Calvert County Times August 10, 2017 - Page 3

Local News The Calvert County Times Thursday, August 10, 2017 3 Cardin Visits End Hunger in Calvert Senator Tours Huntingtown Facility in Calvert in Huntingtown. The speaker was the non- profi t’s founder, Rev. Rob- ert Hahn, senior pastor of Chesapeake Church. Founded in 2008, End Hunger in Calvert County operates a food distribution center in Prince Frederick and a job training program in facilities adjacent to the church, which also includes a café called the Lobby. Rev Hahn and End Hun- ger’s President Jacqueline Miller gave Sen. Cardin a tour of their facilities and then met with about two dozen of their workers and volunteers, other commu- nity organization represen- tatives and clients of their services. Rev Hahn told Cardin, who is a Baltimore native, that hunger and poverty in rural areas like Calvert is different from urban areas End Hunger in Calvert President Jacqueline Miller explains the program to Sen. Ben Cardin (l) as Rev. like Baltimore. For one Robert Hahn looks on. thing, it’s more scattered. In Calvert County, a trailer By Dick Myers and a mansion may be located next to each other. “Rural Editor solutions are not like urban solutions,” Rev Hahn said. Cardin observed that what is being done at End Hunger “People who work in grocery stores can’t afford to buy groceries.” U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D: MD) received in Calvert County could be a model for the rest of the state that stark message Aug. 4 during a visit at End Hunger and the nation “I don’t think anyone is doing what we are Bowen’s Inn Redevelopment Plan Withdrawn By Dick Myers Editor A proposed redevelopment plan for the site of the former Bowen’s Inn in Solo- mons has been withdrawn from the Calvert County Board of Appeals. The withdrawal was announced without explanation at the board’s Aug. 3 meeting. Attempts to reach representatives of the applicant Shriver Brothers Properties, LLC., including minority owner Geoff Wana- maker were unsuccessful as of the Calvert County Times deadline. It is believed, how- ever, that the developer will be presenting to the planning commission a scaled- back plan that does not require Board of Appeals approval. The plan for redevelopment was pre- sented at the board’s July meeting. When it appeared that the board had serious reserva- tions about what they were seeing, the ap- plicant’s engineer Dan Kelsh of Collinson, Oliff & Associates, Inc, (COA), requested a postponement. The proposal at the July meeting, called The Shoppes and Residences at Bowens Inn, had two structures – a three-story, 47-foot-tall residential building on the wa- terfront and a commercial building close to Solomons Island Road. The project required a variance from the 36-foot height limita- tion for the residences and a variance from the 20-foot front setback to allow nine feet instead. There would have been a parking lot between the two buildings for the resi- dences; an entrance to the lot would be over a right-of-way on the property of the Light- house Inn next door. Since purchasing the property the fl ood- plain elevations have changed and when the old building was leveled it additionally lowered the elevation by two feet, according to Kelsh. So, in order to raise the building to accommodate the fl oodplain regulations, the variance request had to be made. The builder could get a credit by having a mixed- use development which would reduce the variance from 11 feet to two feet. The developer also could reduce the front yard setback by promising retail and restau- rant uses, but Wanamaker said they wanted to keep their options open for potential of- fi ce space use. The historic building next to the property and in front of the Lighthouse is also close to the street. It was the mixed-use issue that caused the appeals board the most problems. Chairman Daniel Baker, Jr. interpreted the regulations as requiring the residences and businesses to be in the same building, with commer- cial on the fi rst fl oor and housing above it. In this particular case, the two uses were in separate buildings. The other two members seemed to agree. The concerns of the appeals board brought some strident comments from Wanamak- er, owner of Bayside Chevy and Toyota in Prince Frederick. He said, “There is no more common sense. I don’t know where it went.” Wanamaker went on to tell the board, “I have no interest in building in Calvert County ever again.” Later he added, “There is nothing business-friendly about Calvert County. Zero!” The historic Bowen’s Inn suffered signifi - cant fi re damage in the blaze that destroyed the neighboring Lighthouse Inn (which has been rebuilt). What was left of the Bowen’s Inn was leveled. doing in the state,” Rev. Hahn said. Hahn told Cardin that it‘s easier to collect 20,000 pounds of food than 200 pounds because grocery stores have substantial amounts to give up at a time. For years, churches all over the county had small food pantries which couldn’t handle the total need. Now End Hunger in Calvert County’s Prince Frederick warehouse collects food in large quantities and dispenses directly and to those other food pantries, Hahn explained. During the facility tour, Hahn and Miler showed the senator their state-of-the-art kitchen where young petiole are trained for the food-service business. Many have gone on to become chefs and managers. Hahn explained to Senator Cardin that when the church fi rst started its food pantry, restaurants told hint that they always had trouble fi nding and keeping line cooks. That’s where the idea came for starting the training program. “It just seemed to make sense,” he said. After looking at the operation, Cardin enthused, “It’s a great deal.” End Hunger in Calvert has parlayed the ideas of pro- viding food to the hungry and providing training to the unemployed into a signifi cant operation using a mix of grants and community donations with the support of the members of Chesapeake Church. At the meeting in one of the facility’s conference rooms, Cardin noted that hunger was just one component of poverty “Poverty is surely a common theme. Someone who works 40 hours in a week should not be in poverty.” he said. He noted that people making four times the pov- erty level can’t afford health insurance in America today. 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