HAMPSTEAD — The developers planning 308 homes off Shiloh Road will not abandon the project just because the town turned down their first plan, said John T. Maguire, the Westminster lawyer representing the owners.
The Planning and Zoning Commission asked last week that owner-developers Claude B. and Katherine Widerman and Newman M. and Marie Marsilius resubmit their proposal with only single-family homes and duplexes --no condominiums and town houses.
Also, the commission wants to see two plans -- a conventional onein which the houses are spaced out over the 127 acres, and another version showing a cluster of houses on smaller lots, with more of the surrounding land designated as open space and deeded to a homeowners association.
Although they didn't specify a number, commission members said they would like to see fewer than 308 units in the development. Member C. Clinton Becker said he'd like to see about 100.
The residential zoning for the 127 acres, annexed by the town last July,allows the developers to build one home per 10,000 square feet -- about 3 per acre. However, that doesn't count any wetlands or other protected space on the property, said Anne Poissant, town plan reviewerfor the county Bureau of Development Review.
Also, the Planning and Zoning Commission must determine whether town and county services can support the number of new homes, said Becker.
Maguire said thedevelopers have not decided what kinds of plans to submit next time.
"We'll continue to pursue it," he said. "I suspect we'll be back on the agenda this month."
He said the developers either will ask for further clarification or have alternate plans by then.
"The issue is not whether there can be a project," Maguire said, because thezoning allows it. "The issue is really what type of homes or what will the density be."
Maguire and the developers were unable to attend Monday's meeting, and the commission was to table the issue.
But the panel discussed it anyway because about 40 concerned neighborsshowed up. The neighbors didn't say much, however, as the panel's discussion showed that members shared neighbors' concerns about trafficand a strain on public services.
The development could increase the town's population by 50 percent, said Jerry F. Barnes, the Westminster lawyer hired by neighbors to represent them at the meeting. He said neighbors want the commission to hire an independent consultant to study the potential impact on traffic and pass along the bill to Widerman.
Commission members agreed.
With the new Spring Garden Elementary set to open in September, the school board will be able to handle an influx of children, said Vernon Smith, county director of school support services.
Despite a generally sluggish real estate market, even 308 homes would sell as long as they were priced in the $100,000 range, said Donald Wells, manager of O'Conor, Piper & Flynn here.