(ALLAN VOUGHT AEGIS STAFF, The Aegis / December 12, 2013)

Up to 30 new housing lots are in the works near the busy Route 152 corridor in Fallston from two projects moving through Harford County's development review process.

A project known as Highfields would put 14 lots on a 45.7-acre strip off of Packard Drive, which connects to Pleasantville Road.

Highfields would back up to Willow Vale Way, but it remains to be seen if Packard Drive would actually connect with Willow Vale.

If connected, the road would provide direct access between Putnam Road and Route 152.

The development, whose principals are listed as Brian Baker and Margaret Bachman, drew some concerns from residents and owners of the nearby Willow Vale Farms development, when plans were reviewed by the Harford County Development Advisory Committee on Dec. 4.

A second project, called Connolly Farms, would put 16 lots on 81.2 acres off of the north side of Connolly Road, between Route 152 and Harford roads, on lands including Elbow Brook, a tributary of Winters Run.

'A narrow road'

Residents of Willow Vale debated the rights-of-way and possible access for the Highfields project at the most recent DAC meeting.

County planner Jennifer Wilson said Thursday the issue of access might need to be sorted out through legal action. The current site plan shows a driveway between Packard and Willow Way that Wilson said "does not have to be there."

Committee chairman Moe Davenport said the county will have to determine what rights-of-way exist.

Tom Bachman, of the Bachman property, and Conly Scarff, who developed Willow Vale Farms, had competing views of the rights-of-way in the area.

The plan would use one development right-of-way. A waiver of cul-de-sac length is also requested for the extension of Packard Drive.

Felix Afolabi, of Willow Vale Way, whose property would abut the new development, wondered about the potential of access to his land.

"Willow Vale is a narrow road," he told the committee, adding he did not see any additional possibility of homes in that area.

A school bus currently has issues when traveling along Willow Vale, he said.

"I do not see any benefit to new traffic for that," Afolabi said. "When we bought our house, we were told the woods behind [us] are wetlands."

If vehicles are allowed to come through Willow Vale, "it's going to be a tremendous amount of traffic," he said, adding it would downgrade the community. "That is going to be Mountain Road, Fallston Road, all over again."

Josh Straub said the thought of Willow Vale becoming a through road is "frightening."

"I just don't see it ending well," he said.

The volume of traffic coming in and out is already "overwhelming," he said.

Deigert, Keith and Fox lands

The Connolly Farms project would put 16 lots off of Bakers Crossing Court, a cul-de-sac which extends off of Connolly Road. Although the property consists of 81.2 acres, about 63 of those would be left in conservation.

The lots would take up a total of 32 acres, according to the site plan.

Of those, 5.7 acres are in wetlands.

The lots are owned by the Joseph D. Deigert trust, as well as Ervin Keith and Linda S. Fox.

The property sits across Connolly Road from the Humane Society of Harford County, which is planning to build an enlarged animal shelter.

The preliminary plan for Connolly Farms will be reviewed by the development advisory committee this Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 9 a.m. in the second floor conference room of the main Harford County administrative building, at 220 S. Main St. in Bel Air. These sessions are open to the public.