Waverly backer sweetens offer to Zoning Board Testimony ends in Howard hearing

December 09, 1992|By Erik Nelson | Erik Nelson,Staff Writer

Owners of a 682-acre site in Marriottsville and Woodstock promised yesterday to give the county land for a golf course and school, space for a library and to sell affordable housing if Howard County's Zoning Board approves the proposed Waverly Woods II project.

Those and other commitments were presented yesterday in the 15th and final day of testimony in the longest rezoning hearing since the 1970s.

Howard County Council members, sitting as the Zoning Board, will hear closing arguments beginning at 9 a.m. Dec. 21.

The rezoning would transform the rural area of 3-acre homesites into what its developer, Donald Reuwer, has called a Columbia-style village.

Residents testifying against the project asked who would pay for the golf course.

Jonathan Genn, representing property owners John Gudelsky, Dr. Bruce Taylor and Kennard Warfield Jr., pledged that the land would be free if Howard County decided to build the course.

If the county decided against building the course, the three partners would develop it privately but would charge daily fees to keep it open to public play, he said.

The Waverly developers promised to sell the school site -- a 5-acre parcel next to a 10-acre property owned by the Howard County school system -- to the county for $1.

The three owners have an option to buy the land, which could be used for a school, Mr. Genn said.

Library space would be made available in the proposed 8.5-acre village shopping center and would cost the county $1 in rent a year.

Responding to questions about "affordable" housing, Mr. Genn said the partnership would sell 10 percent of the 300 proposed apartments for 75 percent of their fair market value to a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing, such as the Columbia Housing Corp.

Of those 30 units, 10 would be for low-income families (those making half of the county's median household income, which was $54,348 in 1990).

Twenty would be for moderate-income families, making 75 percent of the median income.

The developers also pledged to keep development to a four-stage schedule that would allow only 258 of the project's 1,000 residential units and 500,000 square feet of employment space such as offices or warehouses to be built before 1996.

The second stage would add 350 residential units and 750,000 square feet of employment space before the year 2001, and the third stage would allow 250 more residential units and 1,100 square feet of employment space by the year 2006.

Susan Gray, a growth-control advocate who helped represent the opposition, said the developers' commitments were not enough.

She dismissed the offer of golf course land, saying Howard County open space requirements would force the developers to leave undeveloped the same amount of land.

"Please don't tell us you're giving us something when you're not giving us anything," Ms. Gray said.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.