Revisions sought for Harford residential development plans

Developers must re-examine how they have designed areas of the proposed Enclave at Box Hill residential complex, designated for "active open space" uses, before Harford County planning officials will approve their site plans and construction can proceed.

"We need to take a look at some of the active open spaces," said Shane Grimm, chief of site plan review for the county's Department of Planning and Zoning. "Some of them aren't acceptable to the department as active open space."

Grimm is a member of Harford County's Development Advisory Committee, which is made up of representatives of county and state agencies that would be affected by residential, commercial or industrial development in the county.

The Committee members weighed in last Wednesday on the preliminary and site plans for the 389-unit residential development, which would be on 38.9 acres in the mixed-use Boulevard at Box Hill in Abingdon.

A variety of shops, such as Wegmans, and recreational facilities, such as the Abingdon YMCA, have been built in the Boulevard at Box Hill in recent years.

The residential site is in an area zoned CI – Commercial Industrial – and is owned by the Village at Bright Oaks Limited Partnership of Edgewood.

The developers, Bavar Properties Group LLC of Timonium and Ward Properties of Edgewood, plan to build a mix of apartments and townhomes on the site off Box Hill Corporate Center Drive, with Walter Ward Boulevard serving as an entrance road.

Ward Properties is the master developer of Box Hill, a community off Route 924.

A Community Input Meeting, which is required by the county, was held in Abingdon in mid-October 2012, and the developers presented plans for the Enclave at Box Hill about a week later during an Abingdon Community Council meeting.

Chris Murn of Bavar Properties Group/Murn Development said during the council meeting that the designs of the buildings would vary, and the complex would include amenities such as a clubhouse and a swimming pool.

"There's a little sense of place and sense of arrival," he said, according to a previous report in The Aegis.

Grimm focused on the active open space during the DAC meeting last Wednesday, however. Active open spaces are areas reserved for recreation such as parks, playing fields or walking trails.

After the meeting, he said some of the areas are "too small to serve a good function for active open space or the way that they're graded may not be acceptable for active open space."

Grimm said the developer's traffic impact analysis remains under review, and no public comments were made during last Wednesday's meeting.

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