Developer hopes to build 448 units on turkey farm

September 25, 1994|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,Sun Staff Writer

Turning Schramms Turkey Farm on Mountain Road into 448 homes isn't a problem, it's a solution, Emma Schramm told the Greater Pasadena Council.

"When the fourth one of us dies, that land will belong to the federal government, and they're looking for places to put prisons and low-income housing," the 64-year-old farmer said of her family. "Which do you want, a federal prison, low-income housing, or a Koch property?"

Koch Associates Inc. has wanted to build a 448-unit planned community on 205 acres of the Schramm farm for more than a year.

"I never liked houses, but this is the best we can do," Ms. Schramm told Pasadena residents Thursday night.

Three generations of Schramms have worked the farm, between Catherine Avenue and Waterford Road, since 1909. Three siblings and a cousin, who now own the property, stopped raising turkeys in 1991, though they continue to sell fruits and vegetables from their produce stand. The farm sits in a dense residential area of 1,400 homes within a half-mile radius.

Ms. Schramm said the family was being forced to sell the property to avoid inheritance taxes. "You can't just tell the

federal government to just take a little piece of woods over there and we'll call it even. They want cash money," she said. "We should not be condemned because we are selling, we should be complimented for staying in farming so long. We were the last ones to close."

At the meeting, Gary Koch brought residents up to date on his development plans.

Mr. Koch wants to build 192 townhouses and 256 detached, single-family homes. Twenty acres would be set aside for the Schramm homestead and 15 acres along Mountain Road in the northeast corner of the property would be designated for an elementary school site.

A sketch plan review for the subdivision will be held at 9:45 a.m. Thursday at the county Office of Planning and Zoning in Annapolis.

Residents were concerned about the impact the new development would have on crowded schools and congested roads in the area, but Mr. Koch said the county's traffic engineers and the school board could not determine the impact until the blueprint is in its final stages of approval. That won't be for another two or three years, he said.

"We want to build 45 units a year. This is a 10-year build out," he said, adding that the project would not be finished until about 2008.

The developer has the support of the Greater Pasadena Council, but faces opposition from the Chesterfield Homeowners Association.

"It's not that we're opposed to the development, but we have a question as to the number of homes being built," said Carolyn Roeding of Chesterfield.

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