The Town of Walkersville’s Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, May 27, 2013 to consider reducing lot size requirements for mixed use properties in the Old Town Mixed Use District. The Burgess and Commissioners will hold a public hearing the following evening, Wednesday, May 28, 2014. Both public hearings will be at Walkersville Town Hall and begin at 7:30 p.m.
The proposed ordinance appears to address one property in town, the old Walkersville Market property on the corner of Maple Avenue and Maryland Avenue. The building was most recently a liquor store, but closed suddenly and sat vacant for many months.
The new owners found a tenant who does not require use of the entire building. The tenant distributes wine and olive oil. The tenant will use the building for an office, storage and distribution.
The owners asked the town several months ago for permission to lease the remainder of the building to another tenant, but current zoning rules do not allow a second use unless the lot is 15,000 square feet or more. Though tax records show the lot is 21,000 square feet, the owners’s surveyor informed them the lot is only 13,031 square feet.
The current zoning requires 10,000 square feet for the first use and 5,000 square feet for each additional use. The ordinance to be heard will change the lot requirements to 10,000 square feet for the first use and 2,000 square feet for each additional use.
The proposed change would add four its to the nine currently eligible for mixed uses in the Old Town Mixed Use District. Three of those properties are duplexes, and already have two uses. Only the Walkersville Market property would be eligible for additional uses if the ordinance passes.