Hampstead planning commission approves new business, lighting project

Hampstead planning commission approves new business, lighting project
Construction workers move traffic cones as Hampstead's Main Street Revitalization Project continues Wednesday, Aug. 22. Town officials say another delay may be imminent. (Alex Mann / Carroll County Times)

The Town of Hampstead’s Planning and Zoning Commission at its monthly meeting Wednesday, Aug. 22, approved a new Main Street business.

“Welcome to Hampstead,” Commission Chair Sharon Callahan said as the body OK’d Daughter’s Cafe, a farm-to-table coffee shop that serves food.


The eatery is “a smash between Starbucks and Panera Bread,” Michelle Long, the owner, told the Times. “Except we’re homey.”

“We’re gonna have things all locally,” she said of her plans to source food locally, “so there’s no Cisco truck that’ll be coming.”

Long hopes to be open sometime in October, though her building plans remain to be approved by Carroll County and a conditional use zoning measure for dining needs to be OK’d by Hampstead’s Board of Zoning Appeals.

“I was raised in Hampstead,” Long said. “My dad was a farmer. I went to Hampstead Elementary School, that’s now the senior center, so it’s pretty fun.

“I got married and moved to Pennsylvania, but I still miss Carroll County.”

After closing shop in Hanover, Pennsylvania, Daughter’s Cafe still has a seasonal outfit at the Drummer Boy Campground in Gettysburg. But the seasonal operation closes in October, hence Long’s eagerness to get her soon-to-be Hampstead location primed for action. The Cafe will be at 1005 S. Main St.

The town Planning and Zoning Commission also heard from another Main Street business, as Hampstead Pre-Owned Auto Sales presented its proposal for a new lighting system for approval.

Anthony Birdsong, the owner, told the commission of his short- and long-term plans for his business. He expressed frustration about growing pains of transforming a formerly neglected used-car outfit into a “pillar of the community.” He described uncooperative neighbors, pointed to costly upgrades that resulted from years of renters’ laid-back business styles.

“As we’re growing, space has become an issue,” Birdsong told the commission, presenting its members with his conundrum.

“The back lot needs to be paved. If the back lot is paved, there’ll be more space. When there’s more space, my cars won’t be parked all over the place because they’ll be able to be parked in an organized fashion,” Birdsong said. “The back of the lot cannot be paved until the lighting is done. The lighting can’t be done until it’s approved by the county” and the commission.

He continued, describing a car park that’s starless at night — dangerous for employees and for business.

The lighting system Birdsong’s proposing to put up, he said, costs $25,000.

“(The lights) point directly down at the lot to prevent light pollution, so that they don’t go into the neighbor’s yard,” he said. “That’s not to say that the neighbors’ backyards won’t be a little bit brighter, but only in the sense that back there it’s completely pitch black.”

Hampstead Pre-Owned’s illumination project involves putting up new light posts, exchanging old candescent bulbs with new, LED light technology.


The commission unanimously approved the lighting proposal.

Earlier in the meeting, Town Manager Tami Ledley updated commission members and audience on the Main Street Revitalization Project.

It’s on schedule, but could be headed for another delay, Ledley said.

Curb, gutter and sidewalk crews can’t move forward until the gas line progresses past a certain point. Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. had to alter the course of the gas line, calling for updates to state-approved site plans.

“That is behind,” Ledley said. “It could possibly put the rest of the project behind, depending on how fast BGE can [advance].”