Older-look development proposed 194 lower-priced homes are sought ANNAPOLIS/SOUTH COUNTY -- Davidsonville * Edgewater * Shady Side * Deale

January 26, 1993|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer

Members of an affordable housing foundation unveiled plans last night to develop an old-fashioned community of 194 homes on some of the last vacant land in Annapolis.

Dallas Evans, chairman of The Foundation for the Preservation of Affordable Housing, told the City Council that he envisions a close-knit community with narrow, tree-lined streets much the way the older sections of Annapolis still look. The homes will be for low- to moderate-income families.

With Robert Gaines, an Annapolis developer active in affordable housing projects, Mr. Evans negotiated an agreement to buy the 18-acre property on Bywater Road for $1.9 million and is lining up loans.

Their preliminary plans call for building 138 town houses, 48 garden-style condominiums and 16 single homes around a three-acre park.

Annapolis lawmakers gave the proposal a warm reception last night, but expressed concern about the impact on congested roads and schools.

Council members also were at odds over whether the park should be open to the public and maintained by the city.

Alderman Carl O. Snowden, D-5th Ward, emphasized repeatedly that it will be a "public park" for residents of the newly developed communities off Forest Drive. "If it's a public park, it's going to be subsidized by the taxpayers and open to everyone," he said.

But Alderman John Hammond, R-1st Ward, pointed out that many parks are maintained by homeowners' associations. The city's Planning and Zoning Commission and Planning Director Eileen P. Fogarty recommended that the community maintain the park, but left the final decision to the council.

"So much of what we see on our periphery is your standard suburban development," Ms. Fogarty said in endorsing the plan. She called it a "very exciting project."

Mr. Hammond and Alderman Ruth Gray, R-4th Ward, expressed concern about children from 194 new homes attending local schools. The city's elementary schools are already overcrowded, they said.

Ms. Fogarty said she asked the county Board of Education to review the plans and determine whether the neighboring schools must be enlarged to meet the needs of the growing Forest Drive area. Another 202-home development has been proposed for the lot next to the 18-acre site owned by the foundation.

The foundation has agreed to chip in $51,000 for the road work.

Mr. Evans said the group plans to offer public services, including courses on home ownership and budgeting, day care and recreational programs, in a community center that will be built in the park.

In an unrelated matter, at the request of Middleton Tavern owner Jerry Hardesty, the council tabled his application for a permit to expand the upstairs kitchen. Mr. Hardesty said he wanted to wait until the council voted on legislation to exempt business owners making minor repairs from the drawn-out process of seeking a permit.

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