- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
@SM Byline Credit:Staff writer
A plan to build three homes on a little less than two acres along a narrow road in Leonardtown got its sewer usage allotment this month from the town council, but town planners tabled a decision on the request Monday after echoing neighborhood concerns about the proposal.
Michael Hutson said the three homes envisioned for his property off Greenbrier Road would help bring more workforce housing for professionals in the community.
Because the St. Mary’s County road is not up to the county’s specifications or standards, surveyor Jeff Nieman argued, the town’s planning and zoning commission members should only require Hutson to upgrade the part that goes past his land.
“We just think it’s a beautiful property to develop,” Nieman said. “It’s just begging to be developed.”
There are less than a dozen homes and a couple government work sites now along the road, and planning board members said that they’re hearing, and seeing, that the existing road is inadequate.
“I was surprised and appalled at how insignificant the road is,” board member Jack Candela said. “Safety is the primary issue.”
Candela said it is the responsibility of the town, county or developer to improve the entire mile-long lane connected to Route 245.
Glen Mattingly, another member of the board, said the town’s comprehensive plan also calls for safe travel for pedestrians.
The board members expressed hope that the matter could be resolved through a compromise, one that board member Tom Collier suggested should be hammered out by the landowner and the road’s current residents.
“It appears that the community has spoken pretty loud [about] its concerns,” Collier said. “Maybe there’s some kind of compromise that you can work out with the community.”
Hutson said the buyers of the three homes ultimately would bear the cost of improving the whole road, if the town requires him to do the work.
“That would be the ideal,” board Chairperson Jean Moulds responded, adding that if the project goes through without improving the road, “those same home buyers are going to come back to us.”
The planners voted to table the matter until next month’s meeting, but did not schedule a public hearing as had been recommended by the town council.