Highfield Residents Not Swayed By Diminished Proposal

Hampstead Ill-equipped For 290 More Homes, Neighbors Say

March 27, 1991|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff writer

HAMPSTEAD — Highfield residents say the slightly scaled-back version of a proposed development now before the Planning and Zoning Commission has not allayed their concerns about traffic and growth.

About 35 residents heard the latest proposal to the commission at its meeting Monday.

And those who are really interested in town zoning decisions alsocan apply to fill either of two vacancies on the commission, the latest caused by C. Clinton Becker's resignation, effective March 31. Becker plans to run for mayor.

Widerman Property developers now propose 290 homes, down from the original request of 308, for 127 acres near Highfield Estates off Sunset Road.

However, the size of the development still bothered several residents who told the commission they didn't think the town could

handle the increased traffic and asked whether schools and town water could accommodate the growth.

Everett Treadway of Dana Avenue told the commission the developers' plans to extend Terrace Drive into the new development would lead to more traffic on Houcksville Road.

Commission Chairman Arthur Moler said a traffic study still is to be conducted by consultants chosen bythe town and paid for by the developers. Also, he said the commission would not approve the development unless the Board of Education says it can accommodate the children who would move there.

The developers have prepared wells that would connect with and add to the town water supply, he said.

Commission members and the public can examine the plans over the next month at the Town Hall before the panel takes any action at its April 22 meeting.

Members also are waiting to hear from the county Department of Planning and the Bureau of Development Review before they take action.

The 290 homes would comprise 120 single-family houses, 86 duplexes and 84 condominiums. The new plan has more duplexes, but fewer condominiums and single-family homes than the first proposal, which the commission rejected in January.

Commission members asked then that owner-developers Claude B. and Katherine Widerman and Newman M. and Marie Marsilius resubmit their plans with only single-family homes and duplexes -- no condominiums.

Although the new plan includes condominiums, commission members didnot dismiss it, saying it had many changes they needed to consider.

One change was 19.6 acres of open space, including buffer areas and places for future "tot lots" or playgrounds. Also, the new plan specifies that the old cemetery on the property would be deeded to the town.

Becker said a group of county residents would work to preserve the historic cemetery with cooperation from the developers.

WithBecker's resignation, the board has only three members left -- the minimum amount needed to make any decisions. Remaining are Moler, OdenKemp and Charles Walter.

The commission still has not appointed anyone to replace Edward E. "Sonny" Bauerlein, who died last year.

Members also voted Monday to elect Moler as chairman.

He has been serving as interim chair since Bauerlein's death.

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