Brick fronts would push homes past limit

November 04, 1997|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,SUN STAFF

How thick is thick as a brick?

The answer, apparently, is 4 inches -- or, as one Baltimore County homebuilder is finding out, it might be the distance between being inside and outside of the law.

The issue arose yesterday when Glen Arm Homes asked to be exempted from "setback" requirements for 28 homes planned for Pine Grove, a residential community in Carney.

The builder said that adding brick to the front of the houses would increase their depth by 4 inches -- and push them outside the prescribed "building envelopes."

The application read: "Lot sizes are so tight we cannot shift the houses back to allow for the brick."

The request seemed to surprise members of the county's Development Review Committee, which examines and approves "minor" changes to development plans.

Panel member Donald Rascoe said, "There are some honest people out there."

Joe Merrey, another committee member, asked, "Do we care about 4 inches?"

In the end, the panel did not have to answer that question. Realizing they had no authority to waive setbacks required under zoning law, the members referred the request to county zoning officials.

Pub Date: 11/04/97

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