Micheal's in California Closing????

BernieP

Resident PIA
Everytime a center or business gets old and tired, the brainiacs in Leonardtown allow for the building of a new center or business, and the old ones just sit boarded up. Flavor of the Month Economic Development Plan.
unfortunately none of them have been boarded up and the "brainiacs " in Leonardtown can't force private owners to run a business successfully.
Beyond that, people didn't want "a mall", they were happy with little strip centers popping up all over the place when a landowner was able to find a developer to build.
 

Goldenhawk

Well-Known Member
The brainiacs just allow new construction versus filling space that's boarded up.
Hang on, let me put on my libertarian hat for a moment...

What right does the county government have to prevent a land owner from opening a site up for commercial development in a properly-zoned area, just because there's a vacant storefront somewhere nearby? That's a great way to completely shut down all commercial development in an area, forever.

And what right does the county government have to force a business to reuse vacant commercial space? If the business truly believes it can make more money and attract more customers by building a new facility at great cost, let it try. After all, that's how we FINALLY have a decent movie theater.

If Millison can't manage their property better, it's their loss; sooner or later they'll run out of money and be forced to sell to someone who can do it better. It ain't fast, but that's capitalism.

...

Now let me put on my skeptic's hat for a moment...

The commissioners probably see that great new development across from Wildewood as a huge tax boon to the county... this just adds another commercial taxpayer to the rolls. A few vacant buildings are easily tolerated, and someone still has to pay property tax on the vacant buildings, so it's a win for the budget.

...

All said, I'd rather let the market figure these things out, than try to create some imaginary and impossible utopia.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
The county does have the right for zoning. It also isn't exactly capitalism when those that make those decisions have ties or stakes in the land sale though.

The only place I know of that could possibly accommodate a Home depot would be the old McKays Great Mills Road location and I do not think that was vacant at the time all of this started so there is that.
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
The county does have the right for zoning. It also isn't exactly capitalism when those that make those decisions have ties or stakes in the land sale though.

The only place I know of that could possibly accommodate a Home depot would be the old McKays Great Mills Road location and I do not think that was vacant at the time all of this started so there is that.
Zoning is one thing, and the county should have long ago formed a comprehensive plan. But they can't force a business, a landlord, to be successful. They can't deny another business the right to compete because somebody else has failed down the road a bit.

You ought to talk to some of the shop owners that rent store fronts in the centers - high rents, little or no upkeep from the landlord, etc.
 

CrashTest

Well-Known Member
Hang on, let me put on my libertarian hat for a moment...

What right does the county government have to prevent a land owner from opening a site up for commercial development in a properly-zoned area, just because there's a vacant storefront somewhere nearby? That's a great way to completely shut down all commercial development in an area, forever.
It's their responsibility to avoid blighted areas.

On Great Mills Rd you had a boarded up Exxon and a boarded up Texaco sitting on good land, so the county allows the building of a new Sheetz and a new WaWa both within walking distance of the boarded up gas stations (and one of them is still sitting there boarded up 15 years later).
 

Goldenhawk

Well-Known Member
It's their responsibility to avoid blighted areas.
You're absolutely right. But they need to be proactive, not reactive. The problem is a lack of foresight and a lack of political will (around here, often due to conflict of interest) to make the difficult zoning changes BEFORE a problem arises. This is why it took so long for the blight ordinance to be enacted. Going after someone for a use you don't like is a very touchy subject.

I feel it's inappropriate to change zoning on a property to try to stop an otherwise-approved use of the property from happening.

Imagine you were the owner of the property across from Wildewood. It is properly zoned to accommodate a new theater. You apply for the appropriate permits. Then the commissioners or LUGM change the zoning to shut you down. How would you react?

Or, imagine you are the owner of the Texaco station. You know it would cost $300K to demolish the building, tear out all the nasty concrete, remove the old buried gas tanks and fill in the holes, and generally clean up the property to make it attractive to buyers. But its assessed value is only $250K, so you know you'd lose a ton of money in the process. Conversely, you can just pay about $3K tax per year to leave it like it is, hoping someone comes along to buy it as-is. Which would you choose? How would you react if the county tried to force you to clean it up?
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
Or, imagine you are the owner of the Texaco station. You know it would cost $300K to demolish the building, tear out all the nasty concrete, remove the old buried gas tanks and fill in the holes, and generally clean up the property to make it attractive to buyers. But its assessed value is only $250K, so you know you'd lose a ton of money in the process. Conversely, you can just pay about $3K tax per year to leave it like it is, hoping someone comes along to buy it as-is. Which would you choose? How would you react if the county tried to force you to clean it up?
I do believe they have the option of simply surrendering it to the county or selling it at a deep discount.

It isn't just how it is zoned I believe how much traffic it creates is also a part of it, the old concrete facility just didn't have that much compared to what Home Depot will have.
 
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PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
It's their responsibility to avoid blighted areas.

On Great Mills Rd you had a boarded up Exxon and a boarded up Texaco sitting on good land, so the county allows the building of a new Sheetz and a new WaWa both within walking distance of the boarded up gas stations (and one of them is still sitting there boarded up 15 years later).
That is one hell of a good sign though, 15 years later the thing still looks to be in great shape.
 

CrashTest

Well-Known Member
You're absolutely right. But they need to be proactive, not reactive. The problem is a lack of foresight and a lack of political will (around here, often due to conflict of interest) to make the difficult zoning changes BEFORE a problem arises. This is why it took so long for the blight ordinance to be enacted. Going after someone for a use you don't like is a very touchy subject.

