Couple may scale down plan to build nine houses in Lawyers Hill district

July 16, 1996|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

Stung by criticism of their development plans, an Elkridge couple may seek to build three single-family homes instead of nine in the Lawyers Hill historic district, according to a preliminary proposal recently submitted to the county's Health Department.

But Lawyers Hill residents Timothy and Susan Coleman would consider that change only if the department approves a septic system also proposed in the revised plans, said R. Jacob Hikmat, the couple's engineer.

Otherwise, the couple will present their original, nine-house proposal to the county's Planning Board, he said.

The Colemans declined to comment yesterday.

The Colemans' original proposal for the 5 acres surrounding their 1850s mansion home, known as Hursley Manor, drew strong opposition in April from Lawyers Hill residents and the commission.

Major concerns centered on the potential destruction of century-old trees, a proposed cul-de-sac that could dominate the narrow, scenic roads and the development's lack of adequate parking, which could force cars to park on the main road.

The county's Planning Board and Planning and Zoning Department have the final say over whether the homes can be built.

But Thursday, the Historic District Commission -- which governs development and architectural standards in the county's historic districts in Ellicott City and Elkridge -- drafted a motion urging the Planning Board to reject the nine-house plan.

The motion said the plan is "incompatible with the character of the Lawyer's Hill Historic District" -- a neighborhood of about 40 properties along Lawyers Hill, Old Lawyers Hill and River roads.

"I always thought that if they cut down the homes to a more acceptable number they would be able to build upscale homes with better architectural features that would blend with the neighborhood," said Herbert Johl, the commission's chairman.

The Colemans must resubmit their development plans to the Planning and Zoning Department next month to show technical changes the agency requested.

Pub Date: 7/16/96

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