Two large residential developments in eastern Frederick County will be able to continue with their later phases, after getting reapproval for their plans from the Frederick County Planning Commission.
The commission unanimously approved new preliminary and site plans for the Hamptons West development along Gas House Pike in the Linganore area, allowing applicant Oakdale Investments to reduce the minimum lot widths for single-family houses on several streets from 58 feet to 50 feet, among other changes.
Shrinking the lot size allows the developer to leave some trees intact that would otherwise have to be removed, said Jason Wiley of Elm Street Development, which is developing several communities in the Linganore area.
The Hamptons West plan, first approved in 2016, calls for 217 single-family houses and 189 town houses on the project’s 200 acres. The preliminary plan expired in August.
The community will be home to Blue Heron Elementary School, scheduled to open in 2021, and a new county fire station. A new public library is planned for the nearby Linganore Town Center.
Cedonia Evans, who lives near where the new homes will go, described the work as “pretty hideous” and said it’s displaced a lot of deer and other wildlife.
She said her family had planned to move out of the neighborhood, but those plans are on hold.
Commissioner Joel Rensberger said he understands how Evans feels, but having people live closer together is one way developers can handle the demand for housing in a growing county while saving as much forest and open land as possible.
The commission also voted unanimously to approve a new preliminary plan for Tallyn Ridge, a 441-home community near Reichs Ford and Pine Bluff roads.
The Tallyn Ridge plan calls for 241 single-family houses and 200 town houses on 146 acres. So far, 151 single-family lots and 200 town house lots have been recorded, according to a county planning document.
Although the project was approved in 2014, the preliminary plan, needed for the developer to continue recording lots, expired in September, said Cody Shaw, a principal planner for the county.
The plan couldn’t simply be extended because county regulations allow extensions only in cases where a developer has “started construction of improvements which will be substantially affected by changes in applicable laws and regulations,” according to the county report.
Since no laws or rules had been changed, the plan had to be reapproved, Shaw said.
The county’s planning staff had no objection to reapproving the plan.