Zoning appeals panel allows 24 homes in Eldersburg Estates

September 26, 1997|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

The county Board of Zoning Appeals has again overturned a planning commission decision aimed at curbing growth in South Carroll, the county's most populous area.

The board ruled Tuesday that Masonry Contractors Inc. can build 24 homes -- phase six of Eldersburg Estates, a subdivision at MacBeth Way near Tydings Road.

It was the seventh time this year that the three-member panel has overruled the commission, and more appeals are pending.

Noting overcrowded schools, the planning commission had denied approval for the 24 houses last month. The developer appealed the decision to the zoning board and to Circuit Court.

David Bowersox, the developer's attorney, argued that new schools would eliminate much of the crowding that has pushed enrollments above capacity at all schools in South Carroll.

An elementary school under construction is expected to open late next year near Linton Springs. A second middle school for South Carroll opened this year on Oklahoma Road. A proposed high school is in the preliminary planning stages.

The county collects a $4,700 fee on each new housing unit to offset the cost of services needed by new residents. The developer has offered to prepay those fees on the homes in Eldersburg Estates to help pay for school construction.

"For the board, it was a fairness argument," said Isaac Menasche, county attorney. "The developer had been allowed to develop so far, and then the rules changed on him." Menasche was referring to adequate facilities standards imposed by the county after Masonry had begun the development.

When complete, Eldersburg Estates will have 210 homes, about 123 of which have been built in the past five years.

The commission turned down the final three phases -- 63 lots -- of the subdivision Sept. 16. That decision is also being appealed.

Pub Date: 9/26/97

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