Development by reservoir wins support Zoning appeals panel gives tentative OK to Liberty Road project; Site plans still need review; Day care facility, offices are planned; homes could follow


Two businesses in a South Carroll subdivision that eventually may include a retirement community and single-family homes won conditional approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals yesterday.

Howard H. Patton, president of Patton Contractors, plans to build medical offices and a day care center on opposite sides of Marriottsville Road, which he wants to extend to Liberty Road near Sunset Drive.

He has agreed to improve Ridenour Way, a service road parallel to Liberty Road.

Patton said he plans to seek the board's approval next month for a 14-unit retirement community, for residents 55 and older, on about 5 acres of the 12-acre site near Liberty Reservoir.

On hold is his plan to build 19 residences on the property. The county Planning and Zoning Commission, citing crowded schools, has rejected those proposed houses.

Once the schools are built, Patton said, he intends to complete the residential phase of Nell's Acres.

"If I hadn't been turned down, I would be building the whole project all at one time," he said.

Last week, the planning commission refused to consider the commercial development and retirement homes until the zoning board approved them as conditional uses.

"You are going in this direction because you can't get approval for residences," planning Commissioner Grant S. Dannelly said at the Aug. 20 hearing. "It hurts me deeply to see commercial sprawl to the watershed area."

The two Liberty Road lots would never sell as homesites and he always planned condominium units for senior citizens as part of Nell's Acres, Patton said.

"The lots front on Liberty Road and are not compatible with residential uses," Michael L. Snyder, attorney for Patton, told the zoning board.

The zoning board approved preliminary plans for a 7,000-square-foot day care center and an enclosed play area with direct access to the building.

On the opposite side of Marriottsville Road, the builder plans a two-story medical center with no more than 9,000 square feet of space.

The buildings received adequate facilities certification for water, roads and emergency services.

A few residents said yesterday that a traffic signal should be placed at the new intersection with Liberty Road, a heavily used state highway. In its review of the plans, State Highway Administration officials said a light is not warranted.

"Liberty is a high-traveled speedway," said George Pittinger of Monroe Avenue, where a 55-unit retirement community was built recently. "Can you imagine traffic turning left onto that road in the evenings? How are parents going to get in and out of the day care center without a light?"

The day care center would generate the most daily trips at the intersection, about 100 each in the morning and evening, according to a traffic study commissioned by the developer.

Pittinger said he sees the need for a day care center, but South Carroll is becoming glutted with medical offices. Sinai and Carroll County General hospitals plan to build clinics in the area.

Two doctors are interested in the Nell's Acres site, Patton said. He would design the building based on their specifications.

With a medical center nearby, he said, he could attract more buyers to the retirement homes.

The board gave its approval, subject to a site plan review by appropriate county agencies.

The panel also restricted to 7 p.m. the evening hours for the day care center, and to 9 p.m., except in emergencies, for the doctor's offices.

"These buildings are in a residential zone, not commercial zone," said zoning board member James L. Schumacher. "We should restrict hours."

Pub Date: 8/29/96

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