Neighbors Oppose High-density Project

Neighbors/Odenton, Ft. Meade, Gambrills

July 17, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

Opponents of a proposed 722-home planned unit development in Gambrills who lost the first round in March will get a second chance at blocking the project this afternoon before the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Saying the development, proposed for 221 acres off Waugh Chapel Road, is incompatible with the rural land and that it would ruin a wilderness habitat, nearby residents want the seven-member panel to overturn a decision by an administrative hearing officer approving the project.

Officials said today's testimony should be a replay of the March hearing where opponents streamed to the microphone to criticize the proposal.

David Blaha, vice president of John E. Harms Jr. and Associates, a Pasadena planning and engineering firm developing the land,said testimony from the company will be "essentially the same package. You've heard it all before."

The development, called Crofton Farms, is being built by Leimbach Development Inc. of Glen Burnie in conjunction with theHalle Cos., a Silver Spring-based developer also building Seven Oaks in Odenton.

Paul and Maureen McHugh and Thomas and Dorothy Watts, of St. Stephen's Church Road, appealed the administrative hearing officer's decision. The couple hired an attorney to argue their case.

Opponents argue that developers should not build ahigh-density project. They should be required to follow 1989 regulations enacted during comprehensive rezoning.

The developers say that they could build just as many homes under current zoning restrictions, but that the project would be haphazard because they would not beworking together.

In their appeal, the residents say a high-density PUD will be incompatible with neighborhood homes. The Watts chargethat the hearing officer "misapplied the requirements of the Anne Arundel County Code" in deciding the case.

Their attorney, FrederickC. Sussman, could not be reached for comment yesterday, but he refused to comment on the charges when the appeal was filed in April.

Today's hearing will be at 2 p.m. in the County Council chambers of the Arundel Center.

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