Planning board delays decision on development Residents warn of danger at a College Ave. entrance


The Howard County Planning Board has delayed action on a 74-home development in Ellicott City after area residents warned that a proposed entrance onto College Avenue would make the dangerous road even worse.

"That road is so dangerous," said longtime College Avenue resident Daniel Fredericks. "The police have responded all hours, day and night, with ambulances and things to pull people out of those woods."

Several others said the winding, scenic road has blind hills -- called "Seven Hills" by the thrill-seekers who try to cross them at high speed in their vehicles.

Charles Miller, who has lived on College Avenue since 1927, said: "I'm going to have to get someone to get my mail. I can't jump across the road fast enough, let alone if you let another 1,500 cars on the road."

Bonnie Branch Corp., which owns 400 acres in the area, wants to build the 74 homes on 81 acres on Doncaster Drive.

Donald R. Reuwer Jr., a company representative, said it would be the first phase of development Bonnie Branch plans for the area.

"There's no question College Avenue is not a safe place," Reuwer said, but "the simple fact is, the more of these connections you don't allow, you just increase the traffic on the ones you do allow."

Planning Board Chairman Theodore F. Mariani spoke against the connection onto College Avenue, saying the county could build it later if necessary. "I agree with the folks that College Avenue really shouldn't be taking any new traffic."

But Planning Director Joseph Rutter said Bonnie Branch Corp. should build the road now, for an estimated $250,000, because otherwise the county eventually will have to pay for a road to give emergency vehicles better access to the growing developments in the area.

"This is setting up a situation where the county will come back and pay the $250,000 to do the project," Rutter said. "It's a safety issue."

After the debate, the Planning Board decided not to make a decision until its next meeting, Aug. 14.

Pub Date: 8/05/96

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