House on hill gets OK with fire-risk warning Union Bridge site termed inaccessible NORTHWEST--Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor

September 10, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

A Union Bridge man and his son will build a house at the top of a steep hill, despite a fire official's opinion that emergency equipment would have difficulty climbing the grade.

William R. Erb III and his son William R. Erb IV met with the town Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday night to discuss the house, which would be built for the son adjacent to his father's home at 4820 Green Valley Road at the edge of town.

The commission decided to allow the house to be built, on condition that the warning from the fire protection engineering assistant, James Buehl, will accompany the plat recorded with the town and county.

"They [the builders] would be covering everyone by putting the comment in with the plat," said Town Clerk/Treasurer Kathleen D. Kreimer. "When the safety issue comes up, everyone interested would see it, it would cover them, and us, and the house can still be built."

According to a letter written by Mr. Buehl, Union Bridge Fire Chief Dave Nelson agrees that building the house at the top of the hill "would add to an already inadequate accessibility arrangement."

Ms. Kreimer said the existing house, which sits at the end of a very steep driveway, was built many years ago. She said she believes other access to the new house could be found if larger fire equipment was unable to drive directly to it.

"Some smaller trucks may be able to get up there if there is a problem," Ms. Kreimer said. "And I'm sure that the neighbors wouldn't mind having the trucks in their driveways, and maybe they could bring the hoses over.

"Like Mr. Erb said, he's seen fire trucks go in the middle of a cornfield," she said. "I'm sure that ways can be arranged to get to the house if an emergency occurred."

The commission also examined plans for the proposed development of 110 acres owned by Dr. G. Jackson Phillips in the northern part of town.

Developers discussed plans for the community, where houses would be clustered to help maintain open space.

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