North Carroll Farms Residents Fear New Development

September 29, 1991|By Cindy Parr | Cindy Parr,Contributing writer

HAMPSTEAD — North Carroll Farms residents are worried about more traffic, less water and crowded schools if town homes and single-family homes are built behind their property.

A proposal to build 220 homes on 62 acres adjacent to North Carroll Farms, a community of 97 single-family homes off Fairmount Road, is pending before the town's Planning and Zoning Commission.

The plan has raised concerns about traffic safety and adequate services.

"Our major concern is the increase in traffic, which wouldbe a result of continuing Farm Woods Lane," said Kris Koch, a North Carroll Farms resident.

Farm Woods Lane, the main road leading to the development from Fairmount Road, would provide access to the 62 acres, if extended. It also would allow people to get to Route 30 and Fairmount Road easily, he said.

"Right now, there are no plans fortraffic signals at either intersection," Koch said.

Ken Meekins, a North Carroll Farms resident for five years, said, "We are not going to be able to send our children out on their bikes to ride across the community to see a friend anymore. The traffic danger will be too great."

If the proposal, called North Carroll Farms Section Four, receives approval, Martin K. P. Hill, owner of Woodhaven Building andDevelopment Inc. and Masonry Contractors Inc., plans to build 72 town houses and 148 single-family homes on the 62 acres.

Hill, who owns the property, said Farm Woods Lane originally was laid out on the Master Road Plan to continue to Route 30 after the first section of North Carroll Farms was built in 1983.

Based on a study done this year, Hill said traffic would not be a problem if the road is extended.

"The town of Hampstead required us to have a traffic study done when we submitted our concept plan a few months ago," said Hill.

The Traffic Group Inc. in Towson conducted a study in late April and completed the report in June, he said.

The county reviewed the study, which showed that traffic from the new homes would not increase peak-hour traffic to levels that would cause problems at the intersections of Fairmount Road and Route 30, Route 30 and Farm Woods Lane and Farm Woods Lane and Fairmount Road, Hill said.

Residents of North Carroll Farms, where homes are priced between $150,000 and $160,000, also are concerned about how the water supply will be affected by adding more than 200 families to the community.

"I have lived here for seven years, and with the exception of one summer, Hampstead has been under a water moratorium," said Larry Hentz.

"Knowing this, youhave to ask yourself, is there adequate water supply to take care ofmore people?"

Hill said this is a common question with new housing develop

ments.

"The area that we are proposing to develop hashad a well drilled, tested and approved according to state, county and town specifications," he said.

"These specifications state thata well must be able to provide 300 gallons per day, per unit. This is based on a 12-hour pumping cycle through a continuous 96-hour pump test. This test was done in November 1988, and met those requirements."

While opinions on traffic and water supply diverge, residents and town officials both are concerned about overcrowding in schools.

With a new elementary school almost at capacity enrollment in its first year and only one middle school for students from both Hampsteadand Manchester, continued growth will have an impact on school enrollment.

"We are told that the schools are adequate, but I have to won

der," Hentz said.

"My daughter went through her first four years at Hampstead Elementary in a portable."

Meekins asked, "How are we going to be able to accommodate more children who will be moving into the development?

"There is no budget to build another new school. We all know that Gov. (William Donald) Schaefer is saying no more money for new schools. With the economy the way it is, we certainly cannot withstand additional taxes."

Kathleen Sanner, school facilities assistant for the Carroll County Board of Education, said North Carroll Middle School has a capacity of 933 students. As of Sept. 16, about 879 students were enrolled.

"We consider adequate enrollment when enrollment is within the school's capacity to 25 (students)above," she said.

"Approaching inadequate is 25 to 50 over capacity and severely inadequate is over 50.

"We project North Carroll Middle School will be approaching in adequate next year.

"Realistically, we will be housing students in portables on the grounds of the middle school until we bring the proposed Hampstead Middle School on line in fall 1996."

Hampstead Mayor C. Clinton Becker has expressed his concern and has written a letter to the school board regarding the adequacy of Hampstead schools.

"I have yet to receive a reply from the school board, but I, too, have a great deal of concern regarding this issue," he said.

"Vernon Smith, director of facilities for Carroll County schools has tentatively accepted an invitation to come to our planning and zoning meeting this Monday evening to addressthe school situation."

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