Town of Leonardtown, MD
St. Marys County
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Breton Bay is an important and unique resource necessary to the economic viability of Leonardtown. This district is intended to promote the development and redevelopment of land along Breton Bay with a mixture of uses and activities which are either dependent upon or appropriate to the waterfront. To complement and strengthen the function of the waterfront area, certain recreation, shopping, business and residential uses are permitted.
The purpose of this district is to ensure compatibility with development in the downtown commercial and historic district, compatibility with architecture, landscaping and site design for development within the district and public access to the waterfront, with proper emphasis on pedestrian movement and its separation from vehicular traffic.
Coordination of site plans, landscaping and pedestrian and traffic movement is a necessary concern for review and approval of uses to assure that waterfront development uses can function harmoniously and compatibly with less-intensive uses permitted to complement and strengthen the waterfront area. Therefore, all uses permitted in this district shall be subject to procedures established for review and approval as identified in §§ 155-24, 155-39 and 155-40 of this chapter (see C-SC District provisions in Article IV and Article IX) to assure compatibility among uses and to assure proposed uses achieve the purpose of the district. The applicant is encouraged to seek the advice of the Town’s administrative staff, and/or professional designers, architects, planners, and engineers, prior to the preparation of plans for any development within this district.
[Amended 11-12-2002 by Ord. No. 108; 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
[Amended 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149; 7-11-2016 by Ord. No. 176]
No building or premises shall be erected, structurally altered, enlarged or maintained nor shall any land be used, except for the following purposes:
Restaurants and outdoor eating facilities;
Specialty shops, under 5,000 square feet, such as art, gift, antique, import, health and natural goods, including uses of a more general commercial nature which do not detract from the purpose of the waterfront or which are necessary to its economic viability;
Office buildings;
Mixed use buildings: residential/retail/office;
Social, cultural facilities, public parks and open space;
Museums or similar interpretive facilities;
Public facilities;
Publicly owned boat docking or slip facilities;
Unspecified uses of land, buildings or structures in the C-M District shall be permitted only after Planning and Zoning Commission review and recommendation and with the approval of the Board of Appeals based on their finding that such uses are consistent with the purposes for the C-M District.
[Added 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
Standards for height, bulk and area are summarized in Chart A, Height, Area and Bulk Requirements.[1] No single structure within the C-M district may have a first floor greater than 10,000 square feet in floor area.
Editor's Note: Chart A is included as an attachment to this chapter.
[Added 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
Site planning for commercial uses in the C-M District. Commercial buildings shall be so grouped in relation to parking areas that establishments can be visited with a minimum of internal automotive movement. Facilities and access routes for deliveries, servicing and maintenance shall, so far as reasonably practicable, be separated from customer access routes and parking areas.
Sites should be developed in a coordinated manner to complement adjacent structures through placement, architecture and size or mass. Commercial uses shall be designed to reduce the visual impact of a single larger building mass in keeping with the scale of existing structures in Leonardtown.
Whenever possible, commercial buildings on the same site should be clustered and incorporate plazas, courtyards, pocket parks, and other pedestrian use areas.
Sites occupied by commercial uses should be designed to avoid the appearance of domination by automobiles. Positive methods to achieve this guideline include:
Orienting buildings to fronting streets and placing some of the parking at the rear and/or sides.
Designing the required parking area into a series of smaller, discrete, connected lots rather than a large uninterrupted parking lot(s).
Providing well-defined pedestrian walkways through parking areas and from public sidewalks into the site. Well-defined walkways utilize pavers, changes in color, texture, and composition of paving materials and vertical plantings such as trees and shrubs. The minimum width of walkways should be five feet.
Parking areas should be designed to be partially screened from view from adjacent streets and building occupants.
Screening can be accomplished through a number of methods, including:
Orienting buildings away from parking areas.
Placing buildings between streets and parking lots/areas.
Using extensive landscape screening and/or architecturally treated walls.
Methods utilized should be designed to accomplish the intended screening while allowing adequate safety and surveillance of the parking areas.
Building design for commercial uses.
Buildings should reflect an individual design that has considered site location, waterfront presence, intended use, and the character/building mass of surrounding development.
A consistent visual identity should be applied to all sides of buildings visible to the general public. All sides should have an equivalent level of quality of materials, detailing and window placement. Abrupt ending of architectural details should be avoided with no radical change in details, features or materials.
Buildings should utilize features that celebrate their presence in a waterfront-oriented district. Positive methods to achieve this objective include retaining views of the water in building placement and design, use of quality building materials, placement of windows and doors to maximize views of Breton Bay, use of porches, porticos or canopies, changes in floor level, and projections that provide building shadows that visually break up long, flat building facades.
Buildings should avoid long, blank, uninterrupted roof planes that obscure views to the water from surrounding properties. Positive methods to achieve this objective include height variations to give the appearance of distinct elements or offsets in the roofline to provide architectural interest and variety to the massing of the building and to relieve the effect of a single, long roof.
Large buildings should use articulation in a clear rhythm to emphasize architectural elements (like windows, entries, balconies, etc.) that create a complementary pattern of rhythm, dividing large buildings into smaller identifiable pieces.
Buildings facing streets or the waterfront should incorporate pedestrian-scaled entrances. Pedestrian-scaled entrances are those that provide an expression of human activity or use in relation to building size. Doors, windows, entrances and other features should be designed to respond to the size of the human body and not give the appearance of anonymity or overwhelming the building's users.
Building design should incorporate traditional building materials such as masonry, stone, heavy timbers, brick or other natural-appearing materials.
Building colors should accent, blend with, or complement surroundings. Bright or brilliant colors should be reserved for trim and accents.
Outdoor storage areas, mechanical equipment and trash receptacles should not be visible from adjacent streets and pedestrian walkways. The method of screening such areas from view should be architecturally integrated with the building with respect to materials, shape and size.
Materials used for site features such as fences, screen walls, and signs should be visually attractive and designed and located to complement building design through materials, color, shape and size.