Developer told to replace trees he wrongly cut


A proposal to build luxury homes in the Chestnut Ridge area of Baltimore County is on hold until the project's developer replaces trees he cut down on a neighboring property, county officials said this week.

Plans for Ivy Manor, a proposed development that has been dogged by questions about its effect on the environment, will not be considered for approval until its developer replaces the trees or otherwise compensates the neighboring landowner, said Donald T. Rascoe, development manager for the county Office of Permits and Development Management.

The trees apparently were cut down to provide road access to the planned development.

Rascoe said a community-input meeting -- which would be the fourth for the project -- will not be scheduled until the disturbed property is restored. That meeting must be conducted before the project can be considered for approval.

Adine Panitch said two trees were cut down on her property May 7. She said a representative of the developer called her Tuesday and offered to replace the trees, but she had made no decision on the compensation she will demand.

Mel Benhoff, developer of the project, declined to comment.

The problem with the trees is the most recent obstacle for the proposal to build eight houses on 33 acres near Falls and Ivy Hill roads in northern Baltimore County.

This year, the developer was cited for environmental violations for drilling a well in a "forest buffer" on the edge of the site. The developer recently complied with an order to abandon the well and reforest the surrounding area, said Thomas L. Vidmar, chief of the county's Bureau of Resource Management and Engineering Services.

Pub Date: 6/18/98

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