Government 

Changes to Lot Requirements for Old Town & Fences

The Town of Walkersville’s Planning Commission will hold a workshop this Tuesday, June 10th at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.  The commission will discuss the lengthy changes proposed by Planning Commissioner Dick Brady at the Planning Commission’s last public hearing, and continue discussing changes to fence regulations for the town.

The Planning Commission began discussing Old Town Mixed Use lot requirements for multiple uses a few months ago.  The subject arose when the new owners of the former Walkersville Market approached the town about leasing to two different businesses.  They found that their lot was significantly smaller than that listed on state records.  As a result, they did not meet the lot size requirements for two uses.WalkersvilleMarketAt its last public hearing, the Planning Commission planned to approve changes to lot size requirements that would have allowed two uses at the Maple Avenue property.  Commissioner Brady interrupted the process to point out that the property and many others within the Old Town Mixed Use zone would fail the current lot set-backs and other requirements.  He proposed taking this opportunity to correct the requirements to allow those business already in use to come within code.

Commissioner Brady plans to present “pictures and diagrams to allow the commissioners to see the issues” with properties that are non-conforming.  The changes would bring all but one or two properties into compliance without the owners having to make changes.  It would really change the code to suit the properties that have been in use for a long time.  According to Brady, “If a property changes or adds a use, they are required to conform to the code.  These properties will never be able to meet the code as written.”

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The fence regulations have been a heated discussion in Town Hall.  A property owner on the corner of Charles Street and Glade Road erected a tall wooden fence on the property.  The fence was built right up to the curb on the corner, and blocked the view of drivers.  The Burgess and Town Commissioners held several meetings about this.  The Board of Appeals held meetings about the property in particular.  Finally, the Board of Appeals and the Town Commissioners asked the Planning Commission to update the fencing regulations.

The Planning Commission met several times on the subject, and may be poised to introduce the proposed changes to the Burgess and Town Commissioners for adoption.

The fence that spurred the discussion has since been moved away from the corner of the property.

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