Hill plan is topic of meeting tonight Developer claims he has satisfied objections to proposal


An article in Wednesday's Carroll County edition incorrectly stated that Wayne Thomas is the chairman of the Hampstead Planning and Zoning Commission. Dennis E. Wertz chairs the commission. Thomas, a Hampstead councilman, is an ex officio member of the commission.

The Sun regrets the error.

Developer Martin K. P. Hill plans to outline proposed solutions to long-standing conflicts over the construction of his North Carroll Farms IV development at a special Hampstead Town Council meeting scheduled for this evening.

Hill, Mayor Christopher M. Nevin and Councilman Lawrence H. Hentz have been meeting since January to reach an agreement on issues concerning storm water management, water quality and open space for the planned 220-unit subdivision.

"I feel that what we have negotiated over the past eight months is an acceptable solution to the issues that have been raised," Hill said.

Nevin said the purpose of the 7: 30 p.m. meeting at Hampstead's Town Hall is to update the council on the progress of the negotiations over North Carroll Farms IV.

"We want to see if they agree that the issues have been rectified and that he should be allowed to proceed," Nevin said. "To Mr. Hill's credit, he's trying to resolve them honestly."

Hill is eager to resolve outstanding issues at North Carroll Farms IV. Disagreements with town officials over the development have delayed construction for a year.

In addition, the proposed subdivision is the subject of a two-year legal battle involving Hill, the town and a group of Hampstead residents opposed to the development.

Neither Hill nor Nevin would provide details about the solutions to be discussed tonight. But a Sept. 10 letter obtained by The Sun discusses some of the proposals resulting from months of meetings involving Hill, Hentz and Nevin.

The letter states that Hill will provide an additional pipe under Route 30 to reduce the possibility of flooding on town-owned property. Hampstead officials had raised concerns that storm water runoff from North Carroll Farms IV could contaminate a town well and damage recreational facilities in Miller Park.

To address another problem relating to water quality, Hill will divert storm water from a pond in the north section of the development away from a well to be provided by the builder, according to the letter. Water samples taken from the well during July and August show that the water is safe for drinking.

On the issue of extending a development road over railroad tracks, the letter states that Hill reached an agreement with the State Highway Administration and CSX to build a highway railroad crossing at Farm Woods Lane to create the main access to North Carroll Farms IV.

State transportation officials agreed in June to let Hill build the crossing, reversing the state's long-held position that another crossing must be closed first.

To address a shortage of open space in North Carroll Farms IV, Nevin said that he is working with Hill to identify adjacent land that the developer would purchase and deed to the town. Hampstead officials maintain that Hill must provide an additional 6.6 acres for open space to meet town requirements.

Nevin said that Hill also will be seeking council approval tonight for two permits to build model homes at North Carroll Farms IV.

The developer's construction plans were derailed in November when the mayor and the Town Council rescinded 50 building permits that would have allowed Hill to begin work on the development. They cited problems with storm water management facilities, open space and drinking water.

Members of Hampstead's Town Council said they didn't have enough information about the negotiations between Hill, Nevin and Hentz to comment on any proposed agreements the three have worked out.

In any case, Councilman Wayne Thomas said that the Town Council lacks the authority to approve changes to the plans for North Carroll Farms IV. He said any revisions must be approved by the town's planning commission, which he chairs.

"I'm confused as to why we're even having a meeting," Thomas said. "The council can't make a deal with the developer."

On another front, a group of Hampstead residents has been fighting a legal battle for two years to overturn the Hampstead Planning and Zoning Commission's 1994 approval of North Carroll Farms IV.

The suit, which alleges that the previous commission ignored adequate-facilities laws, was dismissed by a local judge and is now before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

Pub Date: 9/25/96

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad