Plans call for 3,000 homes

CSX, Nes project also envisions neighborhood stores

July 14, 1999|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

The owners of nearly 1,000 wooded acres on the industry-ringed Marley Neck Peninsula unveiled last night their joint plan to turn their property into 3,000 homes, a shopping center and a business park.

About 40 people turned out for a meeting at Solley United Methodist Church to hear property owners Jane Nes and the CSX Corp. of Baltimore discuss their vision for Tanyard Springs and Tanyard Cove. The audience was a mix of supporters and doubters.

After working for years on separate proposals, the two property owners decided last spring to collaborate.

"Given the large areas that we both have, it made more sense to work together to make sure the infrastructure is coordinated," said Bill Cromwell, an assistant vice president for realty operations with CSX Real Property.

County officials are reviewing the plan the landowners submitted last month, which includes 3,000 homes -- condominiums, townhouses, single-family dwellings and 1,000 units outfitted for independent and assisted living for senior citizens.

In response to community concerns, Nes said that she and CSX cut the number of homes they originally wanted by more than 1,000 and retained more open space.

"We're doing all this so we can guarantee that the community will have a nice area," said Nes, who owns about 280 acres between Marley Neck Boulevard and Solley Road. CSX owns 600 acres on the west side of Marley Neck Boulevard.

Steve Donnelly, a regional land planner on Nes' project, talked about another idea for pleasing residents. The Tanyard Springs shopping center will include a grocery, video store, bank and other neighborhood service stores, he said.

"The intention is to preserve significant green areas and to create a cohesive community where people can walk to employment, shopping and their doctor," he said. Those facilities close by should reduce car trips to congested Fort Smallwood Road, he said.

County Executive Janet S. Owens' approval is needed for the development to go any further. Owens has said she will take no action until she is certain area schools, especially Northeast High and George Fox Middle, can handle more students.

Developers have pledged to contribute about $3.5 million to offset the cost of building additions to accommodate more students.

Nes said the communities closest to the proposed development -- Solley and Marley Neck -- support the project. She said area residents backed her 25 years ago when she rezoned her property from industrial to residential.

"We have been working on de- industrializing the Marley Neck Peninsula since 1974," said Donnelly. "These projects are really a logical extension of that effort."

Nes said that the communities of Orchard Beach, Sunset Beach and Lombardy Beach, Chestnut Hill Cove and Brockington have sent letters to Owens supporting the project.

"My feeling is we're at a crossroads," said Casper Hackmann, a lifelong Solley resident who has praised Nes' efforts to respond to community concerns. "That land is going to be developed, and if it isn't developed now it may wind up industrial again. Then we'll end up with a real mess around here."

Lois Creek, a resident of the Marley Neck area, said she collected signatures from more than 100 people in her neighborhood who support the Nes and CSX projects.

"If they don't put houses there, it's going to be factories," Creek said. "And God knows we're surrounded by enough factories."

The area is home to two chemical manufacturing companies, a hazardous-waste landfill and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s Brandon Shores plant. This month, after a two-decades-long battle against what they saw as a health and environmental menace, Solly residents rejoiced when BGE announced it would soon stop depositing fly ash at its Brandon Woods Business Park.

Richard Ames, president of the Stoney Creek Democratic Club, is not a supporter of the proposed project, however, even if it isn't a factory. His organization has written Owens, urging her to reject the plan. He said residents are worried about traffic and school crowding.

"Who in the heck wants 6,000 cars in their community?" he said.

Pub Date: 7/14/99

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