The Maryland Department of the Environment will allow the developer of Union Bridge's first modern subdivision -- a project that was to double the town's population of 950 -- to pump enough well water to serve 184 houses, 133 fewer than planned.
Developer Martin K. P. Hill, president of Masonry Contractors Inc. of Manchester, did not appeal the ruling, which will mean a 42 percent reduction in the number of houses that can be built on the 120-acre Phillips property.
Hill declined to say why he did not challenge the MDE water allocation of 42,300 gallons a day for the subdivision, 81,700 gallons less than he requested. Gordon D. Fronk, attorney for the owner of the Phillips property, Towson dentist Dr. G. Jackson Phillips, also declined to comment.
Mayor Perry L. Jones sees the water allocation as too conservative. "With the amount of water Union Bridge has available, the amount we're sitting on, that's something we've always been very proud of, that we have a good water supply. For [MDE] to say you can only take so much seems a little unfair," he said.
MDE bases the allocation on a formula that balances the amount of water pumped from the ground against precipitation and is designed to protect supplies for neighbors who rely on wells.
Hill could recoup some of the lost potential houses by working with the town to repair aged water mains that leak an estimated 55,000 gallons a day. MDE official Matthew G. Pajerwoski has said the town would be allowed to share some of the recovered water with the developer.
Councilman Selby M. Black, who heads Union Bridge's water and sewer committee, said Hill has not approached the town about working together to repair water mains.
Pub Date: 4/07/97