The development of an Urbana office building on a small parcel of land along Urbana Pike can move forward after a vote Wednesday by the Frederick County Planning Commission.

The project will expand an existing garage on a 0.45-acre parcel into a two-story, 7,400-square-foot office building, categorized for professional office or medical clinic use, according to a county planning document.

The site currently holds a small house and garage. It got approval in 2004 to operate a shop of about 800 square feet in the house, which is slated to be demolished, according to the county document.

Meanwhile, the garage has been expanded to nearly 1,800 square feet.

Under the plan approved unanimously by the Planning Commission, the garage will remain and be joined to the new structure, which will be built toward Urbana Pike, through a breezeway and a stairwell.

The new design is similar to other structures in Urbana in size, design, and other features, Denis Superczynski, a principal planner with the county, told the commission Wednesday.

The site is expected to eventually join with a parcel of land directly to the east, which would allow a larger, looped parking lot.

That property isn’t moving forward with its redevelopment right now, but the plan is still for it to happen, said Fran Zeller, of the planning and engineering firm Harris Smariga & Associates.

If the second property is developed later, the combined properties will have about 40 parking spaces, according to the planning document.

Along with its use as an office site, the parcel also provides an opportunity to create a connection between the Villages of Urbana directly to the north and Urbana Pike, Superczynski said.

The site of the new Urbana Elementary School is about 200 feet from the parcel, and a path through the parking lot would create a path from the school into the Villages.

“The formalization of the pedestrian connection to the Villages of Urbana PUD — via Mantz Lane — is a significant improvement in the network of sidewalks and paths serving both the new development and the older existing portion of the village,” the planning document said.

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Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at

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