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Planning Board approves Restaurant with drive-thru in Woodmere Office on Broken Land Parkway

The Howard County Planning Board approved a site development plan for a standalone 1-story 5,000 square foot restaurant retail building with a drive-thru lane in the parking lot of the Woodmere business center on Broken Land Parkway during their April 21, 2022 meeting via a 3-0 vote. Woodmere is located at the BLP intersection with Cradlerock Way South in the Village of Owen Brown.

The approved plan will add an outdoor office plaza to Woodmere and include outdoor seating and a drive-thru lane for a fast-food style restaurant. A multi-use asphalt pathway alongside Broken Land Parkway on the Woodmere property will be constructed to (ultimately) connect the restaurant building, office building, and RTA bus stop at Woodmere to the Columbia Association pathway network to the south that connects to Lake Elkhorn via a tunnel under Broken Land Parkway. Bike racks will be included and a separate pedestrian walkway will connect the Woodmere Office building to the restaurant in order to provide easy access for office workers to the restaurant.

No word on who the restaurant tenant(s) will be.

Site plan shows office plaza, walkway, and pathway.

The plan complies with all applicable zoning regulations including setbacks, height, storm-water management, landscaping and forest conservation. In fact, the building will significantly exceed the minimum setback requirements of 30 or 50 feet as it will be sited closer to the office building over 100 feet from Broken Land Parkway. The restaurant building will be designed using bricks that match the color of the brick of the Woodmere office building.

Woodmere is located immediately to the north of the Lakeview Office Center on Broken Land Parkway. A separate retail strip mall and fast-food drive-thru proposed for Lakeview is currently being consider by the Howard County Board of Appeals. See The Lakeview Retail Proposal: Are Strip Malls & Drive-Thrus the Future of Broken Land Parkway?. The Board of Appeals will continue hearing the Lakeview case during their May 12, 2022 meeting.

If Lakeview is approved, the Lakeview property owners will construct a pathway on their property as well creating a pathway on the west side of Broken Land from Lake Elkhorn to Cradlerock Way South. Once completed, the County should consider a capital project to add a crosswalk at the BLP/Cradlerock Way South intersection to provide direct access from the Owen Brown neighborhoods east of Broken Land Parkway to the new restaurant and pathway.

Brian England, newly elected Hickory Ridge Columbia Council representative, testified in strong support of the Woodmere proposal during the Planning Board meeting. Unlike Lakeview, England noted that the setback, pathway, landscaping and restaurant usage are the opposite of what was proposed for Lakeview. England complimented the building owners for incorporating public feedback on the Lakeview proposal into the design of the Woodmere site plan.

The Columbia Association also supported the Woodmere proposal. CA had opposed Lakeview.

Video of the planning board meeting, which includes presentation overviews and testimony by the design engineers and building owner can be viewed here, starting at ~7 minute mark.

Rendering of Woodmere


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