Savannah Estates clears a key hurdle McDonald's awaits ruling on play area NORTH -- Manchester * Hampstead * Lineboro

June 24, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

The Hampstead Planning and Zoning Commission gave final approval Tuesday night to the 10-lot Savannah Estates development on Upper Beckleysville Road at Summit Avenue.

The commission's approval is contingent upon the project's approval next week by Town Manager John A. Riley, who is out of town.

Savannah Estates is the first development in Hampstead to fall under a Carroll County forest conservation law that went into effect six months ago.

The law requires developers to replace any trees that are destroyed during housing construction. The replacement trees do not have to be planted on the same parcel of land where the trees were destroyed.

In addition, 20 percent of the development must be forested.

Charles Hollman, a lawyer who represents Savannah Estates owner/developer MRB Construction Co. of Sykesville, told the Planning and Zoning Commission that the Savannah Estates developer is proceeding as if all trees on the site were being destroyed, although they are not.

Mr. Hollman said the developer is planting trees on a 3.6-acre parcel owned by the town near Oakmont Green.

Neil Ridgely, who is in charge of forest conservation for Carroll County, was at Tuesday's meeting to explain the forest conservation code to the commission. He said the woods that are being destroyed at Savannah Estates are "scruffy" and will be replaced with a higher-quality forest.

The commission also delayed consideration of a request from the local McDonald's restaurant to add a playground area.

A play area can increase a restaurant's sales by as much as 20 percent, said Cliff Sovine, operations consultant for McDonald's Corp.

Scott Fischer, liaison between the Hampstead Planning and Zoning Commission and the Carroll County planning office, said that Anne Poissant, the county's development review coordinator, has "serious reservations" about the addition.

Ms. Poissant believes the restaurant site is too small for the playground to be constructed, he said.

Mr. Fischer said that in 1988, when the restaurant plan was approved, parking requirements called for 108 parking spaces. The restaurant now has 60 parking spaces, and were the addition to be built, three more spaces would be lost.

Also, Mr. Fischer said, county agencies had not had a full 30 days to consider the restaurant's request, and some agencies' comments were not ready.

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