Westminster planners approve expansion of Englar Road bank branch


The Westminster Planning and Zoning Commission approved a proposal yesterday to expand the Englar Road branch of Carroll County Bank and Trust Co., a key player in downtown revitalization.

With little public discussion, the five-member commission voted unanimously to approve the project.

Plans for the 2,200-square-foot addition also must be approved by Thomas B. Beyard, Westminster's director of planning and public works, before construction can begin.

"We're hoping to break ground in June," said Ed Gottleib, senior vice president of the bank. The addition, designed by Overton & Ogburn Associates Inc. of Bladensburg, will be added to the rear of the existing one-story structure at Englar Road and Route 140, he said.

The branch has experienced double-digit growth in customer activity each year for the past five years, Gottleib said.

The addition will house a new customer service counter to handle noncash transactions. Bank officials have said they will hire two new employees when the addition is complete. They would not disclose the cost of the construction project.

Carroll County Bank and Trust, a subsidiary of Westminster-based Mason-Dixon Bancshares, is redeveloping the old Farmers Supply Co. site at Liberty and Green streets as a $6 million office and retail complex.

Construction at the Farmers Supply site should be completed by Oct. 30, 1999.

Also last night, the Planning and Zoning Commission denied a request by Realtor Charles J. Plunkert to subdivide a lot near Johahn Drive, off Uniontown Road. Plunkert wants to build a second home on the 1.5-acre parcel, behind an existing rancher.

Yesterday was the second time Plunkert had requested the commission's approval to subdivide the parcel known as Carol West. The commission also denied his request last year.

Members of the board said last night that the project would not be compatible with surrounding neighborhoods. Randy L. Bachtel, the Westminster planner who drafted the proposal, disagreed.

"There are at least 20 other lots in the area that are subdivided," Bachtel said. "I don't understand how the board can say this would be incompatible."

Bachtel said he and his client had been through planning and zoning's review process twice, "and compatibility was never mentioned as an issue."

Plunkert said that he would appeal last night's decision.

Pub Date: 5/08/98

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