Glenwood residents decry proposed senior condos Number of opponents wishing to testify to prolong hearings

December 10, 1997|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A proposed senior-citizen condominium complex near the Cattail Creek Country Club in Glenwood met fierce opposition at last night's Board of Appeals public hearing.

In a room packed with about 75 people, the board heard testimony from one witness and the developer's statements about the proposed complex, to be located just north of the country club on the western side of Route 97.

The unexpected number of opponents wishing to testify will prolong the hearings until March 10, officials said.

The developer, Donald Reuwer, hopes to build the Villas at Cattail Creek, a 58-acre, 116-unit complex for the elderly, a burgeoning segment of Howard County's population that is expected to double by 2010.

But at last night's meeting, residents who live near the proposed complex voiced opposition to it, saying it would harm the environment and burden roads.

"I don't want to see the destruction of its natural beauty, don't like to see a lot of houses built up there," said Joe Carta, 62, who raises beef cattle nearby.

Susan Gray, a slow-growth activist from Highland, said the project would harm the environment and drain water supplies.

She also said the county was not following procedures because planning officials were not called to testify about their reports on the project.

"It violates almost every regulation that's applicable," Gray said. "There is simply no validity to this proposal."

To build the complex, Reuwer is seeking a zoning exception, which received the recommendation of the Howard County Planning Board on Dec. 3.

The Board of Appeals is the final step toward approval.

J. P. Blase Cooke, president of the country club, told the board that the club's directors support the proposal.

The club, which is expected to finalize a contract by January to buy 76 acres of open space adjacent to the complex, might use the land to build another nine holes for golf, Cooke said.

Opponents questioned Cooke about the environmental impact of the high-density complex and problems associated with another nine holes for golf.

Under cross-examination by David Huber, a Glenwood resident, Cooke acknowledged that additional golf holes would use more water than single-family homes and more fertilizer.

If the complex is built, its residents would receive social memberships to the country club, not golf memberships, and would have to pay monthly social fees, Cooke said.

Each building in the complex would contain four condominiums -- each with 1,800 to 2,000 square feet of space -- and parking areas.

Pub Date: 12/10/97

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