Developer gives pitch on project

Greenebaum attempts again to reassure panel on jobs, sprawl

Smart Growth `showcase'

Zoning OK sought for homes, townhouses, apartments on old farm

September 14, 1999|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

For the second time in five days, developer Stewart J. Greenebaum attempted to reassure the Howard County Zoning Board that his plan to build a mixed-use, Columbia-style village in Fulton would fuel employment while helping to curb suburban sprawl.

If the project were realized, Greenebaum said, many residents who now drive to jobs out of the county would be able to walk or bicycle to new jobs close to home.

"We have a commitment to make this a showcase for Smart Growth," he said, referring to Gov. Parris N. Glendening's initiative to combat suburban sprawl. "And I want to do it right."

As president and managing partner of Greenebaum and Rose Associates, the developer is seeking approval to build 1,168 apartments, townhouses, and single-family homes on the nearly 508-acre Iager farm.

The project would include 178 acres of open space and more than 150,000 square feet of retail use.

The property lies west of U.S. 29 and is bounded by Johns Hopkins Road and Route 216 to the south.

The Southern Howard Land Use Committee represents more than a dozen civic organizations opposed to the project.

When questioned by committee member Greg Brown, Greenebaum said the 1 million-plus square feet of office space would include such features as day care facilities, restaurants and health clubs.

Greenebaum added that he is considering a consultant's suggestion to build a "boardroom complex" available to every company in the new community.

"We are going to create what employers want -- a true campus," said Greenebaum. "These are the things that create a sense of community that is valuable to the tenant."

He noted that 65 percent of the 1,168 houses in his plan would be within a 10-minute walk of his "workplace district," encouraging residents who work in the community to park their cars in favor of bicycles and sidewalks.

He also said retail parking would be behind the shops, and spaces closest to the buildings would be reserved for shoppers who carpool.

The county and state have approved funding for two new schools and highway interchanges near the Iager farm.

An elementary school has been built with a middle school under construction. One interchange is in place with money allocated for the second.

Asked by Brown if these projects were approved to accommodate his proposal, Greenebaum said.

"This [location] was designated as a growth area," he said. "The county wisely made investments in a growth area vs. a nongrowth area."

Although Greenebaum has pitched his development as a neighborhood of luxury condominiums and single-family estates, the developer noted that 50 residential units would be moderately priced for county firefighters, police officers and schoolteachers.

Another hearing is scheduled at 7: 30 p.m. tomorrow at the George Howard Building in Ellicott City.

Pub Date: 9/14/99

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