Article VI. Planned Redevelopment (PR) Overlay District



    The purpose of the Planned Redevelopment Overlay District (PR) is to provide a mechanism for the redevelopment, rehabilitation, and general improvement of certain older areas within the Town of Easton that have fallen into a somewhat neglected or dilapidated state or have simply been used for a purpose that no longer serves the health, safety or general welfare of the neighborhood. PR applications may be submitted only if the project is located within the Planned Redevelopment Overlay District. However, this mechanism is optional and shall not be required of all projects located within this zone. Projects not being developed in accordance with PR District standards shall be developed in accordance with the development standards of the underlying base zoning district.

    The nature, size, scale or intensity of a proposed uses may cause a particular site not to be suitable for a specific PR proposal. Therefore, there is no general presumption that an application for such a use at a particular location is valid, inures to the general benefit of the Town, is compatible with surrounding uses, or is in compliance with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. Instead, each application will be evaluated according to its particular location and the degree to which the developer is willing or able to propose a development plan which ameliorates possible adverse impacts and furthers the goals and objectives of this Section and the Ordinance generally


    Development within the Planned Redevelopment Overlay District shall meet the following requirements:
    1. The area proposed for a planned redevelopment shall be in one (1) ownership, or, if in several ownerships, the proposal shall be filed jointly by all the owners of the property included in the development plan.
    2. The site shall be of a configuration suitable for the development proposed
    3. Public water and sewerage shall be available.
    4. The site shall be located adjacent to adequate transportation facilities capable of serving existing traffic and that expected to be generated by the proposed development.
    5. The overall residential density of a Planned Redevelopment project shall not exceed twenty (20) units per gross residential acre.  For the purposes of this subsection, the gross residential area shall include all land within the area intended to be used for residences, residential parking space, and reservation for community recreation and education facilities.  Any land mapped as floodway by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and non-residential uses shall be excluded in computing the gross area.  The Planning Commission may require a lower density if review of the proposed development indicates that the maximum allowable density is excessive for the surrounding area.
    6. Adequate Common Open Space shall be provided for new infill development projects.  Such space shall include land area to be developed as recreational areas or which is designated for the common use of all occupants of the planned redevelopment but shall not include streets, off-street parking areas or incidental landscaping within off-street parking areas.  The Planning Commission must be furnished satisfactory evidence that such open space will be continued and that provision is made for its perpetual maintenance.
    7. For new infill development projects, the setback, lot size, lot coverage, height, and yard requirements shall be established for each individual project by the Planning Commission.  In establishing these requirements the Planning Commission shall consider such factors as the proposed intensity of the project and the existing character of the neighborhood.
    8. Adequate parking shall be provided for the proposed use as approved by the Planning Commission.
    9. Sidewalks shall be constructed along any public right-of-way (except for alleys) adjacent to the site along the entire frontage(s) of the property.  To the extent practicable, walkways shall be constructed on the site to tie building entrances and/or pedestrian pathway systems into existing or proposed public sidewalk systems.  The Planning Commission may waive the requirement for sidewalks on a given lot if they find that pedestrian circulation is adequately addressed without them.  In such circumstances the requirement shall not be simply waived, but rather it may be satisfied by either the payment of a fee-in-lieu of constructing the sidewalk (which shall be based on the Town of Easton’s estimate of the cost of constructing a sidewalk on the site in question) or the construction of a comparable length sidewalk on another site (or a combination of the two options) and dedication of an acceptable easement area for sidewalks for potential future construction of sidewalks on the site.

    Applications for PR projects shall be reviewed in accordance with the following procedures, depending upon the type of project.
    1. Applications that represent new infill development shall proceed in accordance with the requirements of Section 28 – 301 of this Ordinance.  Where the underlying zoning district is residential (any “R” district) the new infill development must be a use otherwise permitted in said underlying district.  Where the underlying zoning district is non-residential, any use may be proposed and the Planning Commission may approve the application based on the site plan review findings and standards of Section 28 – 301.  No use indicated as “prohibited” in all zoning districts shall be permitted in the PR Overlay.
    2. Applications for the adaptive reuse of existing buildings shall be reviewed as follows:
      1. Requests to change to a permitted use (in the underlying zoning district) that requires less parking than the previous use shall be approved with no review beyond that required for a building permit (if any).
      2. Requests to change to a permitted use (in the underlying zoning district) that requires more parking than the previous use shall be reviewed in accordance with the Site Plan Review standards as outlined in Section 28 – 301 of this Ordinance.
      3. Requests to change to a use that is not permitted in the underlying zoning district may be reviewed in accordance with the standards for Site Plan Review (Section 28 – 301).
      4. Regardless of subsections a through c above, in any residential (“R”) zoning district, only uses that are permitted in the underlying zoning district may be proposed for the adaptive reuse project.
    3. Applications for renovations, alterations or additions to existing improved lots which violate the prescribed setback of the underlying zoning district, but are no closer to the property line than the existing structure shall be reviewed by the Town Planner. The application shall furnish the Town Planner with a site plan with enough information to permit an adequate review of the request. If approved by the Town Planner, nothing more than a building permit shall be required for such requests. Nothing in this provision,however shall permit construction in violation of the Town’s Building Code without a Variance from said Code.

