Hearing on Turf Valley is moved

Big crowd likely for review of development

November 02, 2005|BY A SUN REPORTER

In anticipation of a large turnout, a hearing next week on the proposed expansion of Turf Valley has been relocated to Centennial High School.

Although the application by the developer, Mangione Family Enterprises, is widely regarded as routine, opponents have attempted to greatly broaden the review of the proposal.

The first hearing was held in August, and has twice been continued by the Planning Board.

The hearing is scheduled to resume at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 in the high school auditorium.

Mangione is seeking approval of a fourth comprehensive sketch plan that would:

Add about 119 acres to the development, increasing the size of the luxury planned community to 809 acres.

Phase in an additional 267 housing units between 2008 and 2015. The project is zoned now for 1,151 units.

Realign Resort Road, one of the major streets in the development, to improve traffic flow.

Make permanent the location of several golf holes in the residential areas to act as buffers and to open land in the multiuse district for future development.

A coalition of critics of the plan has attempted to force the Planning Board to broaden its review.

It has tried during the hearings to expand the review to include the development's effects on public schools, the regional transportation system, the environment and its fiscal impact.

The group - largely residents in and near Turf Valley - has for two years opposed expansion plans for the development in western Howard County.

Louis Mangione, vice president of the development company, has said that critics hope only to delay the project and will use any strategy to achieve that aim.

The hearings are quasi-judicial and include cross-examination of witnesses.

The developer has presented his case. Opponents began their case in September and will continue next week.

Turf Valley has 135 homes and 26 villas, a hotel and resort center and two golf courses.

The hearings have been contentious from the start.

At the last session, in September, the critics announced their intention to file a series of motions, ranging from dismissal of the developer's application to winning an indefinite continuance.

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