Hearing held on mixed-use plan Zoning panel weighs Fulton proposal

April 18, 1996|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

The Howard County Zoning Board, considering its first mixed-use proposal at hearing last night, appeared to be uncertain how to proceed.

At issue is an 820-acre plot in Fulton -- on the west side of U.S. 29, just north of the Cherry Tree Shopping Center -- that the county envisions as a large-scale planned community where residents would live, work, play and shop without getting into their cars.

But at least 25 people own portions of the land, and only one wants to proceed with developing his 31-acre plot.

Mixed-use zoning is a fairly new category that allows a combination of open space, dwellings and a commercial or retail center that produces jobs.

Willard H. Marlow's proposal to develop 59 detached houses, 35 townhouses, 11 acres of open space and a 5-acre commercial center was rejected by the county Planning Board in December.

"From the standpoint of what Howard County wants [in a mixed-use project], this is it," said Malcolm Rivkin, a Bethesda planner who spoke on Mr. Marlow's behalf at the hearing.

Mr. Rivkin said the small acreage designated for a commercial center probably would accommodate a service station or a food mart.

He said a church or a community day care center would be more appropriate. And residents could rely on the nearby Cherry Tree Shopping Center for their retail needs, Mr. Rivkin said.

The only opponent of the plan to speak at the hearing was Bill Waff, vice president of the Howard County Citizens Association.

"I do not feel [the proposal] complies with the intent of the mixed-use zoning," Mr. Waff said, adding that any future development of the community would be harmed if one portion was developed prematurely.

It's important to know what's planned for the rest of the plot," he said.

Pub Date: 4/18/96

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