      Applications for renovations, alterations or additions to existing improved lots which both violate the prescribed setbacks of the underlying zoning district and are closer to the property line than the existing structure(s) shall be reviewed by the process prescribed above for new infill development (i.e. the Site Plan Review Standards of this Ordinance as prescribed in Section 28 – 301).
    4. Requests to demolish and redevelop properties shall be reviewed in accordance with the Site Plan Review standards as outlined in Section 28 – 301 of this Ordinance.
    5. Requests to operate a Mobile Food Use on a longer-term basis than otherwise permitted (i.e., as a Temporary Use) may be considered and approved by the Planning Commission.  Such requests shall only be permitted if the proposed use (i) is owned, operated or controlled by the entity that is entitled to the otherwise lawfully permitted use of the property where the mobile food use is located; and (ii) is operated as an expansion of or complement to a business operating an otherwise lawfully permitted use on said property.  Any such request shall be made to the Planning Commission and include a site plan indicating the proposed location of the mobile food use, a picture or sketch which accurately depicts the appearance of the proposed structure, a statement indicating the expected impact of the proposed addition in terms of parking (including the expected additional demand and the existing and proposed supply), neighborhood impacts (e.g. traffic, noise, odor, lighting, etc.), and any other such information which the Town Planner reasonably determines would be necessary for the Planning Commission to reach an informed conclusion as to the merits and impacts of the proposed addition.
    6. Applications for properties that are presently or have most recently been used for any Institutional Use may either (1) continue to be used for said Institutional Use, (2) convert to any other permitted Institutional Use, or (3) be converted to any use permitted in the underlying zoning district.
    7. The Town may require the execution of a Public Works Agreement as a condition of approval of any PR project.  If required, said Agreement shall outline the standards and responsibilities associated with the proposed project and shall be prepared in a format acceptable to the Town Attorney.

    Amendments to approved PR applications shall be reviewed under the same standards prescribed above for new projects.

    In the future, additional lands may be designated as Planned Redevelopment Overlay. The process for so doing is as follows:
    1. An application for Planned Redevelopment Overlay District Zoning shall be filed with the Town Planner and forwarded to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a recommendation before proceeding to the Town Council.
    2. The application for PR Overlay District Zoning shall include a map of the area proposed for the designation and shall be accompanied by a metes and bounds description of the proposed zoning boundaries as well as a complete listing of the names and addresses of all property owners within the proposed PR Overlay District.
    3. The area proposed for PR Overlay District Zoning shall be contiguous and at least five (5) acres in size unless the proposed PR Overlay District is an extension of an existing PR Overlay District.
    4. The application for establishing a new PR Overlay District shall be accompanied by a land use and housing/building survey which analyzes the appropriateness of the existing zoning, the conditions of the housing or commercial or industrial buildings within the proposed PR zone, etc.
    5. The application shall include a petition or similar device indicating the support of the owners of at least fifty-one (51%) percent of the lots within the proposed PR District.
    6. The Planning and Zoning Commission may require whatever additional studies or reports it deems necessary to adequately analyze the application.
    7. The Planning Commission shall make and forward a recommendation to the Town Council who shall schedule and hold a Public Hearing on the application in accordance with the provisions of Section 28 – 1403 of this Ordinance.
    8. The Town Council shall vote as to whether or not to approve the proposed PR Overlay District.  Before approving a request, the Town Council must make the following findings.
      1. The structures within the proposed PR District are predominately in need of rehabilitation, deteriorated, or built to zoning (or before any zoning) that no longer is appropriate for the area.
      2. The creation of the PR Overlay will allow for the rehabilitation and redevelopment of an area of the Town of Easton that is in need of such action.
      3. The creation of the PR Overlay District will not cause undue traffic nor overburden the Town's community facilities (water, sewer, solid waste, etc.).

        If the Town Council makes an affirmative finding of fact as to each of the criteria listed above, the Council may enact an ordinance granting the proposed PR district creation or expansion. The fact that an application for a PR district creation or expansion complies with the specific requirements listed above shall not require the Town Council to grant the application. The ordinance shall be subject to approval by the Mayor in accordance with the provisions of the Town Charter relating to mayoral vetoes.

        The "change/mistake" rule, as codified in Maryland Annotated Code Article 66B Section 4.05 is not applicable to the creation or expansion of PR districts nor to any project submitted in accordance with the regulations of this subsection.
  6. Site Plan Review and Action

    The review processes described in subsection C above shall represent the initial step in the PR review process.  Successful applications shall subsequently follow the appropriate steps for the type of project submitted and the applicant shall prepare and submit for review by the Planning Commission a preliminary and a final site/subdivision plan in accordance with the site plan requirements specified in Subsection 28 – 301.3.B. of this Ordinance and/or the requirements of the Town of Easton Subdivision Regulations.