Proposal for Lawyers Hill reduced from 9 homes to 3 Elkridge couple's revision still requires county OK

August 23, 1996|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

Bowing to criticism of their development plans, an Elkridge couple have withdrawn their proposal to build nine single-family homes in the Lawyers Hill historic district. Instead, they have opted to build three homes, said the couple's engineer.

The new plan probably will be submitted to the Howard County Planning and Zoning Department next month, said engineer R. Jacob Hikmat.

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

Members of the Historic District Commission -- which governs development and architectural standards in the county's historic districts in Ellicott City and Elkridge -- drafted a motion last month urging the Planning Board to reject the plan for nine houses in Lawyers Hill.

Major concerns involved potential destruction of century-old trees, a proposed cul-de-sac that could dominate the area's narrow, scenic roads and the development's lack of adequate parking. The last problem could force nearby residents to park on the main road, they said.

The new plan for three homes will not require new roads or a cul-de-sac, Hikmat said.

"These homes will be very upscale," he added.

The Colemans were not available for comment.

The Lawyers Hill historic district is a neighborhood of about 40 properties along Lawyers Hill, Old Lawyers Hill and River roads.

While the county's Planning Board and Planning and Zoning Department have the final say on whether the new proposal is acceptable, some residents have responded favorably to the news of the pending change in the Colemans' plans.

"It would be much more acceptable as long as they are in character with the area," said Gloria Berthold, a resident of 20 years and critic of the Colemans' first proposal.

She added: "I wouldn't mind two or three new homes in the area.

"We are for appropriate development in the historic district."

Pub Date: 8/23/96

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