Houses to be built in village

May 17, 1994|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Sun Staff Writer

A developer plans to build 66 townhouses inside the Cradlerock Way loop in Owen Brown village, one of the few remaining buildable properties in the 21-year-old community.

Linthicum-based Dasher Green Associates LTD plans to develop the townhouse lots on 8.7 acres between Melting Shadows and Talisman lanes on land that used to be part of the 600-plus-acre Dasher family farm, much of which was purchased in the early 1960s by Columbia developer James Rouse.

Paul Revelle, a Columbia resident and associate with Dasher Green Associates, plans to meet with the Owen Brown village board at 7:15 p.m. at the Owen Brown Community Center to discuss the project, being called Cradlerock Farm.

Village board member Wanda Hurt said the board has a favorable impression of the project, which would be built behind Owen Brown Middle and Dasher Green Elementary schools. But the board is approaching the project with "guarded optimism" because of some problems experienced with a recent development in the Hopewell neighborhood, she said.

"We think residents will have a concern about traffic," Ms. Hurt said. "Cradlerock is already heavily traveled."

Engineers and transportation planners hired by the developer determined through studies that the proposed road serving the development would have adequate sight distance at the intersection of Cradlerock Way, and that the construction of the townhouses would not adversely affect traffic flow in the area through 1998.

Ms. Hurt said she wants to hear what precautions the developer will take to ensure the safety of children during construction.

"We're interested in hearing from the community, any concerns they might have. They live there," Mr. Revelle said.

Ms. Hurt also said the board would prefer that Cradlerock Farm become part of the Owen Brown Community Association, placing it under the village's architectural covenants and requiring townhouse owners to pay an annual fee to the nonprofit Columbia Association. The association manages the unincorporated community's recreational facilities and open space areas.

"We want to make sure even if they don't join with the village that they'll cooperate with the village and be good neighbors," she said.

Mr. Revelle said the developer prefers that the property remain an "outparcel" -- a term referring to land scattered throughout Columbia that wasn't purchased by the Rouse Co. and isn't subject to Columbia's covenants and fees.

He estimated it would take about one year to go through the county's subdivision review process, and another six months to prepare property lots with roads and sewer lines. The development group, which plans to remove a farm pond and replace it with a storm water management facility, will have to apply for state and federal wetlands permits.

Mr. Revelle projected that construction of the homes could begin by late summer or early fall of 1995, and be completed within 18 months. Dasher Green Associates LTD plans to sell finished lots to one builder, Mr. Revelle said.

The proposed townhouses would blend well with the surrounding community and would be comparable to townhouses selling in the $150,000 range in that neighborhood today, Mr. Revelle said.

An Ellicott City developer plans to develop another remnant of the Dasher Homestead property -- a 10-acre parcel west of Oakland Mills Road and south of Homespun Lane -- into 22 detached homes.

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