Tuesday Meeting To Discuss Plans For Solley Road

December 07, 1990|By Robert Lee | Robert Lee,Staff writer

A consortium of developers and landowners will meet with public officials and civic leaders Tuesday night to discuss plans to widen, straighten and improve Solley Road.

The improvements are likely to include proposals to widen the two-lane road up to seven feet, add left-turn lanes along intersections and install street lights along the 3.8-mile stretch between Fort Smallwood and Mountain Road, said Dan Boyd of Boyd and Dowgiallo, an engineering firm hired to study the project for the private developers who will be paying for it.

Roland Davis, the county's senior transportation planner, said the Office of Planning and Zoning has placed a virtual moratorium on development along Solley Road until it is upgraded. Rather than taking a piecemeal approach to the road improvement, about a dozen property owners and developers along the Fort Smallwood Road end of Solley Road have formed a "road club" to pay for the work.

"The realignment of Solley Road has been planned for some time. The road is not up to county standards, with its vertical humps and horizontal curves and between six and seven thousand cars passing each day," Davis said.

"Obviously, as more development comes in it compounds the problem. Since there are so many developments along that strip, we are trying to organize a road club to consolidate their funds to do the work."

Boyd, a department head under former County Executive O. James Lighthizer, said his proposals call for the least possible change. He said that would be in the best interests of both the developers who will pay for the road and the residents from Solley, Green Haven, Chesterfield and Powhatan Beach who live along it.

Contrasting his design with past state and county proposals to build a four- or five-lane, $8 million highway parallel to the existing Solley Road, Boyd said he thinks the road club proposal should go over relatively well.

"We're trying to do this in a spirit of cooperation with the community," Boyd said.

Principal Patricia Emory of Solley Elementary said she and many members of the Solley Civic Association will support the project. The county tentatively plans to move her school after the road project begins.

"I'm really anxious for the road to be widened so we can get a new school," Emory said.

Boyd said the plan avoids all homes and buildings along Solley Road and only moves the right of way along sharp curves. The shoulder would remain uncurbed.

Boyd has been working on the plan for a year and a half for one member of the road club, which includes Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s and CSX's real estate divisions, plus several light industrial developers and home builders with plans to develop in the Brandon Woods, Chestnut Hill and Marley Neck areas.

The consortium, he said, is close to agreement on the plan and is looking for public approval.

The county's 1991 capital budget approved $360,000, to be collected from developers and impact fees, to study Solley Road this year. None of the money has been used yet, Davis said.

The county's tentative plans call for construction to begin after July 1992.

An informational meeting on the proposal will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Powhatan Beach Fire Hall.

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