The Howard County Zoning Board has scheduled a public hearing for July 27 on the preliminary development plan for an 1,168-home mixed-use project on a 507-acre site in Fulton, the last chance for the project to win approval this year.
The Zoning Board comprises the members of the County Council, which takes its vacation during August. County bylaws prohibit the council from scheduling any new hearings during an election year from the beginning of that break until a new council is sworn in December.
Darrel E. Drown, who chairs the Zoning Board, has said he would postpone the hearing if too many residents object to the plan, pushing the hearing beyond one or two nights. The earliest it could be rescheduled is January.
It appears that there will be some objections raised to the plan proposed by G&R; Maple Lawn Inc., developers of the Iager Farm site, which has received Planning Board approval.
John Adolphsen Sr., who has lived in Fulton for more than 30 years, said, "There were a lot of things that were not addressed during the [preliminary development plan] stage or that were not adequately addressed."
Adolphsen noted the issue of road congestion that would be caused by the development, particularly the placement of a southwestern exit to Route 216 across from Lime Kiln Road.
"That is already a major traffic problem there," he said. "Putting [a mixed-use project] there is going to make it more horrendous."
The plan calls for 1.1 million square feet of employment space and 177 acres of open space on the tract west of U.S. 29 and bounded by Johns Hopkins Road to the north and Route 216 to the south.
If approved this year, the construction would coincide with the development of two other mixed-use projects within a 3-mile radius. Altogether, the plans would entail the building of more than 2,600 homes over a 10-year period, beginning in 2000.
Richard B. Talkin, an attorney for G&R; Maple Lawn, did not return several phone messages.
State Sen. Martin G. Madden, a Clarksville Republican whose district includes parts of southeastern Howard, said the pressure to adequately review the preliminary development plan before August is too great.
"I think it begs the question of whether they can give it the due consideration it deserves in four days," Madden said. "It's always better to wait. January is better than July."
Pub Date: 6/17/98