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Plans for four-story county health building, garage moving forward in Edgewood

County review panel will also go over plans for Evergreen apartments in Bel Air South, senior citizen building at Constant Friendship

BY BRYNA ZUMER, bzumer@theaegis.com

10:54 AM EDT, April 15, 2014

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Harford County is moving forward with plans for a four-story health department building and four-story parking garage next to the 2-year-old Harford County Sheriff's Office southern precinct station in Edgewood.

The project is one of three major proposals scheduled to be heard by the county's Development Advisory Committee, or DAC, this Wednesday morning. The panel will also review a senior citizen apartment building planned by Constant Friendship Business Park in Abingdon and the Evergreen Woods Apartments proposed near Route 24 and Plumtree Road south of Bel Air.

The DAC meeting, held in the county administration building at 220 S. Main St. in Bel Air, begins at 9 a.m. and is open to the public.

The county had originally planned to build the Sheriff's Office building along with a health department building and a food pantry at the Edgewood site, which is along Route 40 east of Route 152. The sheriff's facility went forward, but the other facilities were stalled because of a shortage of funding, county officials said at the time.

The proposed site plan shows 230 employees possible at the new building, including 200 from the health department and 30 from the county's Housing Agency.

The parking garage would have 244 spaces. The public would have access from Route 40, while the Sheriff's Office also has two additional entrances, including one on Magnolia Drive, according to the site plan.

The health building is Phase II of the project and is expected to cost about $22.6 million, county spokeswoman Sherrie Johnson said. Phase II could also be used by the Housing Agency and Community Action Agency/Food Pantry, according to the county's 2014 capital budget.

County treasury and procurement representatives said they could not comment on pending costs until Harford County Executive David Craig's proposed 2015 budget is introduced Tuesday.

The funding identified in the current budget is bond money, but Johnson was unsure whether the proposed budget has additional bond funding.

Bond funding of $5.1 million was reappropriated from the Churchville library project, according to the 2014 budget.

About $10.8 million has already been appropriated for the capital project. The total cost for the entire complex is estimated to be $28.9 million.

Site Resources Incorporated developed the site plan for the county.

The proposal before DAC will be the second submittal for the project. Planner Shane Grimm explained the new submittal is the result of changes to the site layout.

"There's been design changes to the plan and, really, that is the only reason it is going back to DAC," he said, noting nothing else about the plan has changed.

Health Department spokesman Bill Wiseman referred questions about the project to the county administration.

Riverwoods, Evergreen

Also scheduled for Wednesday's Development Advisory Committee meeting is a preliminary plan for the Riverwoods at Tollgate project, proposed last year near Target in the busy Constant Friendship area.

Lou Schaffer, with Frederick Ward Associates, said the plan has not changed from the original concept, which features a 72-unit senior citizen complex, an 84-unit garden apartment complex, a 58,000-square-foot storage facility and a 4,000-square-foot community center on 15.54 acres.

It would be at the end of Arundel Court, between the Target store and separate storage facilities.

The land is zoned commercial-industrial.

Another plan for the 198 garden-style Evergreen Woods Apartments is also up before DAC.

The apartment project, slated for 17.5 acres by Route 24 and Tollgate Road, is also part of a larger intersection study by the county. It is in the area of several developments in various stages, including a proposed Walmart and a MedStar Health medical office building.