Bill targets proposed Dayton development

June 10, 1999|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Still trying to slow a controversial project in rural Dayton, Howard County Council Chairman C. Vernon Gray has submitted legislation to the council restricting development in areas near reservoirs.

In February, Gray introduced legislation to the Planning Board to alter the county zoning code to prohibit the construction of homes on lots of fewer than two acres in subdivisions of 20 or more acres.

That legislation, which was endorsed by the board, would have matched state standards and applied to developments proposed within 2,500 feet of a reservoir in a rural conservation district.

Gray presented his legislation to the council Monday, but must revise it to correct what he terms an accidental omission of the 2-acre threshold. He blamed the problem on miscommunication with an aide.

The amendment will make the legislation reflect his original proposal in February.

"It shouldn't have" left out the 2-acre requirement, Gray said. "I'll go back to what it was originally."

Gray said he waited four months after the Planning Board's recommendation to submit his bill to the council because he did not want to couple it with a zoning amendment from Councilman Guy Guzzone, a Democrat who represents North Laurel.

If approved, Gray's proposal would prevent Glenwood farmer Charles Sharp from building 25 of 95 houses on 237 acres of farmland on Triadelphia Road in Dayton.

Alec Adams, an attorney representing Sharp, contends that the project should be protected because it had received preliminary approval from the county Department of Planning and Zoning.

He said he is optimistic that a majority of the five-member County Council will agree with him.

"If that bill is favorably considered, I'm hopeful that three members will grandfather my client's development," Adams said.

"My client has done everything by the book," he said.

But Gray said he will push to have his legislation applied to Sharp's plan.

"I do think that there are too many homes crowded on that southern parcel," Gray said. "I have a difficulty with that."

A public hearing on the legislation is scheduled for June 21.

Pub Date: 6/10/99

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