BY KAYLA BAWROSKI, email@example.com
5:07 PM EDT, August 30, 2012
Moores Mill Road from Conowingo Road to Southampton Road at the roundabout, just outside Bel Air town limits, will be widened next summer.
Carlos Smith, of the Harford County Department of Public Works, told Bel Air town commissioners at their work session Tuesday evening about the expected widening and construction on the road.
Baltimore Gas and Electric is working along the stretch of road and will be followed by Verizon and Comcast, Smith said. That work should be completed in November or December and the project will be advertised in March or April, he added.
The county wants to wait until schools are closed, around June, to start the project, which Smith said will take 180 working days and finish up in the spring of 2014.
The proposed road width from Route 1 to Pecan Drive is 36 feet, then transitioning down to 30 feet up to Major's Choice Drive and then down to 26 feet, according to Smith.
Part of the 36-foot wide road will be in front of Harford Day School, where a center turn lane will be created to allow for a center turn lane for better access to the school, Smith said. Striping for a shoulder is expected in the 30-foot wide section.
Also in front of Harford Day School and other sections of Moores Mill Road, Smith said the county would be putting in islands between the lanes, also known as "traffic calming devices," to try and slow down traffic.
The posted speed limit will be 30 mph. Smith later added that portions would be striped for bike lanes, but he was not sure where.
Commissioners also discussed three resolutions, including the flood mitigation plan, which had been brought up at prior meetings. The flood mitigation plan started when the town tried to solve a problem with the Hickory Hills drainage issue, according to Town Administrator Chris Schlehr.
Public Works Director Randy Robertson added that the town has several goals for the plan, which will be voted on at the Tuesday meeting, including obtaining mitigation project grants from FEMA.
The plan could also help the town obtain a higher community rating system for flood insurance, which would lower rates for people within the area, according to Robertson.
Another regulation deals with parking restrictions and other administrative changes, as presented by Planning Director Kevin Small. It establishes the Main Street parking lot with a two-hour limit and the Alice Ann Street metered parking with a three-hour limit.
Other changes include changing parking limits on Lee Street to two hours instead of six to match what the meters are showing.
The final resolution, if approved, would make the three-way stop at Howard and Ridgewood roads permanent. The stop signs were put up on a trial basis and the town has decided to keep them, according to Small.
Another part of the resolution would remove the stop sign at the end of Kenmore Avenue and Heighe Street. Right now, drivers have to stop and then take the right turn to yield at Kenmore, Small said, adding there is no reason to stop.
Later at the meeting, Small gave a presentation on proposed development regulations amendments. Commissioners won't be voting on them during Tuesday's meeting, rather at a meeting later this year.
Small only discussed one future amendment, which would outline the town's restrictions on smoking lounges, if any were to open in the area. The town wants to explore the idea in terms of possible restrictions, he added.
The Maryland Indoor Clean Act allows for smoking lounges, sometimes known as hookah lounges, with the requirement that the primary use be for the retail sale of tobacco, according to Small.
At this point, Small said they are looking to allow smoking lounges in a B3 or M1 zone, with restrictions. These restrictions include for the lounges to be at least 1,000 feet from a school, adhere to the Maryland Indoor Clean Act and other Board of Appeals conditions, including but not limited, to hours of operation, age restrictions, ventilation of premises and additional services, such as the sale of food, beverages or live entertainment.
Commissioners are expected to vote on a contract for paving Winding Alley, which was initially supposed to happen under a fiscal year 2012 contract, but those funds were needed to finish paving Marketplace Drive, according to Schlehr.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at town hall. The town board will not meet Labor Day, Sept. 3.