River Hill Traffic Dominates Planning Meeting

October 20, 1991|By Erik Nelson | Erik Nelson,Staff writer

Last week's county Planning Board meeting was again dominated by theissue of whether Route 32 will be able to support the traffic generated by 626 homes planned for Columbia's 10th village, River Hill.

For the third board meeting in a row, growth-control proponent Susan Gray questioned county and Rouse Co. planners about the wisdom of allowing development to proceed when the state has put on hold plans to build a relocated Route 32 that would serve the village.

The Rouse Co., which developed Columbia's other nine villages, isseeking approval of a development plan for 883 single-family homes over a seven-year period, but plans to limit development to 626 homes before the new road is built.

As a result of the River Hill case, two rezoning cases scheduled for last Tuesday have been put off untilthe next meeting Oct. 29, when the board may also decide the River Hill case.

In one case, Freestate Associates Limited Partnership isseeking to rezone 23.7 acres of the old Freestate Raceway in North Laurel for a neighborhood shopping center.

The partnership, owned by a bank based in Finland, had planned to develop the former harness track into a warehouse/industrial park.

In the second case, the nation's leading retailer, Wal-Mart, is seeking to build a 120,000-square-foot Wal-Mart department store and a 132,500-square-foot Sam's Club membership store on property zoned for office construction near theintersection of U.S. 40 and 29 on North Ridge Road.

The company said it expects to start construction of the two stores next fall and open them spring 1993.

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