Winifred Manor gets conditional OK

January 25, 1995|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

The county Board of Zoning Appeals gave conditional use approval yesterday to Winifred Manor, a 156-unit retirement community proposed for a 12-acre site south of Liberty Road and east of Monroe Avenue.

It will probably take Rosario D. "Tony" Rizzo, the developer and builder, a year to work the project through site-plan approval and review. By then, he said, he will have reservations for most of the units.

Three blocks away from Winifred Manor, Mr. Rizzo is building Marvin Gardens, his first retirement homes project.

"Marvin Gardens has shown me there is definitely a need and a demand for retirement homes in the area," he said. "It is going so well that it prompted me to look for another location."

The first of 55 units of the development on Marvin Avenue will be completed by next month and residents, who must be 55 or older, are lining up for the homes.

"I have 40 reservations for the units already," Mr. Rizzo said. "I get several calls a week asking me where the homes are and when they will be done."

The conditional use approval, allowed by the zoning, is the first step in the review process for the new development.

Mr. Rizzo must submit a site plan to the county Planning and Zoning Commission. He also may be required to complete traffic studies to determine the effect of the development on Liberty Road, a high traffic thoroughfare to which Winifred Manor residents will have direct access.

"My greatest concern with this development is density," said Charles W. Cull, an appeals board member. "The Planning Commission will address that more specifically than we do."

About a dozen neighbors of the proposed development attended the hearing.

"Basically, I came for information, not to protest," said Phil Gilmer of Sherryl Avenue. "This is a good use of the property."

Neighbors frequently asked questions of those testifying, but expressed no complaints.

"I have concerns with traffic safety and density," said Wesley Prince of Sherryl Avenue. "But, I think those will be addressed in follow-ups."

Mr. Cull said he was "encouraged that there has been no dramatic opposition to this project."

"We are allowing the conditional use with the stipulation that the Planning Commission give great consideration to the density question and the impact of vehicular traffic on Route 26," he said.

Winifred Manor would have eight 2 1/2 -story buildings, no higher than 35 feet, the maximum allowed under the building code.

The buildings, each with an elevator and 12 units, would surround a recreation center.

Around the development perimeter, Mr. Rizzo plans 15 one-story buildings with four units each.

He also detailed landscaping proposals.

The homes would range in price from $90,000 to $100,000.

If the property were developed into full-sized lots, it would support about 18 single family homes.

Several witnesses testified in favor of the project.

"We feel that a senior citizen center, especially a condo concept, is a positive for Carroll County," said Jack Lyburn, director of Economic Development.

"Quality of life is what this is all about and these facilities are necessary. They have a great impact as far as dollars are concerned."

The community, restricted to senior citizens, would be accessible to the handicapped and self-contained with public water and sewer.

"The concept fits in nicely with what the community could use and should be of benefit to the county," said Richard Hull, a design engineer with Carroll Land Services.

"There is a market for this lifestyle," said Randy Via, a real estate attorney. "Demographically, the country is getting older and that population needs access to amenities they couldn't afford in their own private residences."

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