Details few on Fulton project Specifics about plan are promised in Feb.

December 14, 1997|By Jill Hudson | Jill Hudson,SUN STAFF

Developers of a proposed Columbia-style community on 800 acres in Fulton said yesterday they will release specific plans in February, but they disappointed community leaders by offering few details now.

About 50 civic activists came to an early morning meeting in Columbia hoping to discuss details of the mammoth development project, which would be the largest housing development since the Rouse Co. began building Columbia 30 years ago.

Instead, Stewart Greenebaum, president of the regional development firm hired by G&R Maple Lawn Inc., said more information would be released in February.

Developers then hope to file plans with the Howard County Planning Board and the county Zoning Board in March, Greenebaum said. His firm is Greenebaum & Rose.

The Zoning Board -- made up of the five members of the County Council -- will make the final decision.

Gregory K. Fries, president of the Southern Howard County Land Use Committee, called the timetable for filing the plans "inappropriate."

"The community should not be given such a small amount of time to review the plans and give public comment," he said. "We have to be given more time."

Others who attended the hourlong question-and-answer meeting said they were disappointed to have to wait 60 to 90 days to see more specific information about the project.

"We came out of the meeting with a lot of unanswered questions," said Bill Waff, president of the Savage Community Association. "Not a lot got discussed today."

Waff and others said they had hoped to discuss the developers' plans for the first 470 acres of the project, which would include 2,000 homes west of Route 216 and Johns Hopkins Road.

Maple Lawn Farms, a turkey farm owned by Eugene and Charles Iager Jr., is the largest piece of the land.

The developers did not allow a reporter for The Sun to attend the meeting, held in a private office.

The county has long expected the farm to be developed, and has zoned the area for mixed use. The county school system has bought 100 acres in the area for an elementary, middle and high school.

County planners have been touting the mixed-use concept as the best way to maximize the decreasing acreage available for development in the county.

But community activists have been concerned that such a development would double the area's population and overwhelm the existing infrastructure.

Adding to their concerns in southern Howard County, the Rouse dTC Co. plans to build a 1,400-home community on 517 acres in North Laurel, a few miles from the Fulton site.

Pub Date: 12/14/97

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