I feel it's inappropriate to change zoning on a property to try to stop an otherwise-approved use of the property from happening.

Imagine you were the owner of the property across from Wildewood. It is properly zoned to accommodate a new theater. You apply for the appropriate permits. Then the commissioners or LUGM change the zoning to shut you down. How would you react?

Or, imagine you are the owner of the Texaco station. You know it would cost $300K to demolish the building, tear out all the nasty concrete, remove the old buried gas tanks and fill in the holes, and generally clean up the property to make it attractive to buyers. But its assessed value is only $250K, so you know you'd lose a ton of money in the process. Conversely, you can just pay about $3K tax per year to leave it like it is, hoping someone comes along to buy it as-is. Which would you choose? How would you react if the county tried to force you to clean it up?
The county tells the folks who want to build a new gas station that they must incur the cost to demo the old building or they hit the road and build in another county. The county issues the permit so they control everything.

Been a lot of folks over the years complaining about those boarded up gas stations sitting in the middle of lovely "downtown" Great Mills. I blame the county.
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
It's their responsibility to avoid blighted areas.

On Great Mills Rd you had a boarded up Exxon and a boarded up Texaco sitting on good land, so the county allows the building of a new Sheetz and a new WaWa both within walking distance of the boarded up gas stations (and one of them is still sitting there boarded up 15 years later).
In that case the county is going to decide on your landscaping and the exterior color and style of your home, we would not want the area to be blighted.

The county cannot and should not be in the business of brokering land deals. Basically what you are suggesting would allow land owners of a defunct business to hold a gun to the head of a prospective new business.
They could dictate the price and terms knowing they had the only property the county would allow the potential new business to use.
In the case of the two gas stations, the property owners would not only be able to ask a premium for the land, but could pass along the responsibility of cleaning up any environmental hazards to the new owner or tenant.
Besides, why would Sheetz or Wa Wa want to locate there?
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
The county tells the folks who want to build a new gas station that they must incur the cost to demo the old building or they hit the road and build in another county. The county issues the permit so they control everything.
LOL..I can only begin to imagine the legal bills the county would incur were such illegal actions as you suggest ever actually taken by county Land Use officials.
 

stgislander

Well-Known Member
PREMO Member
In that case the county is going to decide on your landscaping and the exterior color and style of your home, we would not want the area to be blighted.

The county cannot and should not be in the business of brokering land deals. Basically what you are suggesting would allow land owners of a defunct business to hold a gun to the head of a prospective new business.
They could dictate the price and terms knowing they had the only property the county would allow the potential new business to use.
In the case of the two gas stations, the property owners would not only be able to ask a premium for the land, but could pass along the responsibility of cleaning up any environmental hazards to the new owner or tenant.
Besides, why would Sheetz or Wa Wa want to locate there?
WaWa left a site on GMR already.
 

CrashTest

Well-Known Member
The county denies liquor licenses because we have too many liquor stores. Why don't they deny the building of a new gas station because we have too many boarded up gas stations?
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
The county denies liquor licenses because we have too many liquor stores. Why don't they deny the building of a new gas station because we have too many boarded up gas stations?
because they were delegated that prevue under state law. This is Maryland, I'm sure they would love to set up a regulatory board for all businesses to determine if there is justification for them to open shop and then tell them where they can and cannot setup that business. Sounds similar to the way communist countries worked their free enterprise system. You were free to do any work you wanted as long as the government approved it in advance.
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
The county denies liquor licenses because we have too many liquor stores. Why don't they deny the building of a new gas station because we have too many boarded up gas stations?
The answer is right there in your question: liquor licenses are specially regulated and controlled and special rules apply (rightly or wrongly..I happen to think mostly wrongly but that's separate debate). A special board approves and administers them (nothing to do directly with P&Z/Land Use either).

The same has never been true - and never should be true - of most all other retail activities.
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
This is Maryland, I'm sure they would love to set up a regulatory board for all businesses to determine if there is justification for them to open shop and then tell them where they can and cannot setup that business. Sounds similar to the way communist countries worked their free enterprise system. You were free to do any work you wanted as long as the government approved it in advance.
What Crash is apparently in favor of....for some reason. There is a lot about the way development is "managed" or has occurred in southern Maryland that I do not like, but I certainly don't dislike it so much that I would favor giving unelected government bureaucrats "incredible cosmic powers" over such a wide swath of our lives.


As I've mentioned before, I've spent a good portion of the last 30 years working and living in Norway. I have a son there, 22 years old. Built a house there. The control that bureaucrats in even the tiniest village have over so many details of what anyone can build on their property, do with their business, etc can be maddening and frustrating. We do not want that here..believe me.
 
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ltown81

Member
Let's take the old Quickstop that just got demoed at the corner of GMR and Chancellor's Run. It sat vacant for a decade and is owned by Cherry Cove. They are a pretty big developer who owns the trailer park next to it, and apartments across the street. They also own a few other trailer parks on GMR, a few of the hotels, and I think they have something to do with Sonic. The Quick Stop was not demoed until they decided to also redevelop the adjacent trailer part, and build medical buildings.

I guess what I am saying is if Cherry Cove owns land with a vacant building, and is not looking to sell...why should that prevent Wawa from building on land they own? If an area is desirable, it will redevelop naturally. That is how the Kohl's shopping center (which used to be a trailer park) came to be. GMR's issue is the locals will not sustain the kind of businesses people think should be there. In all honesty, where have you seen a Wawa fail...ever...besides there?
 
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