HAMPSTEAD — County Planning Commission members might find an obstacle in their path this month when they walk the proposed alignment of a future street.
They could run smack against a house, which, on the aerial photographs, looks like it just might be in the way of the completion for McAllister Lane, said Scott Fischer, a county planner.
"Until I see it staked out, I don't know for sure," he said, adding he's not sure how or when the unidentified house was built.
Thecommission has asked for the re-staking to decide whether to change the route for McAllister. Fischer said he has to schedule that with county surveyors, which could take about two weeks.
"If it does show it's going through a house, that would push us in the direction of going with the proposed realignment," Fischer said.
Plans are to extend the road to join Upper Beckleysville Road as development and traffic patterns increase -- probably not for another 10 years, Fischersaid.
But if the house is in the way, the commission will have todo one of three things:
* Change the proposed route on the MasterPlan so it curves slightly to the north.
This request already is before the commission, because Dewco Homes Inc., a development company, wants to subdivide a lot on Upper Beckleysville.
* Keep the route as is, but buy the property in the way and tear down the house.
* Decide against extending McAllister Lane to Upper Beckleysville Road.
At a public hearing on March 5, several residents opposed the change and asked the commission to ditch proposals to extend McAllister Lane at all.
They said a road would just aggravate their existing storm water and erosion problems.
"What's going to cost the county more, putting up a red light or having bulldozers put a 12-foot hole in my front yard?" asked Vernon Groomes, a resident of Upper Beckleysville Road.
Others said they resented that the county would change the road at the request of a developer who wants to increase thevalue of his land.
But Fischer said the issue now may be that thecounty needs to change the road for its own, more tangible reason --if there really is a house in the way.
Also, he said the county ought to provide a safer way for drivers to get from Upper Beckleysville Road to Route 30.
The intersection of those two roads now is a safety hazard, especially for those turning south onto Route 30, Fischer said.
McAllister would connect drivers to Fairmount Road, which has a stoplight at Route 30.
While Groomes and others suggested a stoplight at Upper Beckleysville, Fischer said that has its own drawback.
"The more traffic lights you put on a major street like Route 30, the more it slows down traffic, which is the opposite of what you want to do," he said.
Also, Fischer said the undeveloped land along Upper Beckleysville Road is zoned for half-acre lots.
If homes are built along the road, the resulting density would create more traffic, which the extension of McAllister Lane would alleviate.
In fact, Fischer said increased development eventually will put McAllister Lane onto the county's capital improvements project list, even if it is 10 years away.
"The issue is, where do we put it when we need it? We're trying to project much further down the road," he said.