hall. Mr. Palumbo expressed this project is important because it will enhance the experience for students by providing another multi-purpose facility. It will offer student safety in performance and transportation. He stressed that enrollment is down by 20% because of other competitive private schools with more to offer, which is very concerning. The approval of this project will significantly help. Mr. Palumbo added that he knows there are concerns regarding parking and traffic. He explained they are not trying to become a bigger school, therefore, there really shouldn’t be a noticeable increase in traffic. Parking will be a bit bigger but that is to help maintain the traffic they already have. Mr. Palumbo mentioned they plan to add an entrance across from Park Hill Road hoping to alleviate traffic on Montgomery Street. Lastly, he briefly discussed the four (4) buildings that will need to be taken down stating they are all in bad shape at this point.
There was discussion among the Commission, staff and the Applicant regarding how the Alley will be blocked off by trees and scrubs. Mr. Kish requested staff to provide drawings showing the privacy from the surrounding buildings. The Commission recommended the Applicant keep in contact with the surrounding property owners regarding the Alley usage.
The Commission, on motion by Mr. Wellford, seconded by Mr. Kish, and carried on a roll call vote of all members present, voted to recommend approval of the Variance No. 912 with the conditions as presented in the Technical Staff Report.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 6:37 p.m.
Approved: LBQ Date: 3/9/2021