PenMar unveils new master plan for former Fort Ritchie base

July 10, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

CASCADE - A revised master concept plan for redeveloping the former Fort Ritchie U.S. Army base was presented Monday morning to the PenMar Development Corp. Board of Directors.

The plan - revised based on what the site has to offer - takes better advantage of the natural topography, preserves more historic buildings and accents lakes in the area, planners involved in the design said.

Within the master plan, land is designated as restricted areas, residential areas, preserved woodlands or historical/commercial areas.

A previous master plan allowed for 673 residential units, a number that is maintained in the revised plan.

The revised plan calls for more single-family homes and townhomes, and fewer multi-family homes, said Lyndon Hart, a senior associate for EDSA who presented the master plan. Some of those homes will be custom single-family homes built on larger lots, planners said.

Thirteen fewer acres of woodland are preserved in the revised plan, Hart said. The new plan reduced preserved woodland from 257 acres to 244 acres.


Almost 2 million square feet of office space is offered in the master plan.

In the initial phases of development, an existing road will need to be lowered and entrances to historic buildings would be slightly modified, Hart said.

In October, 591 acres were transferred from the Army to PenMar Development Corp., then sold to Corporate Office Properties Trust, which is redeveloping the land.

Officials are awaiting the transfer of the final 91 acres from the Army to PenMar, said Rich Rook, executive director of PenMar Development Corp.

The final transfer requires three agencies to sign off on a finding of suitability. Those agencies are the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Maryland Department of the Environment and the Department of the Army.

The finding of suitability might be finalized by the end of July, Rook said.

Also at Monday's annual meeting, the board voted to retain George G.B. Griffin as chairman, Philip J. Ulzheimer as vice chairman and Peggy S. Bushey as treasurer.

Know more in 30 seconds

The issue: The former Fort Ritchie U.S. Army base is being developed into a mixture of commercial and residential property.

What's new: A revised master concept plan was presented Monday at the PenMar Development Corp.'s Board of Directors meeting.

What's next: The Army soon will transfer the last 91 acres of the property to PenMar Development Corp., pending final approval by state and federal agencies.

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