Three developers revise plan for project in Howard County Mixed-use community proposed for Scaggsville

September 05, 1997|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Developers of a proposed 42-acre mixed-use community in Scaggsville that has been in limbo for almost a year have asked county officials to put their plan back on the approval track.

Robert H. Levan, an attorney for a partnership of three developers, sent a letter dated Aug. 21 to the county Zoning Board requesting a work session so the developers -- Canton Builders, Winchester Homes and Cherrytree Corp. -- can submit a revised preliminary development plan for Cherrytree Park.

Original plans for the Scaggsville project -- which would be the county's first mixed-use community since 14,000-acre Columbia was developed during the 1960s -- called for 252 single-family and multifamily homes on half of a 42.4-acre site at the southeast corner of U.S. 29 and Route 216, with 6 acres of employment and retail space and 15 acres of open space.

When members of the Zoning Board raised questions about the project's density and business space at a meeting last October, the developers pulled out of the approval process.

"We are going to revise a plan to satisfy the objections raised by the Zoning Board," Levan said yesterday. "We are attempting to meet as many of the problems as we can and still develop under the local zoning ordinance that we are entitled to."

Darrel E. Drown, Zoning Board and County Council chairman, said he is unsure whether the developers can begin where they left off last year, instead of starting the approval process at the beginning.

"These are uncharted waters," said Drown, adding that he has the county's Office of Law to review zoning procedures. "We've never done this before. We have to look at the rules to make sure we're doing this right."

If the plan clears regulatory hurdles, the community could be developed as early as 2000.

County planners have been touting the mixed-use concept -- which blends homes and businesses in a single area -- as the best way to maximize the decreasing acreage available for development in Howard County.

The southeastern portion of the county is a hotbed for mixed-use development proposals.

On Sept. 24, the Zoning Board will review a plan for a 1,410-home, Columbia-style village on 522 acres in North Laurel.

And the Iager family, which has been farming in nearby Fulton since 1842, is reportedly close to submitting a plan for a 2,000-unit, mixed-use development on nearly 600 acres of farmland.

Pub Date: 9/05/97

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