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Vote Expected on Downtown Subway Request

Proposal is at odds with two zoning standards.

The Hyattsville City Council will likely vote tonight on a proposed new Subway restaurant franchise along city's the downtown Baltimore Avenue corridor.

A motion sponsored by Hyattsville Mayor Marc Tartaro asks the city council to support a request before the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission to amend development standards for the Gateway Arts District which would allow the restaurant to be built. But the motion has two caveats: the franchise may not operate a drive-thru or walk-up window, and that the site seat a maximum of 18 customers. 

Last week, city council members noted a detail on the proposed restaurant which looked suspiciously like a drive-through or walk-up service window. 

A memo from city economic development director Jim Chandler said that the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission agrees that the proposed Subway franchise at 5516 Baltimore Avenue is not a good site for drive-through service. M-NCPPC officials have yet to hear back from designers about the nature of the window-in-question. 

The property is currently zoned as part of a mixed-use urban district still evolving along Hyattsville's downtown Route 1 corridor. The property presently holds a small, garage-like aluminum building which was once the home of a thrift store. Now the building sits vacant on an overgrown lot next to the Happy Wash car wash next-door. 

The property is currently owned by Jagjot Khandpur, a Potomac resident with many years experience running Subway franchises, according to city documents. Khandpur purchased the property in 2011. 

Khandpur's plan for the new franchise is at odds with development standards requiring that new development take up at least 80 percent of lot frontage and another requirement mandating a two lane driveway to access a rear parking lot. Due to the small size of the lot, Khandpur's proposed restaurant cannot meet both requirements. 

According to documents, Khandpur unsuccessfully looked into acquiring surrounding land which would allow access to the required rear parking lot.

The proposed Subway franchise would be a one story, 1,400 square-foot stucco, brick and cinderblock building sitting atop a 6, 300 square-foot lot. Behind the building would be a five-space parking lot accessible by a 22-foot-wide two lane driveway.

The city council meets tonight at 8 p.m. at the Hyattsville Municipal Building on Gallatin Street. The meeting will be broadcast on Comcast Channel 71 and Verizon Channel 12. 

BigDan September 17, 2012 at 03:47 PM
A new subway would be nice...I miss the old one that was across from the 7-11 (even if it was difficult to get out of during rush hour). But there doesn't appear to be enough space for a subway at that location...let alone have any parking. I seriously hope they don't plan on telling people to park on rt 1 or expect people to park across the street and walk over. Also are the council members just completely stupid? How many subways do you know with a drive thru OR a walk up window??? Has the council even been to a subway? Is he confusing a subway with a McDonald's mixed with a gas station?

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