Zoning commission chairman resigns


The Sykesville Planning and Zoning Commission, which last month was unable to conduct business for lack of a quorum, is losing its chairman. Dennis Karr is resigning because of job pressures.

Frequent travel is forcing Mr. Karr to miss commission meetings, said Jonathan Herman, council liaison to the seven-member panel.

"His job won't allow him the time to be here," said Mr. Herman. "Dennis has been dedicated to this position for several years."

Mr. Herman will act as temporary chairman. Ann Marie Osinga will serve as vice chairwoman.

Mr. Karr's resignation creates a second commission vacancy and comes less than a month after Vincent DiGiovanni moved from town and also left the commission.

At the November council meeting, Mayor Kenneth W. Clark made a plea for volunteers.

The council, which has the responsibility of appointing commission members, will address the situation at its regular meeting Monday.

On the agenda last night, members listened to a resident's concerns about a five-acre parcel on Sandosky Road near the entrance to town from Route 32.

A sign advertises the commercial-zoned property for sale or lease.

"I have heard all kinds of possibilities including a strip mall shopping center for this site," said Dorothy Schaefer of Springfield Avenue. "I see no need for any stores in this area which is completely surrounded by residences."

Ms. Schaefer said some neighbors are concerned about the plot going commercial and the elimination of open space at an entry to town.

"What is the vista as you come into town?" she asked. "We need to save our open space. I am seriously concerned about another plot going commercial."

Town Manager James L. Schumacher said several construction projects had been proposed for the site, zoned for light business.

"We have heard everything from the Moose Lodge to a strip mall," he said.

Mr. Herman said the commercial zoning on the property legally limits any action by the commission. Any new proposals would fall under the Small Town Planning Guidelines adopted a year ago and "would make any development better than it would have been," he said.

"We can take your concerns into account and consider them when we review the master plan for the entire town," he said, adding he expects that review to occur early next year.

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