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Rezonings, Changes to Zoning Ordinances, and Road Designs

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The Walkersville Planning Commission will meet Tuesday, September 23, 2014 in the Town Hall Meeting Room at 7:30 p.m. to discuss a host of issues.  The meetings are open to the public and public comments are encouraged.

First on their agenda will be a rezoning request for 19 Maple Avenue, a home owned by Darrell and Jacqueline Pratt. The Pratts submitted a request to change their home’s zoning from R-3 to Old Town Mixed Use (OTM).  The property sits next to the old Walkersville Market which is now owned by Orion Property Management and Holdings, LLC.  That property is zoned OTM, shares a driveway with the Pratt’s property, and currently houses a wine and specialty foods distribution company.
The Pratt’s home was previously a duplex, but was converted some time ago to a single family residences with a small addition on the rear of the building serving as an apartment.  They do not have plans for any commercial uses.  According to the Walkersville Planning Department’s Staff Report, the owners wish to rezone the property “for estate planning purposes . . . ”

The request does have some hurdles to overcome.  The largest of which may be that zoning changes must show that the Planning Commission should have rezoned the property during the last update to the zoning map.  There has not been a change of character in the neighborhood, nor a change in population.  The property does not meet set-back requirements for either R-3 or OTM.  The Plannin Commission’s proposed revisions to OTM would allow the property to be in compliance, and allow more uses on the property.

The Planning Commission will next continue discussions on revisions to the OTM District, the zoning ordinance regarding obstructions to view at intersections, and fence regulations.  The Planning Commission has spent many months on these revisions, and plan to send the ordinances to the Burgess and Town Commissioners for approval.

Lastly, the Planning Commission will discuss changes to the Town of Walkersville’s Design Standards.  Specifically, the Planning Commission will discuss width requirements for pavement on local roads in R-1 and R-2 Districts. Recent development proposals have contained requests for variances to the requirements, which have required Burgess and Town Commissioners’ approval.  The Planning Commission has been split on these requests and approvals.

The complete agenda for Tuesday’s Planning Commission Agenda is available online at

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