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Developer asks for extension of growth area

May 30, 2003|By TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

A local developer has asked the Washington County Commissioners to extend the boundaries of the county's growth area to include 150 acres along Marsh Pike so his company can build about 80 homes.

Paul Perini, of Marsh Run Associates, asked the commissioners last week to include the land in the county's Urban Growth Area, which would enable him to move forward with the proposed Glen Erin development.

The land is just north of Spring Valley along Marsh Pike.

The Urban Growth Area is a government-designated area where growth is encouraged. Perini's land is just outside the growth area.

Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said Thursday he told County Planning Director Robert Arch to ask the Planning Commission to make a decision on whether to include the land in the Urban Growth Area.

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"I don't think the County Commissioners should have to deal with this at this point," Snook said.

The land, which is owned by the Perini family, had been in the growth area from 1977 to 2000, when it was removed by the county in an effort to control growth, according to Marsh Run Associates documents.

Because the land is outside of the designated growth area, Perini said the county's moratorium on major rural residential development is holding up the company's plans.

In addition, he said the new housing densities for land outside of the growth areas would greatly lower the number of homes he can build on the land.

The new densities are part of the Comprehensive Plan, which the commissioners adopted late last year to preserve farmland and to control and direct development to growth areas.

The Comprehensive Plan limits development in rural areas by reducing the number of housing units allowed on the land.

Perini said Marsh Run Associates plans to build high-quality homes on the land at the ratio of one house per 1.875 acres. He also said the company has been planning a residential development at the site for 16 years and that construction has been going on for 12 years.

Perini presented the commissioners last week with a list of reasons why he thinks the land should be reinstated to the growth area, including that it's an ideal location for a main sewer interceptor running from Leitersburg Pike to Marsh Pike, then to Paradise Church Road and on to Route 11.

If the sewer interceptor were in place, he said it might eliminate the need for three pumping stations, which would be a savings to the county. Perini said the sewer interceptor would allow for the installation of public sewer in Spring Valley.

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