Ballenger Run

A carpenter works on windows in a town house under construction Wednesday afternoon in the Ballenger Run development off Ballenger Creek Pike. Approval was granted to add 36 age-restricted town houses on a nearby parcel of about 6 acres.

A development off Ballenger Creek Pike will be able to add 36 age-restricted town houses to a much larger development.

The Frederick County Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a site development plan to add the 36 homes on nearly 6 acres in the Ballenger Run planned unit development community near Frederick.

The commission also unanimously approved a request to subdivide the parcel of land into 36 lots for the homes.

The age-restricted designation limits living in the community to people 55 and older.

The restrictions in such communities’ covenants are usually enforced by homeowners associations, but the county can also enforce them, especially requirements that no one under the age of 19 live in a community, Assistant County Attorney Kathy Mitchell told the commission.

The county has not had to enforce any covenants, however, as HOAs and residents are generally active in enforcing the rules, she said.

Commissioner Sharon Suarez noted that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development can also enforce the restrictions.

Commissioner Joel Rensberger asked whether the rules would affect whether parents could drop children off with their grandparents who live in the community, and whether the grandchildren could sleep over at their grandparents’ house.

Yes, but the covenants usually have some time limit on how long children can stay in those situations, Mitchell said.

The Ballenger Run project was originally approved in 2006 as an age-restricted development, but the age restriction was removed in 2013 and a developer rights and responsibilities agreement was approved, according to a county planning document.

The DRRA was amended in 2016, and the area where the new town houses will go was identified as a spot for either a 200-unit continuing care community or a 200-unit age-restricted section of multi-family housing.

The project will include the construction of five affordable housing units as part of an agreement to build 107 total affordable units in the development, although those units will be in another section of the project that is under construction.

Commissioner Craig Hicks congratulated the project’s applicant, SED Md. Development LLC, for fulfilling the requirement for affordable housing units by actually building units.

Developers of many projects in the county opt to pay a fee to the county in lieu of building affordable homes.

The project will have space for a bocce court for residents to use. The overall Ballenger Run project also has areas of open space, trails, and a community clubhouse with a pool, among other amenities.

The Planning Commission voted in March to approve the 3,473-square-foot clubhouse and a 3,150-square-foot private pool.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP.

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(11) comments

Kathp

Unless you're in shape like Mick Jagger senior housing should be something on one level. That includes washer and dryer on the same one level space. Maybe they are including those electric seat gliders mounted next to the stairs? Otherwise the persons who came up with this are very shortsighted.

richardlyons

"The project will have space for a bocce court for residents to use." Ah yes bocce the new shuffleboard. What a joke.

gardenwhimsey

How much will these "affordable" senior homes cost?

Burgessdr

$1170-1380

Reader1954

surrounded by all age houses. What is the point then?

Burgessdr

Duh. The point is providing senior housing.

DMSchobel

Reader1954, one reason may be to allow the developer to sell more units without having to address school capacity issues that may otherwise preclude the development of those units or cut into profits with impact fees.

notconcerned

Townhomes with stairs for seniors...

Dwasserba

My thought too. I already have a home with stairs.

MD1756

With land at a premium around here, what did you expect? Single level condos might be better. If it is for seniors, they should put in electric lifts or elevators. From prices I've seen, it seems that electric lifts wouldn't add too much to the price of a house if the house were designed to potentially accommodate one.

connieamanson

Yes, I agree townhomes are not the answer for the over 55 group. Villas or condos with elevators is the answer for this population. Even if they are totally mobile at 55 or move in, those circumstances will change. At age 68, and thinking of downsizing in the next 1-2 years, I will be looking for possible one floor living on my next purchase.

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