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Developer withdraws zoning request

plans resubmission

December 28, 2005|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

A developer has withdrawn a request to Washington County for a zoning designation needed to build a 1,267-unit residential development along Sterling Road near Williamsport.

County Planning Director Michael Thompson said Tuesday the developer, Heritage Land Development, planned to address concerns raised by the Planning Commission about the proposal and then resubmit the application.

The Glenwood, Md., developer, operating under the name Williamsport Ventures LLC for the project, withdrew the request after the Planning Commission in November recommended that the County Commissioners deny it.

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The developer applied for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) overlay zoning designation for the property, which would allow for greater density at the site. The proposed development would be built along Sterling Road at the intersection of Edward Doub Road and stretch to Kendle Road.

The proposed development would take up several parcels totaling 328 acres. The original plan called for 393 single-family homes on 80-foot-wide lots, 172 single-family homes on 60-foot-wide lots, 766 town houses and 108 condominiums, planning officials have said.

It's up to the commissioners to decide whether a PUD request is approved.

The Planning Commission votes on the development's final plan.

In their recommendation to the commissioners about the PUD request, Planning Commission members said they were concerned about traffic and school-capacity issues should the development be built.

The proposed development is in the Williamsport school attendance area.

Thompson said Tuesday that the Williamsport elementary, middle and high schools are near or over the 90 percent threshold used to determine whether a school can handle an increase in students.

He said Williamsport Elementary School is at 86 percent capacity, while Springfield Middle is at 88 percent capacity and Williamsport High School is 98 percent full.

The proposed development probably would be enough "to kick everyone of these over" capacity, Thompson said.

"They got an issue that they got to deal with and they know it," he said.

Thompson said if the application is resubmitted this month, the earliest a joint public hearing by the Planning Commission and commissioners can be scheduled on the request is March.

After that, the planning commission would make another recommendation to the commissioners to approve or reject the request, he said.

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