Decision due on Belt Farm

June 20, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

For the second time in two months, the Carroll County Planning Commission has marked "decision" on its agenda next to the name of a proposed development at Linton Road and Route 26 in Eldersburg.

Members expect to render a decision on the 203-acre Belt Farm at 2 p.m. tomorrow.

After several meetings and a site inspection, the board delayed its decision in April to allow Carroll Developers, a Howard County company, time to rework site plans.

The developer had asked the commission to rezone the property and allow construction of about 240 houses. Original zoning allows for about 100 houses with private water and septic systems.

Because the site is scheduled to be served by public utilities within five years, the county is requiring the builder to hook into its lines at a cost of $7,000 per home.

Attorneys for Carroll Developers have told the commission the added cost makes developing at the present zoning unprofitable.

"We are talking about an additional $2 million in infrastructure," said John Maguire, the developer's lawyer. "The present zoning doesn't justify the expense."

Residents of the Parkside and Linton Springs subdivisions, which abut the site, have said they are resigned to development. But they balk at any increase in the number of homes.

Barry Marsh, president of the Linton Springs Civic Association, argued for the existing conservation zoning at the April hearing and plans to repeat those arguments.

"Of course, we plan to be at the hearing Tuesday," Mr. Marsh said. "We will try once again to ask the commission to develop at a cautious pace and not in a way that adversely affects the community."

Mr. Marsh said members of his organization have reviewed the developer's latest proposal, which is scaled back to about 160 homes. The group planned to discuss its strategy.

He reiterated the association's opposition to increased traffic on Linton Road, the only egress to Liberty Road for nearly 200 homeowners.

Residents also are concerned about the added burden on the area's already crowded schools.

"We haven't gotten adequate answers on any of the issues," Mr. Marsh said. "We still oppose the rezoning."

Conservation is yet another issue, he said. Several Liberty Reservoir feeder streams run across the property and could be adversely affected by increased construction, he said.

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