June 21, 2024
Annapolis, US 89 F

Eastport Landing okayed for 106 units, developer weighing options

UPDATE:  Pete Gutwald, the Director of Planning and Zoning, responded to our inquiry on the his written opinion/decision.

After his opinion was issued, he sent the following email to the City Manager, the developers, and Bill Reichhadt who leads the Eastport Residents’ Workgroup.

After consultation with the City Manager and Office of Law it was determined that the findings regarding the density methodology for Special Mixed Planned Developments is considered to be a “decision” by the Director of Planning and Zoning. Any decision regarding who and what can be appealed will be the decision of the Board of Appeals.
Since the decision was to determine the methodology for density calculations, no further determination will be made regarding the exact number of units because there are so many other variables such as parking requirements for shopping centers, scale, height and mass of the project which could influence the number of units.
We asked Gutwald to explain that statement since he was not willing to present a solid number of units that could be built. The email essentially says that his opinion was considered a “decision” by the Office of Law which is appealable. But without a number to appeal, it makes it difficult to actually file an appeal. We asked for clarification and received this response.
My decision recognized the fact that after all the methodologies presented to me (from the public meeting) including those from City Law office, that Gross Residential Development Area included more than just the floor area of commercial use ( if you recall previous correspondence from myself and the previous Acting Director has maintained that the commercial uses needed to be defined in order to determine “Gross Residential Development Area”).  I determined that the only additional areas to be included as solely Commercial uses included the parking requirements and associated drive aisle.
The 18-61 numbers identified in my findings was an assessment of all the methodologies that were presented to me – not my decision.
The decision to appeal is the “methodology to be utilized for calculating density in the B2 district for a Special Mixed Planned Development”…not an exact number because as I stated there are so many other variables to determine the final number of units for this project.

At this point, it appears that the project is stalled and the City will not be able to provide a number of allowable units until some sort of appeal is filed.

Edit: The City has advised that Pete Gutwald will be issuing a statement on 7/26 regarding this calculation and indicated that the revised, revised number is not 106 as there will be “other factors” that will be taken into consideration beyond density.

The City of Annapolis Director of Planning and Zoning has agreed that the density calculations for the Eastport Landing project will allow for 106 units more units than those claimed by the Eastport Citizens Workgroup. This is still a reduction in their initial proposal of 127 units, but it makes quite a bit more than the 61 units put forth by the Eastport Citizens Workgroup.

The revised information comes from a meeting with Solstice Partners last week.  Solstice released the following statement.

As you may know, on Friday, July 14th, the City of Annapolis released the Planning and Zoning Director’s findings on the density calculations of Eastport Landing.

It is important to note that in his findings the Director does not provide an exact allowable unit count. However, his findings calculate an allowable density of 106 units under our current application.

In determining the density calculations, the Planning and Zoning Director subtracted commercial square footage and associated commercial parking square footage from the total development site to get to the allowable residential building area, which equates to 106 residential units after including a 10% bonus for delivering moderately priced dwellings.

Shortly after the memo was released, our team, alongside members of the concerned citizens group, met with the Planning Director to discuss the findings in more detail. At the meeting, the Planning Director confirmed the unit count of 106.

Given this information, our team is currently evaluating our options for the future of the project.


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