Housing project rejected

March 04, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

The Washington County Planning Commission on Monday voted 3-1 with one abstention to deny a special zoning designation for Emerald Pointe, developer Paul Crampton Jr.'s proposed Marsh Pike development.

"I know Mr. Crampton is a fine builder but my concern is the density issue," said Paula Lampton, chair of the commission.

Crampton's plan calls for between 3 and 4 units per acre while Lampton said she would like to see it down to between 11/2 and 2, like nearby Foxleigh Meadows.


Crampton had requested a Planned Urban Development (PUD) zoning designation, which allows higher-density development on property than would be allowed under a property's existing zoning. The land is zoned agricultural.

"My concern is that this is in an agricultural district and with the rules in place now, someone could come in and put in way more units than Crampton is planning," said commission member Donald Ardinger, the only vote in favor of approving the special zoning designation.

Emerald Pointe would have nearly 400 units, including 89 duplexes, 88 single-family homes and 92 townhouses. Russ Townsley, a project engineer, has said a retirement living center planned for the site would have 126 units.

Commission member George Anikis said Monday a traffic study done two years ago indicated more than 8,000 vehicles move through Marsh Pike in a 12-hour period.

"And that will only get worse if there are more entrance roads onto Marsh Pike," Anikis said.

At a Jan. 13 public hearing, two dozen residents spoke against the development, saying it was incompatible with the area and would overcrowd schools and increase traffic congestion.

At the January hearing, the residents urged the Washington County Commissioners and Planning Commission to reject a request for the special zoning designation that would allow the Emerald Pointe development proposed for 97.27 acres on the north side of the Marsh Pike and Leitersburg Pike (Md. 60) intersection.

None of the approximately 100 people who attended spoke in favor of the development at the earlier hearing.

Monday's night's action by the planning commission moves on to the Washington County Commissioners as a recommendation.

How they voted

Following is how members of the Washington County Planning Commission voted on developer Paul Crampton's request for a Planned Urban Development (PUD) zoning designation for his proposed Emerald Point development.

Denied: Paula Lampton, R. Ben Clopper, George Anikis.

Approved: Donald Ardinger.

Abstained: Robert E. Ernst II.

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