Board rejects pizza, sub shop in Sharpsburg

November 21, 1996


Staff Writer

SHARPSBURG - The Sharpsburg Board of Appeals voted 2-1 to reject a businessman's bid to open a pizza and sub shop on Main Street.

The board, however, unanimously endorsed requests to amend zoning regulations to allow a day care facility and a getaway retreat at the historic Clipp Feed and Grain Mill.

The Appeals Board voted against Roscoe F. Martin's request for zoning relief that would have allowed him to use part of the now-vacant Kretzer's Market at 100 E. Main St. for a pizza and sub shop. Board members J W Eichelberger and Willis Baker said they did not believe the business could conform to requirements that at least two-thirds of the food be consumed at the restaurant.


Board chairman Richard Exline dissented, adding that he believed Martin would not have made the request unless he thought he could clear the hurdle.

"I thought a pizza and sub shop would have been good - yes for me," Exline said.

Martin, who tried to mitigate concern by dropping his initial request that he be allowed to sell beer, said he will look elsewhere for a shop. Sharpsburg regulations make it impossible location, he said.

"There's no way to get around them," he said.

Mayor Ron Milburn, who owns the building, said the board denied Martin a fair chance to compete and has ruined his chances of renting the space.

"They've ruled that unit virtually useless," he said. "He's going to be punished if he does a successful business. If he does a failing business, he can have it."

About a dozen residents spoke out against the pizza proposal. They said they feared another restaurant would make parking unbearable on Town Square. They also cited concerns that business would quickly become a fast-food carry-out operation that would cause headaches for neighbors.

"I feel this was not advertised as fast food," said Jean Harme, who lives on East Main Street a couple blocks from the building. "I feel it's inappropriate."

West Main Street resident Becky Weaver said a fast-food restaurant would further unsettle an area already turned upside down by a massive street renovation project.

"Those of us who live on Main Street have witnessed a total destruction of Main Street, which I don't think can ever be reversed," she said. "To introduce a fast-food restaurant is just not what we need."

Milburn has been trying to find a suitable tenant for his property since a video store went out of business in September.

The other two items before the board proved much less controversial.

  • The board approved Henry B.R. Beale's plan to renovate the Clipp Feed and Grain Mill and turn it into "living history" museum. Under his plan, he would rent part of the space to tourists. He also said he wants to give tours and demonstrations of how the mill operated during the Civil War.

  • The board approved a special exception to zoning rules that will allow Bobbie Jo Smoot to open a day-care facility for seven children in her home at 130 E. Main St.
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