Leafy Court houses excluded from sewer hookup

March 22, 1995|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer

When public sewer service comes to Strawbridge Estates subdivision in Eldersburg, the six houses on Leafy Court will be excluded from the system.

The Carroll County Planning Commission declined yesterday to restore Leafy Court to the list of residential areas eventually scheduled to receive public sewerage.

Approximately 100 similar-sized lots in the subdivision are on the list.

County planners said Leafy Court was mistakenly removed in 1992.

Which is just fine with two residents, who answered "no" to a county planning survey of interest in public sewerage in February. Two others said they want the service. Two did not respond.

Leafy Court was part of eight proposed amendments to the county water and sewer master plan, the county's outline of areas planned for public utilities.

Properties outside planned service areas can be developed for residential housing only with lots large enough to accommodate wells and septic systems.

A planning commission public hearing on the amendments yesterday afternoon attracted one speaker, a lawyer for Union Bridge area property owners who want to connect to the Bark Hill community water system and create building lots on part of their land.

Planning commission member Robert H. Lennon proposed leaving Leafy Court off the service list.

"We don't have enough information to impose a future expenditure on the property owners without their participation," he said.

County Planner Bobbi C. Moser recommended restoring the street to the list because homeowners may have problems fitting replacement septic systems on their one-half to three-fourths acre lots if the systems fail.

She said Leafy Court was deleted by mistake when planners removed a section of Strawbridge Estates that had been developed with lots of 1 acre or more.

That action came during a revision of the water and sewer master plan two years ago.

Health officials generally estimate the life of a septic system at about 15 to 20 years. Five of the existing houses on Leafy Court were built in the mid-1970s, one in 1979, Ms. Moser reported.

Charles L. Zeleski, assistant director of environmental health for the county health department, said he could not predict any health hazard consequences from Leafy Court's exclusion.

In general, he said, "Public sewerage is always preferable to individual septic systems when the opportunity [to connect] is available."

He said one septic system on Leafy Court has failed, but the owner was able to replace it. Health Department statistics show that about one-fourth of the septic systems in Strawbridge Estates have stopped working.

County Planning Director Edmund "Ned" Cueman pointed out that inclusion in the service area doesn't trigger extension of sewer lines. That usually happens when community members ask to connect or when a developer extends a sewer main past existing houses to reach a new subdivision.

County government allows the developer to recoup part of the cost when the houses are connected to the main.

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