SNOW HILL – County officials approved rezoning a Golf Course Road property from residential to commercial this week.
On Tuesday, the Worcester County Commissioners approved a request to rezone .37 acres on Golf Course Road from R-3 residential to C-2 commercial. The property owners, who have a restaurant across the street, plan to use the space for storage and parking.
“As an R-3 there’s little you could do with this property,” said Hugh Cropper, the attorney representing the property owners.
Cropper told the commissioners his clients, the owners of Sello’s, purchased the land across the street from the restaurant. Because it has such a small building envelope, they plan to use it primarily for overflow parking for the restaurant.
“I’m mainly trying to get my employees to park their car there,” said Pino Tomasello, who operates the restaurant with his wife, Karen.
Jeffrey Allen, a resident of the neighborhood, told the commissioners he was opposed to the rezoning. He said the area was full of residential properties and that homeowners there already dealt with the lights and truck traffic associated with businesses nearby.
“The parking issues are horrific,” he said.
Allen said the roads in the area were old and narrow and not meant to handle a lot of traffic. He said it didn’t make sense to allow more commercial uses in the area.
“There’s enough chaos…,” he said. “Don’t bring in more.”
Commissioner Bud Church suggested that the additional parking Tomasello wanted would improve the situation.
“In my mind, that would improve the situation,” he said.
Commissioner Chip Bertino asked staff whether Sello’s had the amount of parking required by code. Staff said it did, and that even if Tomasello’s new property was rezoned and used for parking, it could not be used to expand the restaurant.
Cropper pointed out that the area in question was a mix of commercial properties and R-3, multi-family residential, properties.
“It’s not like single-family houses anyway,” he said.
He added that county’s comprehensive plan identified the Golf Course Road area as suitable for commercial uses.
The commissioners voted 7-0 to approve the rezoning.