Developer reviving big housing project in W MD?

Terrapin Run sparked lawsuits, legislation over Smart Growth

  • Developer Michael Carnock walks through 935-acre tract near Green Ridge State Forest where he hopes to build 4,000 homes. (2005 photo)
Developer Michael Carnock walks through 935-acre tract near… (Algerina Perna, 2005 )
May 01, 2012|Tim Wheeler

A controversial big housing development in western Maryland that was reported last fall to be shelved apparently has new life.

Terrapin Run, which sparked lawsuits and legislation to strengthen the state's Smart Growth laws, is back on track, Columbia developer Michael Carnock told WCBC radio in Cumberland.  He said he hopes to proceed with his original plan to build 4,000 townhomes in eastern Allegany County.

The developer had reportedly been trying to sell the 935-acre site near the Green Ridge State Forest, and Allegany's county commissioners agreed to drop their lawsuit against the state planning and environment departments to aid a sale, according to the radio station.

Opponents and state officials had sued unsuccessfully to block the project, arguing it was not in keeping with the county's comprehensive plan. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that such plans were merely guidelines, though, and did not have to be rigidly followed. County officials then filed suit against the state for holding up the project. The dispute prompted 2009 legislation that strengthened legal requirements for communities to adhere to their plans, which are drawn up with public input.

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