Council committees vote to scale back Pulte housing plan in Clarksburg -- Gazette.Net


Five of the County Council’s nine members voted unanimously Tuesday to cut the Pulte Homes proposal to build 1,000 homes in the Ten Mile Creek watershed west of Interstate 270 in Clarksburg to 538 homes — equal to a 6 percent cap on impervious surfaces.

The members also voted to place a impervious surface cap of 15 percent on the Miles-Coppola site, where the Peterson Cos. have proposed a Tanger fashion outlet center.

The two committees involved in the vote included the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment Committee, chaired by Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Potomac and the Planning, Housing and Economic Development committee, headed by Nancy Floreen (D-At large) of Garrett Park.

Last week Berliner proposed putting an 8 percent impervious surface caps on all three developments — the Pulte, Miles-Coppola and the Egan site, a 100-acre area north of the Miles-Coppola property.

Said Diane Cameron, who heads the Save Ten Mile Creek Coalition, about the Pulte site, “It cuts the development footprint in half from what the Planning Board recommended.”

Pulte Homes, which has threatened to sue if its development plan is severely cut back, said in a statement after the vote that it will consider whether to appeal after the straw vote of the full council, which is expected in two weeks.

“We think we’ve done the right thing for the environment,” Berliner said Tuesday.

The measures, which would amend the 1994 Clarksburg Master Plan, are intended to protect the relatively clean Ten Mile Creek watershed as the final phase of development gets under way in Clarksburg.

The full nine-member County Council is expected to take a straw vote on Feb. 25 before staff drafts a final resolution for a final council vote.

A 15 percent cap will allow Peterson to intensely develop five acres off Md. 121 with some housing on the rest of the 100-acre tract. Four of five members also voted to put the 15 percent cap on the Egan site, which is slated for housing.

Voting in favor of the 15 percent cap in addition to Berliner were: Marc Elrich, (D-At large) of Takoma Park; George Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park and Hans Riemer (D-At large) of Takoma Park.

Voting against the 15 percent caps was Floreen, who had proposed a 20 percent cap for the Miles-Coppola site.

On Feb. 4 the County Council voted to amend an approved development plan on the Adventist Healthcare site west of I-270 in the Cabin Branch area to allow construction of a premium outlet center.