Houses proposed for Bel Air-area farm

Houses proposed for Bel Air-area farm
Grace Fielder, founder and president of G.E. Fielder & Associates, Chartered, of Howard County, talks about the concept plan to build houses on her family's farmland east of Bel Air during a community input meeting Thursday. (DAVID ANDERSON AEGIS STAFF)

Members of the Fielder family are seeking to develop 255 acres of their family farmland east of Bel Air.

The property, which is at the intersection of Route 136 (Calvary Road) and Schucks Road, is owned by Fairview Farm LLC of Belcamp.


Former Harford County Councilman Edward Fielder, who served on the council from 1982 to 1990, is among the Fielder siblings working to develop the property, which is zoned agricultural.

The community would be called Redleif Run.

His sister, Grace, president and founder of G.E. Fielder & Associates, Chartered of Howard County, developed the concept plan, which has been submitted to the Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning, and was the subject of a community input meeting Thursday evening at the Abingdon branch of the Harford County Public Library.

Grace Fielder noted during Thursday's meeting that single-family homes will be built on 27 lots in the property, and the remainder will be left agricultural.

The concept plan shows two clusters of lots along Schucks Road, with an entrance to the community from Schucks, and a third cluster branching off to the south toward Route 543 (Fountain Green Road).

She said the property is being farmed "actively," and the family does not intend to change that "with the farmer we've been working with for years."

Fielder said she worked to be "sensitive" when developing the concept plan "and try to maintain some of the views and vistas that we've all enjoyed on the farm."

Nearly 30 people attended Thursday's meeting, including Edward Fielder, two more of his siblings and Andrew Tress, legislative aid for Council President Billy Boniface.

Tress encouraged the residents who attended the meeting to "funnel" their questions and concerns through him, and he could bring them back to county officials.

Residents expressed concerns about traffic on the already well-traveled Schucks Road and Routes 136 and 543, the potential for school overcrowding and their desire to preserve farms in their community.

"There's so few beautiful farms left in 21015 [ZIP code], I hate to see it go," one woman said.

Children who live in Redleif Run would attend Churchville Elementary School, Southampton Middle School and C. Milton Wright High School.

Tom Lomax, who owns a farm across Schucks Road from the Fielder property, fears adding to traffic on Schucks, on which drivers can travel toward Route 22 (Churchville Road) and Harford Community College.

He said traffic in the area would be a "nightmare" when Harford County Public Schools and the community college open for classes in late August.


David Humphries, who lives north of the property on Route 136, said he travels the road twice a day to get to and from work; he said he has seen a number of serious accidents around the intersection of Route 136 and Schucks.

"You come down 136, you pray until you get to 543 that someone doesn't rear end you," he said.

Shawn Mullins, the trustee chairman for Calvary United Methodist Church, said he had grown up near the Fielder family farm; he said later he remembered "Old Man Fielder" chasing him away from the property as a child when he tried to use the ponds.

He said during the meeting that he knew the property would eventually be developed.

"I believe in the fact that you guys own your property," he said, noting the family members have the right to develop it if they choose.