Blythewood PC recommends approval for 3 zoning changes

BLYTHEWOOD – Blythewood Planning commissioners voted 5-0 to recommend that council approve requests for each of two zoning map amendments and a zoning text amendment that were before them Monday night.

The commission first voted to recommend approval for zoning to be changed from Rural (RU) to Multi-Neighborhood Commercial District (MC)/Architectural Overlay District (AO) on 10.4 acres owned by a group of McLean family members. The applicant is JTN McLean and was represented by one of the partner owners, Jim McLean.

The property is located on Langford Road and bordered on one side by Sandfield Road.

Multi-Neighborhood Commercial District (MC)

The proposed MC district is intended to provide a slightly less intensive land use than the Town Center Zoning District (TC). MC has a medium land use intensity for residential, civic, office and  retail categories, compared to TC, which the zoning ordinance describes as heavy for residential, civic, office and medium for retail categories (Sec.155-180(E)).

AO Architectural Overlay District.

This zoning district is intended to require the review and receipt of a certificate of appropriateness from the board of architectural review for new construction, major improvement or exterior alteration of existing structures existing structures which meet the requirements for review. AO is intended to promote the development of aesthetically pleasing commercial areas which invite business establishments and will attract resident and visitor patronage. The architectural overlay district includes all property within the NO neighborhood office, NC neighborhood commercial, MO multineighborhood office, MC multi-neighborhood commercial, TC town center, and CC community commercial zoning districts. The architectural overlay district also includes the commercial land uses within a PD planned development district.

The property is bordered on the north by TC zoning; on the east and south by RU zoning in unincorporated Richland County; on the west by PDD (Planned Development District) in unincorported Richland County (Blythewood Farms).

Asked by Commissioner Edward Kesser if McLean planned to develop the land or let someone else develop it, McLean, who was accompanied by his nephew Neil McLean, said he had not decided.

“Essentially, we’re asking for the zoning change to allow for professional type structures over there,” McLean said. He said this conversation is just beginning and that he would be looking for uses that accommodate the town, not the areas outside the town.

CC Community Commercial District / AO Architectural Overlay District.

The commission next voted unanimously to recommend approval for zoning to be changed from Town Center District (TC) to Community Commercial District (CC)/Architectural Overlay District (AO) on .410 acres owned by Barbara Ball, the applicant. The property is located at the corner of Main Street (Hwy 21) and McLean Road.

This district is intended to provide a mix of heavy-intensity office, civic, retail, and residential uses.

Compared to the TC town center district, the CC community commercial district allows the largest and most intense commercial uses.

The purpose of the Community Commercial Zoning District, according to a memo included in the agenda packet, is to provide locations for planned and integrated retail shopping areas in proximity to residential neighborhoods. The intent is to create areas with a wide variety of commercial establishments allowing for convenient day-to-day shopping and services.

The applicant also requested the zoning designation retain the AO Architectural Overlay District review.

Town planning staff recommended that council approve the map amendments for both the Mclean property and the Ball property.

Asked by Commissioner Erika Page if there was a timeline for making any changes to the property, Ball said there were none, but that she only wanted the zoning to revert back to the zoning she originally had on the property which was a higher commercial use than the town center zoning.

“If it were to become a used car lot, it’s under the purview of the Board of Architectural Review to make it look nice,” Ball said.

The commissioners voted unanimously to recommend that council approve the requested CC/AO zoning.

New Building Setbacks

The commissioners also voted unanimously to recommend that council approve a zoning text amendment that would require front building setbacks to be a maximum of 25 feet to accommodate parking in the rear of the building and to encourage pedestrian access.

The setbacks would only apply to Neighborhood Office, Neighborhood Commercial, Multi-Neighborhood Commercial and Community Commercial Zoning Districts.


  1. Concerned Citizen says

    This sucks. Stop letting people build more and more and more on smaller and smaller pieces of land. You corrupt lemmings. We need more open fields and green spaces and trees. Not more buildings and houses and people.

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