Appeals board overturns decision on development Panel rules developer may proceed with last part of Eldersburg Estates

December 11, 1997|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

The Carroll County Board of Zoning Appeals has again overturned the local planning commission and set the stage for a resolution in Circuit Court.

The three-member panel ruled yesterday that developer Martin K. P. Hill may proceed with the final three sections -- sections 7, 8 and 9 -- of Eldersburg Estates, adding 63 more homes to an overcrowded school system.

The board took the same action in September, when it allowed 24 homes in another section of the development, despite a denial from the planning commission. That awaits a court hearing.

The planning commission has based its denials of further development in Eldersburg Estates -- eventually 210 homes south of MacBeth Way and east of Route 32 -- on crowding in South Carroll schools, particularly Liberty High School, which is more than 300 students above its capacity.

"The [Board of Appeals] ruled in favor of property rights," said Timothy C. Burke, county attorney. "They also said it was unfair to the residents already there to leave a development unfinished."

The planning commission, which had denied the same three sections in September, will receive the zoning board's written decision in about 30 days and can decide to appeal in Circuit Court.

The zoning board added one contingency yesterday. Hill may not record lots in Section 7 before September 1998 and must wait for a year after that to record lots in the last two sections.

Hill had preliminary approval for 210 single-family homes.

"These are not stand-alone sections," Hill said. "They share the same infrastructure and nearly all the improvements are in place for all the lots. I have a reasonable expectation to complete the project as approved by Carroll County."

David K. Bowersox, attorney for Hill, relied on the same arguments he made two months ago, when appealing the denial of Section 6. "This is a fairness and equity consideration," Bowersox said.

Pub Date: 12/11/97

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