Two years ago, a Harford County developer built an equestrian training facility for show horses and riders in the middle of a 273-acre tract in the Pylesville area.
Now, that equestrian center -- with its indoor riding arena, box stalls, show ring, training track and practice ring -- is about to become the centerpiece of a new housing development for horse enthusiasts.
"It's going to be a beautiful community with white fences, pretty horses and nice houses," said Donald Wilson, a partner in Wilson Properties. He purchased the farmland with his brother, Ronald Wilson, in 1988.
"It's for people who have horses or who just like horses," Mr. Wilson said.
Wilson Properties, of Abingdon, recently began to subdivide the property north of Route 165 at Clermont Mill and Stansbury roads and is now selling the first dozen or so lots that surround the equestrian center. Lot prices range from $64,900 to $75,900 for a minimum of two acres.
Preliminary plans call for subdividing the remainder of the
property in two phases to create a small community of about 35 homes with a decidedly equestrian flavor. The community will be called Paddock Place.
Community residents will be able to watch horses grazing in the fields or training in the riding rings, Mr. Wilson said.
Those who want a horse of their own will be allowed to build a small barn or shelter and keep the animal on their property.
Stalls will be added to an existing barn in the community for homeowners who prefer to board their horses there for a fee of $100 to $125 a month, Mr. Wilson said.
Additional features include a picnic area and a pavilion near an existing pond.
The equestrian center will not be available for Paddock Place lot owners, but there will be several miles of riding trails and an outdoor riding ring for them to use, the developer said.
The equestrian center currently is leased by Monkton Manor Farm, a private business that trains and sells show horses, hunters and jumpers. Residents may be able to obtain riding instruction on their own horses at the center.
"We felt it would enhance the development if we had an equestrian center," Mr. Wilson said.
Horse enthusiasts themselves, he and his brother -- who are both in their 50s -- plan to build houses on top of a hill at the southern end of the property, he said.
The designs of the custom-built homes in the community must be approved by Wilson Properties.
Mr. Wilson said he prefers English Tudor-style homes, but expects the community to include colonials, ranchers and split-levels. There will be minimum size requirements: at least 2,200 square feet of living space in two-story dwellings and 1,700 square feet in ranch-style homes.
Barns or shelters built on a private lot also must be approved, Mr. Wilson said.
Allen and Christa Livick, a Baltimore County couple in their mid-40s, said that they looked at property all over Harford and Carroll counties before putting a deposit on a lot in Paddock Place.
"We were looking for a little breathing room, a nice quiet retirement area," Mrs. Livick said. 'When we first drove up the road to Paddock Place, we took a look at the horses, the rolling hills and the nice country . . . and we knew that this was the place. We like horses. . . we love nature, and we think it will be a lot of fun to live there."
The couple has met with a builder and discussed plans for a ranch-style house, which they are anxious to get started building as soon as they can sell their home in the White Marsh area.
Carmen Caltabiano, the 30-year-old president of Vanguard Homes, bought a 4-acre parcel in Paddock Place and plans to start building a home there in September.
In addition to his own home in Paddock Place, where he has opened an office, Mr. Caltabiano said, he would like to buy additional lots and contract with homebuyers who want him to build colonials or ranchers for them.
He said he hopes to begin construction of a model home this fall.