Board approves Ellicott City development plan

Proposal calls for 54 single-family, detached homes on 37 acres on the north side of Old Columbia Pike

September 30, 2005|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

An upscale housing development, The Woods of Tiber Branch II, is planned for Ellicott City on almost 37 acres, much of it heavily wooded and containing three streams.

Michael Pfau, president of Trinity Quality Homes, said the project will include 54 single-family, detached homes on the north side of Old Columbia Pike, opposite Brittany Drive.

The homes will range from 2,800 to 3,000 to square feet, and prices are likely to start at more than $700,000, he said.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in Friday's edition on a proposed development by Trinity Quality Homes incorrectly stated that the property is within the Ellicott City historical district. The land is outside the district and contains no known historical structures. The Sun regrets the error.

The site is within the Ellicott City historic district, but there are no historic structures on the property, according to the Department of Planning and Zoning.

The property is bounded by two subdivisions, Toll House on the north and The Woods of Tiber Branch on the south.

In unanimously approving a preliminary equivalent sketch plan for the development this week, the Howard County Planning Board commended the developer for protecting the environment.

The project is "well thought out and seems to have erred on the side of the environment," said Tammy J. CitaraManis, chairwoman of the five-member board.

"It was environmentally driven from the start," said board member Linda A. Dombrowski.

The zoning permits 57 homes, but Robert H. Vogel, president of the engineering firm that carries his name, said Pfau eliminated three units to "avoid negatively impacting the environment."

There was no opposition voiced to the project during the planning board hearing.

It is unclear, though, when construction of the development can begin because of the county's allocation system, which restricts the number of homes that can be built annually.

Also at its Wednesday meeting, the board approved a request by Ameriwaste LLC to extend its hours and increase the tonnage of solid waste it processes at its facility off U.S. 1.

The company, which handles an average of 800 tons per day, wants to increase that to 1,200 tons per day.

The plant's hours for receiving material will be changed to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and for processing to 6 a.m. to midnight. Anthony Farnella, president of the company, said the expansion is needed to accommodate growth.

The company collects and processes construction and municipal solid waste, such as bricks, blocks, cardboard and wood.

The planning board also approved the rezoning to general business (B2) of 1.55 acres at the intersection of Ten Oaks Road and Route 108.

Bank of America intends to build a branch on the site.

The property had been zoned B2 for decades until 2004 when it was rezoned to planned office research district.

The county agreed last year to revert to the original zoning, but that action has been delayed by a referendum challenging zoning changes made as part of the so-called Comp Light process.

In approving the rezoning this week, the board found that the county erred in zoning the property for planned office research and had violated the owner's due process by failing to notify the company that it intended to rezone the land.

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