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Deadline to submit special ballot in Crofton on purchasing Enclave property extended to Oct. 23

The deadline has been extended for Crofton Civic Association property owners to hand in a special ballot indicating if they are for or against purchasing the property where the Enclave project would have been built, if it weren’t rejected last year by the county.

Ballots were due to Crofton’s Town Hall at 1576 Crofton Parkway by Oct. 16, but that deadline has been extended until Oct. 23, Board of Directors President Martin Simon said, because a number of residents had not received their ballots in time. The ballots were sent Oct. 6, Simon said.

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The 2,642 property owners in the Crofton Special Community Benefit District have an opportunity to collectively purchase the site to preserve the land indefinitely. The cost: about $93 a year in additional property tax for the average single-family homeowner for 15 years. The average townhome owner would pay $54 more per year.

Simon said the board and the property’s owner William Berkshire have agreed on a maximum price of $2,656,250.

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The purchase would be made using a loan, which would then be paid back with additional property tax collected from property owners over time. The County Council must approve the loan and tax increase, Simon said, and they require a majority of property owners' support.

It is up to the people, he said.

“We, as a community, can either leave it to chance that no development will be approved by the County on this commercial (C-3) site, or we can be proactive and take control of our front yard’s future,” the board wrote. “It is up to [you],” the board of directors wrote in a letter to owners.

There is some concern, however, that the board won’t get a majority of residents to respond. Of the 2,642 property owners, the board needs 1,322 votes in favor to proceed.

While the application to build the Enclave was denied last year, other projects that don’t require modifications to county code could move forward with little resistance, Simon said.

He said the sale is a choice between controlling the lot through ownership or leaving it up to chance.

“It is a part of our charter as a tax district to buy real property,” he said.

County code says in addition to buying land, the tax district was established to maintain parks, fund community projects, provide police service and other services approved in the board’s annual budget request to the County Council.

Last year, Planning and Zoning Officer Steve Kaii-Ziegler told a consultant for the 83-unit Enclave at Crofton project he was denying the application for failure to comply with county code, citing issues like failure to provide a recreation area and significant impact to natural features and construction encroaching on wetlands.

In December, Diamondback Investment Co. LLC, Brookfield Crofton Grove, LLC., and 1691 Limited Partnership said it would sue the county for improper delay and denial of the Enclave application. Online state and federal records do not indicate such a suit has been filed.

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