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Development would put 159 houses on farmland

October 30, 2000

Development would put 159 houses on farmland



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


A development plan by former Washington County Commissioner R. Lee Downey calls for 159 units to be constructed on property Downey owns north of Virginia Avenue and along the south side of the Interstate 81 and Interstate 70 intersection.

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The housing would be built on a 27.7-acre lot of farmland near Tammany Manor Road. The land is zoned Highway Interchange 2.

The project includes 27 residential units on 6.32 acres, 60 town house units on 8.72 acres and one 72-unit multi-family apartment complex on 4.3 acres.

The Southwest Metropolitan Area Civic Association reportedly discussed the project at a meeting last week. Association members referred calls to Vice President Michael Armel, who could not be reached for comment Monday.The Washington County Planning Commission discussed the project briefly at its Oct. 2 meeting.

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It may be a few months before the more important discussions on a site plan occur, Senior Planner Lisa Pietro said. No future discussion has been scheduled, and the date will depend partly on when partial and final plats are submitted, she said.

Downey said he may be submitting more documents in December or January.

If approvals are granted, construction work could begin by spring, he said.

Washington County Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger, who is on the Planning Commission, said the project seems appropriate for the area and said Downey has been responsive to concerns raised so far.

After Pietro questioned whether the project was too ambitious because it included not only residential units but a 2.6-acre commercial area, the commercial area was removed from the plans, she said.

Downey said he has been developing in that area since 1991.

"I have a track record, in that area, of building and I live in the community. I am going to do something that will be good for the citizens who need additional housing," he said.

As part of the development, a storm water management pond and a buffer with trees would be provided between the residences and the highway, he said.

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