Preliminary plans to build 150 single-family homes in Clarksville were approved by the Howard County Planning Board Thursday.
The project is called Enclave at Tierney Farm and will be built on an 89-acre lot located off Route 108 and Guilford Road. Joe Rutter, a principal at Land Design and Development and a representative for the development group, said the project is still years away, with an earliest possible groundbreaking date coming in 2016.
Rutter said details about the project, including the size, style and prices of the homes, have not yet been determined. The lot sizes will range from 6,000 square feet to 14,600 square feet.
He did say they would be "high-end" homes and will be hooked up to the county's sewage system, which currently does not service that area.
The development will include 15 units at moderate-income housing rates, a requirement,and the development will have 53 acres of open space, which is more than the 44 acres required. A large swath of open space located on the property will be bequeathed to the county's Department of Recreation and Parks, Rutter said.
The project will remove 14 of the 46 specimen trees (defined as 30 inches in diameter) on the site, according to a county staff report.
The development is located in the West School Region, the Pointers Run Elementary School District and the Clarksville Middle School District, according to the report.
The Planning Board approved the preliminary sketch plan for the project by a vote of 3-0; only Bill Santos, Phil Engleke and Jacqueline Easley were present at the meeting.
He said the project is being delayed by a county system called the housing unit allocation chart. The system places a limit on how many new housing units can be developed in specific areas within the county in a given year. He said there are no allocations left in the designated planning area for his project this year, meaning the development will need to wait until at least the next fiscal year.
"Right now, we know we can't do anything until July," he said.
If the allocations are granted, Rutter said he can begin submitting final and more detailed plans to the county later this year.
A handful of nearby residents attended the public meeting to testify against the project. The concerns included increasing traffic on Guilford Road and environmental concerns for the project.
According to county staff, the project meets necessary requirements in those areas, and it will need to meet more requirements, including a traffic study and an evaluation by the Maryland Department of Environment, before it can be built.