New Hearing Sought On Cedar Grove Development

Residents Protest Changes In Plans

February 18, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

Arguing that design plans for houses in the new Cedar Grove development have changed, the president of the Crofton Civic Association is calling for a new public hearing on the proposed 258-home community.

Last month, residents packed Town Hall to oppose the development planned for 18 acres near Route 3 and Lake Louise. Their concerns centered over access to the community and the lack of brick in the plannedhomes.

Those concerns remain much the same, even though the house designs have been changed.

Two weeks ago, CCA president Ed Dosek wrote aletter to the county planning office, seeking to ensure that residents' concerns are addressed before developers are allowed to build.

Construction cannot begin until final approval from the county is given.

Now another letter is in the works, saying the residents havenot had their concerns addressed, especially since the developers have altered their design since last month's hearing.

"The changes were so significant that the public should have been in on it," Town Manager Jordan Harding said Friday.

Developers already have clearedthe land for what are called "piggy-back town houses," essentially two adjoining town houses divided into three living units.

The houses are raised above the ground with a one-story unit underneath. The two-story section above is divided into two town houses.

The developer who owned the land had county approval to build 315 garden-styleapartments called Tabard Village. But MPS Crofton Joint Venture bought the land and resubmitted plans for town houses.

"At the outset,the major concern to the CCA is that development plans in this case changed without community input after initial project approval," Dosek wrote to the county on Feb. 7.

"This procedure is unacceptable. Although there was a favorable reduction in the number and type of units, this was a significant change, and out of courtesy, community review should have been invited."

The letter ends: "The CCA Board ofDirectors wishes to invite Cedar Grove into our taxing district. This makes our concerns all the more meaningful and agitates our requestthat all these issues be addressed before, not after final project approval.

"We will work with the county and the developer, in a spirit of cooperation and goodwill, to insure a first-class addition to the Crofton area; we can accept no less."

What Dosek and many community residents are most upset about is that the town houses will have wood siding, as opposed to brick siding that is common throughout the special tax district.

Other concerns, Dosek said, deal with traffic, access for school buses and fire engines and the extent of grading done to the property.

The developers only plan on one connecting road to Route 3. But Stephen Eckert, a partner in the joint venture, said a gravel road connecting to the nearby shopping center will give fire engines an additional access to the community.

He also said that contrary to early concerns, school buses will pick up children in the community, and that he is building a sidewalk to connect to the shopping center and a neighboring apartment complex.

Eckert said he has met with the county and Crofton citizens on the revised plans, and although he is open to adding brick to his community, that does not include brick siding on the homes.

"We have warned them several times that our product's architecture and the value we are trying provide the homeowners doesn't lend itself to brick," he said. "So I don't want to raise expectations too high."

Eckert said concernsabout roads and access to the community were dealt with at public hearings when the development was called Tabard Village. Nothing, otherthan the type of homes, has been changed, he said.

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