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Plan Shrinks Lexington Park Development District
Lexington Park, MD - 3/13/2013
By Dick Myers
The size of the Lexington Park Development District would significantly shrink under a plan presented Monday night to the St. Mary’s County Planning Commission and which will be formally unveiled next month. The plan developed by the staff of the Department of Land Use and Growth Management (LUGM) would result in a number of properties being downzoned and losing development rights.
A plan was developed by a consultant after a series of community meetings at the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department. But LUGM Senior Planner Jeff Jackman told the planners that staff did not like some aspects of the consultant’s proposal and have been reworking it since then. He said the consultant focused on the core downtown area but staff felt the size of the district was too large and needed to shrink.
Jackman said the initial presentation was given to the planning commission so they wouldn’t be surprised when a formal presentation is made to them on April 22 and to the county commissioners the next day.
The proposal brought an immediate negative reaction from Planning Commission Vice Chair Shelby Guazzo. She noted that only 11 percent of county land is now currently in development districts. “To downsize seems very shortsighted to me, said Guazzo, who is a former county commissioner. She said many families were depending on the development potential of their land, which would now be lost in part.
The presentation from Jackman is available for viewing on You Tube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIhwlxteSRI
The plan includes the following recommendations:
·Transform the historic center of Lexington Park into a modern, family-friendly commercial and civic downtown that serves as a destination for all St. Mary’s County.
·Create a system of services to support community well-being including senior and child care and other social and health services conveniently located throughout the community
·Create a balanced transportation system, to include:
oCompletion of FDR Boulevard
oConnection of Nicolet Park to FDR Boulevard
oExpansion of the downtown grid with five priority components
oPromote proximity to the regional airport
·Reduce the size of the Development District
·Support existing communities by delineating and planning for subareas and corridors within the overall Development District
·Continue or expand upon prior recommendations that are still valid, including
oImprove economic competitiveness and social economic conditions through job growth and economic diversification
oIncrease perceived and actual safety for residents and visitors
oImprove storm water management
·Revise zoning, to include:
oChange areas zoned RL-T to RPD or RNC where recommended for removal from the Development District
oChange remaining RL-T (Rue Purchase Road and Millstone Landing Road vicinities) to RL
oAdopt noise zones and compatible use standards consistent with the 2009 Air Installation Compatible Use Zone Report for NAS Patuxent River prepared by the United States Navy.
The schedule presented by Jackman to the planning commission includes work sessions and public briefings in May and June and a July 22 planning commission hearing looking towards adoption by the end of the year.
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