Brethren retirement community project proceeds New Windsor site to have 30 units NORTHWEST -- Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor * Uniontown


After several years of marketing, the planning committee for the New Windsor Brethren Retirement Community is preparing construction documents to present to the town Planning and Zoning Commission.

"The plans are in development stages, but we are making progress," said Committee Chairman Roy A. Johnson about the 30-unit community to be built on the campus of the New Windsor Service Center.

"There are three phases for the project plans to go through, and we have already been through the first two stages," he said. "We just want to make sure we have enough people moving in before we start getting permits and things."

The NWBRC is one of five major developments -- one of which is another retirement community -- planned in town during the next few years.

Builders have completed the first of 84 single-family homes for the Rowe Road Community Victoria Glen at Blue Ridge Manor. Construction crews broke ground last month for the 134-unit Atlee Ridge development on the southwest end of town.

The Carroll County school system purchased land on the south side of Route 75 for a new middle school. Plans to annex the land are in the application stages, according to Lester Server, the supervisor of school facilities.

The developer of Springdale Village Retirement Village, at Rowe and Springdale roads, is ironing out problems with its site plan.

The developers are searching for a water source to accommodate the new residents and the school.

Town Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. limited all construction in town to 12 units until the water source is found, but Mr. Johnson said he doesn't believe the restriction will affect the retirement center project.

"The last time I met with the developers, they said it [the lack of a water source] wouldn't cause any trouble," Mr. Johnson said. "There is actually a good amount of water under New Windsor."

The Church of the Brethren has 25 retirement communities around the country, Mr. Johnson said.

He said the New Windsor community is intended to be self-supporting but not profit-making.

Mr. Johnson said his committee has been sending out information on it for about two years.

About 45 people have asked for the information and "are seriously considering it," Mr. Johnson said, but only one has paid the $1,000 reservation fee to hold a unit.

Plans for the $3.5 million project include a three-story building with one-bedroom, two-bedroom and two-bedroom-with-den units that are handicapped-accessible and equipped with a washer and dryer and garbage disposal.

Residents receive "life-leases" that give them the right to live in a unit for life, until they are incapacitated or decide to leave. Life-lease prices range from $83,000 for a 785-square-foot, one-bedroom unit to $138,000 for the 1,303-square-foot, two-bedroom-with-den unit.

Residents must pay a monthly fee to cover property tax, maintenance, carpet and appliances, management and repair bills. Monthly fees range from $330 to $519. Whenever a unit is vacated, the resident will receive at least 75 percent of the unit's resale value. If the resident dies, his or her estate will receive the money, Mr. Johnson said.

Although the retirement community will offer residents amenities such as an in-house emergency call system and a health and fitness center, Mr. Johnson said the community's link with the Church of Brethren has been a major selling point.

"I feel the main attraction will be the relationship between the retirement community and the church service activities," said Mr. Johnson, a retired pastor in the Brethren Church who has lived in New Windsor for five years.

"We envision a community of retirees participating in meaningful activities on and off the campus."

The committee plans to complete its marketing and have the architect complete all the work on the construction documents by September, Mr. Johnson said.

"[If] we can get our final approval from the [town] planning and zoning commission in December, then it can go out for bids in January, and we can break ground in March," he said.

For more information, call D. Miller Davis, director of operations for the New Windsor Service Center, at (410) 635-8716 or write to him at P.O. Box 188, New Windsor, Md. 21776.

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