ELDERSBURG — The Ken Mar Community Association may get what it wants after a meeting last night with county officials to redesign the development's main road.
Association President Kathleen A. Lewis said homeowners want to retain private ownership of Ken Mar Drive and bring it up to county specifications.
"We would widen Ken Mar Drive by two feet to the turnaround and regrade it to improve drainage and create two 4-foot grass shoulders on each side," Lewis said.
Another street, Beachwood Drive, would not be built to serve three back lots. The lots would be served by theenlarged Ken Mar Drive.
An escrow account would be created by residents to maintain the roads, as in the community covenant, Lewis said.
The new design was given to the county Planning and Zoning Commission for approval last summer, but no action has been taken.
County Attorney Charles W. "Chuck" Thompson Jr. said the commission would have to give its approval before changes could be made.
Commissioner President Donald I. Dell asked homeowners if they wanted to keeptheir road private and maintain it. He wondered if they could sell their property under those conditions.
Thompson said a legal question arose about whether all the driveways were located as shown on plat maps.
Howard Noll, a county engineer, said there might be one area where someone's driveway is on another's lot, but Ken Mar residents said that was not a problem with those homeowners.
Thompson saidthe plat maps might need to be adjusted for legal purposes for both the county and community.
Frank Schaeffer, chief of the county's Bureau of Development Review, said the commissioners, who have seen the new plans, did not want to make a decision on the widening of Ken Mar Drive because they did not feel it was solely their decision to make.
Schaeffer said the developer chose the common driveway design to save the cost of another road through the development.
"No one here really wanted the county to own the road," said Jim Hoddinott, ahomeowner.
Lewis said all current homeowners have signed papers saying they want Ken Mar Drive to be a private road that they will maintain.
"Each one of us has a different situation. We were shown different plat maps by the developer," said Hoddinott.
One resident said he was shown an amended plat map, while another said she was told her property was recorded but not approved by the county planning commission.
Schaeffer said the county has considered solutions to the problem for 18 months but couldn't find anything satisfactory to all parties.
If the developer, planning commission and residents all agreed to this design, it could be approved, he said.
He also said he didn't know if the county had the money to do the survey and engineering plans.
Noll said he estimated it would cost $15,000 to $20,000 to bring the road up to specifications.
He added that the county could oversee the work, even though it wouldn't be a county road.
Dell and Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said they would want the road inspected, "so it's done," Dell said.
Dell hopes to have the Ken Mar Drive issue put on next month's agenda for the planning commission.