Howard developer to build condos after pressure against cheap housing

November 24, 1991|By Michael J. Clark | Michael J. Clark,Howard County Bureau of The Sun

Community opposition has discouraged the developer of a 196-unit apartment project in Elkridge, where half the units are being leased to low- and moderate-income people, from including more affordable apartments in the 160-unit second phase of the project.

"I have run out of energy to stand up to the local community residents and the council member from District 1 [Shane Pendergrass], who have opposed me all the way," said L. Earl Armiger, whose Orchard Development Corp. in Ellicott City is building the apartments on Rowanberry Road, last week. "Life is too short to fight impossible battles."

Instead, Mr. Armiger said the project's second phase, to be built next year, will be condominium units.

His decision was greeted with "concern" by Council Chairman C. Vernon Gray, D-3rd.

"Mr. Armiger's decision is very unfortunate because the need for low- and moderate-income units is more so now with the economy the way it is and people not able to afford mortgages on single-family homes," he said. "It does not help us with our General Plan goals for 267 units a year, and it is a shame because Mr. Armiger is one of the few builders of affordable units in the county."

Ms. Pendergrass said she supported the first phase of apartments but opposed Mr. Armiger's plans to add more rental units for low- and moderate-income people because it would concentrate too many of them in one area. "The county ought to look in other areas rather than revisit the same area and try and put in more," she said.

Ms. Pendergrass said she endorsed Mr. Armiger's plan to build condominiums because some of the apartment tenants "might want to move on up."

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