Official denies family's request to build more houses on farms Ruling says one dwelling per acre is the limit

September 22, 1995|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

An Anne Arundel County official has denied a Millersville family's request to double the number of homes it can build on two adjacent farms off East-West Boulevard.

Administrative Hearing Officer Robert C. Wilcox ruled yesterday that the zoning on farms owned by Delma Pumphrey and Ralph and Norma Darley should remain one house to the acre.

Mrs. Pumphrey and Mr. and Mrs. Darley planned to build 207 houses on 118 acres east of Veteran's Highway and north of East-West Boulevard.

Mr. Wilcox rejected arguments that the completion of the road in December 1994 and that the installation of water and sewer lines had changed the character of the neighborhood enough to warrant the zoning change.

"The neighborhood was mostly residential before East-West Boulevard was built and remains mostly residential today," Mr. Wilcox wrote. "The character of the neighborhood has not been altered."

Mrs. Pumphrey, 70, is related to the Darelys by marriage. She said she was not surprised by the decision.

"We figured that when the hearing came about [last month]. It didn't seem promising to me," she said, complaining about nearby residents who opposed the change.

"I've been a native here all my life, and then someone new comes in and says I can't do this? That's not fair," she said.

In his ruling, Mr. Wilcox also cited a county school board report that said the new homes could lead to crowding in nearby schools. The report said the development would add 149 students to Glen Burnie Park Elementary School, Old Mill Middle School South, and Old Mill Senior High School, all of which are operating at or near capacity.

Mrs. Pumphrey said she would appeal the ruling. "We're not finished yet," she said.

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