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Developer proposes 328 acres of housing

July 14, 2005|by TARA REILLY

WILLIAMSPORT

tarar@herald-mail.com

A more than 1,200-unit housing development consisting of single-family homes, town houses and condominiums is proposed along Sterling Road near Williamsport, Washington County officials said Wednesday.

County Chief Planner Steve Goodrich said Williamsport Ventures LLC recently submitted to the county preliminary information for the proposed 1,267-unit development, which would be built along Sterling Road at the intersection of Edward Doub Road and stretch to Kendle Road.

Planning Director Michael Thompson said the developer is Heritage Land Development in Glenwood, Md., but is operating under the limited liability company name for this project.

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"It's just in the beginning stages, but it's a big development," Washington County Commissioner Doris J. Nipps said.

The development would take up several parcels totaling 328 acres, Goodrich said. It would consist of 393 single-family homes on 80-foot-wide lots, 172 single-family homes on 60-foot-wide lots, 766 town houses and 108 condominiums.

County planning staff held a preliminary meeting July 6 with the developer to exchange information.

Goodrich said the information from that meeting will be presented to the Planning Commission in August.

The developer will likely apply for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning designation for the property, Goodrich said.

A PUD is an overlaying zoning designation that allows for greater housing density.

If the developer applies for a PUD, a public hearing would be held in September, Goodrich said.

The proposed development site is currently zoned agricultural. The property is also in the Urban Growth Area, a designated area where growth is encouraged, he said.

The Planning Commission would be required to make a recommendation to the Washington County Commissioners on the PUD application before the commissioners voted on it.

Goodrich said that wouldn't happen until well into next year.

Most of the development would be included in the Williamsport school attendance area. A small portion of it would be part of the Fountain Rock district, Goodrich said.

Goodrich said a final determination on where the students would attend wouldn't be made until years down the road.

Nipps said Wednesday the county's Historic District Commission reviewed the preliminary information on the proposed development last week because there is a historic house on the property.

She said the Historic District Commission reviews and makes comments to the Planning Commission on planning issues that concern historic properties.

Nipps serves on the Historic District Commission.

Thompson said that with several large developments either proposed or under construction in the county, he thinks the trend will continue.

"I don't think it's going to be totally unusual to see stuff that size in the future," he said.

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