Company is denied permission to build road in Arundel Zoning officials say traffic too heavy

March 19, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County zoning officials have denied a Howard County company permission to clear 1.5 acres in Severna Park to build a road to a proposed 65-unit assisted-living center.

Constellation Health Services on Centre Park Drive in Ellicott City had sought authorization for an access road to the three-story, Colonial Williamsburg-style center on Benfield Road near Holly Farms Road. But officials from the county Department of Planning and Code Enforcement (PACE) said there already is too much traffic on Benfield Road.

Instead, PACE suggested using Holly Farms Road, said John A. Morris, department spokesman.

"The recommendation is that they upgrade Holly Farms Road," he said. "Currently it's dirt and gravel. The county is suggesting they pave it to a 24-foot-wide road with a right of way and sidewalks."

Florence Beck Kurdle, vice president of planning for Constellation Real Estate, a subsidiary of Constellation Health Services, said Constellation was undecided about what to do next.

She said the company had considered developing Holly Farms Road but that nearby residents "did not want that road upgraded."

In any case, Ms. Kurdle said, Benfield Road motorists should not be alarmed by the number of units or the 45 workers the center plans to hire.

"We can arrange [employees'] shifts to the off-peak hours," Ms. Kurdle said. "And visitors don't come during peak hours. They usually come on Sunday afternoons or other afternoons."

Plans for the center, which will charge residents about $3,000 a month, include a kitchen, a dining room, a barbershop and a doctor's office. It will be surrounded by a little more than 3 acres of trees and grass.

"We want to leave it in a natural state," Ms. Kurdle said.

She said Constellation chose Anne Arundel because of its growing population of elderly residents. The Maryland Office of Planning estimates that the number of county residents over age 65 increased from 37,430 in 1990 to 42,837 in 1995 and would reach 46,572 by 2000.

"There is an aging population, and there are a limited number of assisted-living projects," she said. "There's an unmet need."

Pub Date: 3/19/96

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