News: In the News

Frederick Planning Commissioners Give Blessing To Pave Way For East Side Commercial Project

David Severn Featured in the Frederick News Post

A commercial project on Frederick’s east side is moving closer to reality after planning commissioners signed off on a zoning change necessary for development.


Frederick Corner — or Bluegrass, as the Virginia-based developer Peterson Cos. refers to it on its website — is tentatively slated for roughly 14 acres at Monocacy Boulevard and East South Street, on the edge of the Frederick Brick Works site.

The city’s Planning Commission voted unanimously Monday to give a positive recommendation to the mayor and Board of Aldermen to rezone about 16.5 acres of industrially zoned land to general commercial for the project. The aldermen are now tasked to hold at least one workshop and vote on the request at a future public hearing.

Dave Severn, a land-use attorney for the developer, said Monday that if the rezoning is approved, the project will likely take about 18 months to complete. According to the plans, the development will include 90,000 square feet of fast-casual restaurants and a gas station.

Severn said the developers are shopping around regionally and nationally for tenants but have not inked any deals.

“They’re looking, but it’s hard to get any [tenants] until we know what the zoning is,” he said.

The land is currently zoned heavy industrial, which was seemingly appropriate given its proximity to the Bricks Works site and other industrial development at the time of the original zoning in 2012. Severn pointed out, and staff members agreed, that the zoning was a mistake, though. According to the staff report, which pulled from Severn’s application to change the zoning, city planning officials were not aware of several facts at the time that would have allowed them to zone the property adequately. The facts included the site no longer being part of the current or planned operations of the nearby Lafarge Stone Quarry, which was being sold to Bluegrass Materials; the closing of an asphalt plant in the area because it could no longer sustain its business; and the small size of the property making it no longer viable for heavy industrial purposes.

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ABOUT DAVID SEVERN | 240.772.5114

David A. Severn has been practicing law in Frederick MD, since 1980 and focuses his practice on land use, development and real estate. He represents clients in all aspects of the zoning and land use process appearing regularly before planning commissions, boards of appeal and legislative bodies of Frederick County, Washington County and their municipalities. He has served as lead counsel in numerous large and complex development projects including “Carroll Creek Park” a mixed use, public-private partnership re-development project in historic downtown Frederick modeled on River Walk in San Antonio, “Frederick Crossing”, the first large mixed use commercial retail/employment center in Frederick County and the redevelopment of the Frederick Towne Mall. David also works for the public sector in serving as legal counsel to the Town of Walkersville, the City of Brunswick, Frederick County and Washington County Public Schools for real estate and land use matters.



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