Developer Donald L. Reuwer has lost his bid to rezone Waverly Woods in Ellicott City.
The Howard County Zoning Board voted Wednesday night to rezone only the largest of four areas in his proposal for the 52-acre property. The board unanimously agreed to rezone the 27-acre site from residential to commercial use.
Hundreds of area residents opposed the rezoning, fearing increased traffic, noise and the effects of development on their well water. Reactions to the decision were split.
Some residents, who see development as unavoidable, made a deal to support Reuwer's rezoning proposals if he agreed not to commercially develop two other sites that total 11 acres. But their deal was dependent on the approval of the four sites.
"No one is happy," said Walter N. Johnston, in reference to the residents who supported the deal. Now the residents have no control over what he does with the other two sites, Johnston said, whereas before they could have limited development of the 11 acres to residential only.
But other residents remained loyal to the no-development ideal and are pleased with the outcome. "I had more faith in the board," said Alice Bender of Cavey Lane.
Bender said she doesn't mind that the board agreed to rezone the largest site. It was previously zoned for residential development, but Bender said she couldn't imagine anyone wanting to live there because a dump.