TANEYTOWN -- The builder of Sarah's Choice says he's ready to work with the city on the water issues that have caused his plan for 82 single-family homes near Roberts Mill Road to be only conditionally approved by the Taneytown Planning and Zoning Board.
The board halted development of the area over concerns about a small wetland and the building of a storm water retention pond -- which stores the rain runoff of the development -- almost directly next to an existing one.
"They must take up the [retention] pond issue with the state and county," said Joseph Mangini, Taneytown city manager. "The issue with the wetlands is taken care of through the Army Corps of Engineers."
Developer Vincent Fiocco III, president of Marsar Development Corp., said he understands the importance of the wetlands, which play a vital role in absorbing pollutants before they can reach ground water.
He said his company would do whatever the state and the Army Corps of Engineers suggested, including incorporating the wet
lands into the development without disturbing it.
"If they want us to put a bridge over it so cars won't go through it, or have a plot of land around it so it can continue to develop naturally, we will do that," he said.
Fiocco also said that because a retention pond exists adjacent to the plot on his development is slated, the city is concerned that the area will be dominated by ponds. But he feels that problem can be easily solved.
"We are looking into sharing the one pond, which would be good for us and make the city happy, too," he said.
Fiocco expects to have the problems worked out with the state and the Corps by September. Mangini doesn't anticipate any further problems for the developer, who must go before the Taneytown City Council for complete approval once the water problems are addressed.
Fiocco says he plans to build the 1,200-square-foot homes "with decent back yards" and plans to sell some of the lots to other builders.
He looks forward to the completion of the units, which he estimates will take two to three years.
"There will be no apartments, town homes or duplexes, and the development will have city water and sewer," Fiocco said.