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Carroll Valley development back on table

Richard D. L. Fulton

(10/13) A development that failed to get off the ground twice during the past dozen years in Carroll Valley Borough is back before the borough Planning Commission.

The Eluma, Inc. is seeking to develop a 107-acre, wooded tract, known as the Mallow Tract, bordered by Sanders and Tract roads and butted-up against the borough’s K-section residential area.

The current proposal remains fluid as the development company continues to work on a draft ordinance to present to the borough that would be designed to allow the company to create a flexible housing unit plan that would lead to a multi-phased development.

Briefly put, borough Planning Commission Chairman Edward Kaplan explained that Eluma is seeking to be able to build homes in several phases over an unspecified period of time, with their design based on prevailing housing demands which might occur during the various periods of construction.

The developers essentially don’t want to be locked-into an up-front housing design. The development could consist of 120 to 150 new homes, depending on what, if anything, is ultimately approved by the borough.

The borough Planning Commission is continuing to meet with Eluma representatives at the planning meetings.

Thus far, no formal proposal on the project has been brought before the borough Council, except when, on August 14, Charles Suhr, Stevens & Lee, representing Eluma, appeared before the council requesting amendments to the borough ordinances that would permit the company’s new development proposal for the Mallow Tract. The council referred Eluma to the planning commission.

Efforts to develop the proposed site goes back into the mid-1990s, according to Kaplan, "which died on the vine after several years." Yet another effort to develop the tract began "around 2006," he said. That effort "tanked when the market bottomed out in 2008."

Kaplan said that Eluma is proposing to maintain 50 percent of the tract as undeveloped green space, which would be in addition to about ten percent which is wetlands.

As part of the project. Eluma has also offered to "modernize and expand" the borough wastewater treatment facility, "and that’s a big deal there too," Kaplan stated, since the borough would be hard put to finance such work itself.

There is at present no time table for the proposed development. "It could takes years," Kaplan stated.

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