Development plan targets commuting Goal is to put jobs, businesses, housing within same areas

November 06, 1996|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

More than half the projected growth in jobs, commercial enterprises and homes in the county over the next 10 years will occur in West County.

But instead of separating workers' homes from their jobs and from their mass transit options, a county task force is recommending a development plan that would bring those functions together, cutting commuting times and lengthy car trips for errands.

The 28-member group that devised the proposed General Development Plan is recommending:

Designating areas near Maryland Rail Commuter stations in Savage and Jessup for development of employment and housing.

Targeting the Laurel-Fort Meade and Dorsey areas, both bisected by the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, for development of light industry and office parks with some retail and residential components.

Establishing the portion of Jessup at Route 175 and the parkway for primarily residential development, with some retail and office space.

Developing a "village center" in Crofton, with mostly commercial and retail space and some residential units. Community leaders and developers are working to plan the Village at Waugh Chapel near Route 3.

The proposed revisions to the General Development Plan will be available for public review this month and will be sent to the County Council for adoption next year.

"The GDP will greatly affect the West County area," said GDP committee member Geoffrey L. Johnson. "I think it's the right direction for the county to go."

During the past five years, half of the approximately 13,000 homes built in the county were built in West County, said John A. Morris, spokesman for the county land use and environment office.

And, according to the draft plan, many of the 55,000 new jobs expected in the next 25 years will be located near the National Security Agency, Fort Meade and Baltimore-Washington Airport.

County Councilman Bert L. Rice, an Odenton Republican, said the blueprint has the right focus on the needs of West County.

"I think that we have a really good laying-down of the residential developments," he said yesterday. "Now we have to be aware of what kind of services we need to take care of that population."

The mixed use plans could create communities where people walk to work, he said.

Bringing that type of development to fruition won't be easy, said steering committee member Glen Akers, president of Greater Odenton Improvement Association.

"It's a nice thought," he said of the focus on combining residences, work centers and transportation nodes. "A lot of work has to go into that. You have got to provide the type of employment or bring in the people with the qualifications for the businesses that will be housed there. I don't see that as a small feat."

County investment in road improvements and creation of recreation areas will be key to fostering the development called for in the plan, said Johnson, former president of West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce.

Four forums will be held for residents to voice their opinions: Tuesday at Anne Arundel Community College; Nov. 14 at Southern High School; Nov. 19 at Glen Burnie High School; and Nov. 21 at Arundel Senior High School. Each session will be from 4: 30 p.m. to 8: 30 p.m.

Pub Date: 11/06/96

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