Small housing developments proposed for Fallston, Abingdon

Two proposed residential developments in Fallston would generate nearly 40 new homes in the Fallston-Forest Hill area, while a third plan calls for 16 homes in the Abingdon area.

All three plans were reviewed by members of the Harford County Development Advisory Committee at their meeting Wednesday morning.

Plans for Ryan's Ridge, which is being developed by Biota LLC of Perryville, call for six residential lots on 13.1 acres at Ryan and Angleside roads in the Fallston area, six miles northwest of the potential site of Up Hill Farm. The proposed Up Hill Farm call for 32 lots on 323.97 acres at Route 165 (Baldwin Mill Road) and Putnam Road.

The preliminary plan for Up Hill Farm, prepared by Morris & Ritchie Associates, of Abingdon, contains a notation that 145.16 of those acres will remain forested.

A third development, called Finbar Place, would be built at Sewell Road and Smiths Landing Court in Abingdon. The preliminary plan for that development, which calls for 16 lots on 4.5 acres, was also created by Morris & Ritchie.

The Up Hill Farm drew the most public comments during Wednesday's committee meeting in Bel Air.

John Resline of the Harford County Health Department presented written comments which called for extensive testing before water wells are drilled to serve the community.

Several people who live along Putnam Road expressed concerns with a lack of ground water in the surrounding area, and what wells for 32 additional homes would do to the local water table.

Carol Gover, who grew up on Putnam, and whose father, William, still lives there, is worried officials are not calling for testing of water in the areas surrounding the Up Hill Farm site.

"They may have water in that development, and everyone around them dries up," she said.

Residents were also concerned about the impacts to traffic on the narrow, residential Putnam Road.

William Gose, whose property abuts one of the lots of Finbar, is concerned about traffic on Sewell and Smith's Landing Court.

He suggested placing a stop sign at the intersection of Sewell and Smiths Landing.

"Traffic coming out of Smiths Landing Court tends to accelerate coming down the hill," Gose said.

The property is also in the vicinity of Route 40 and CSX Railroad tracks.

Neighbors of the Ryan's Ridge development expressed concerns about the environmental impacts, and keeping the property forested as developers put in septic tanks for sewage.

"That whole area will remain in forest," Ben Brockway, principal of Biota, said.

Fallston area residents have protested the continued development of their community and are worried about how increased traffic will affect them.

Representatives of the State Highway Administration recently spoke during a meeting of the Fallston Community Council and said agency officials still consider major highways such as Route 1 and Route 152 safe.

The intersection of Route 152 and Route 1 is rated with a service level of D, the lowest rating before an intersection is considered failing and it must be improved to handle increased traffic flow.

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