Planning commission approves school, medical complex plans Panel votes down Westminster project

December 18, 1996|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,SUN STAFF

The county Planning and Zoning Commission approved plans yesterday for an $8.7 million Linton Springs Elementary School and a $3.7 million medical complex that Carroll County General Hospital plans to build in the Eldersburg Business Center.

But the commission voted 3 to 2 not to give final approval for 25 lots in the 101-lot Eden Farms subdivision in Westminster.

Residents in the Linton Springs neighborhood complained yesterday that the design for access to the new school from nearby secondary roads would create unsafe conditions for students who walk to school.

"This property is not adequate," said Barry Marsh, president of the Linton Springs Homeowners Association. Linton Road "is not a safe road."

County officials disagreed with that contention, but the planning commission sided with residents and put a restriction on site plan approval. It wants a four-way stop at the Linton-Ronsdale roads intersection.

There was no opposition to the medical center site plan.

"This concept will bring medical services from the [Carroll County General Hospital] campus in Westminster to South Carroll," developer Frederick W. Glassberg told the commission.

Plans call for the 30,000-square-foot complex to offer laboratory services and provide offices for 20 physicians and medical specialists.

"It should be a trip reducer," Glassberg said.

Although approval of the Eden Farms subdivision was denied because nearby schools are crowded, John T. Maguire II, attorney for the developer, argued that the overcrowding exists on paper only. If students were put in a district that would take them to a school closer than Westminster Elementary, there would be no overcrowding, Maguire said.

The school criteria did not exist when the developer won preliminary approval from the commission in February 1995, Maguire said. He said the developer had no warning final subdivision plans would be rejected. The developer recently received a grading permit and put up a $377,000 bond, Maguire said.

The developer has paid $350,000 in impact fees, Maguire said. If final approval is not given, "the financial impact would be disastrous," Maguire said. Rejection also could lead to dire consequences for three Carroll County builders, he said.

Commission member Robert H. Lennon of Westminster said he was concerned that Eden Farms and a nearby subdivision had been put into a crowded school district rather than one below capacity. "There is raw ground where no kids are going to school right now," Lennon said. "The physical distance is shorter from the undercrowded school than the overcrowded one."

Lennon and Joseph H. Mettle of Sykesville voted to approve the subdivision, but Melvin E. Baile Jr. of New Windsor, Grant S. Dannelly of Marriottsville and Deborah L. Ridgely of Finksburg voted against it.

Maguire asked if the commission would consider a plan by which it could be developed in phases. He was told that he could ask for a reconsideration of the decision at a later meeting. He said he might appeal the vote to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Pub Date: 12/18/96

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