Clarksburg developer makes zoning code compliance offer

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Officials are mulling over a second, seemingly less-costly proffer made by the developer of Clarksburg Village to remedy its five zoning code violations.

This time Elm Street Development Inc. is asking to not be charged a flat fine, to be paid to the Montgomery County Planning Board, for its acts of noncompliance, but rather to make a $100,000 donation to the development’s Homeowners Association and take on a number of construction-related upgrades to the village.

"We are doing everything possible to address a whole host of issues that people want addressed," Elm Street attorney Bob Harris said. "We’re making significant changes."

Planning staff members had originally recommended that Elm Street pay $1.2 million in fines for acts of noncompliance that would have resulted in thousands of homes being built in Clarksburg that did not adhere to county rules.

Planning Board members concluded about three weeks ago that the developer made several mistakes, including planning for homes to be built too close to the roadway and for a road’s right-of-way to be too narrow.

At that same hearing, David Flanagan, of Elm Street, made an offer of $157,500, which board members scoffed at.

The newest proffer is more constructive and less punitive in nature, calling for the firm to make significant design changes in all areas to bring the affected village areas to code. Elm Street also would have to construct two ball fields on the park/school section of the development, build a temporary field where the elementary school later will be located, increase the pool landscaping by 25 percent and add an office in the clubhouse for Homeowners Association staff.

Rose Krasnow, chief of the board’s development review, said this offering is more in line with her staff’s notion of corrective action but that it would have to reviewed more fully in coming weeks.

"The second proffer is significantly better than the previous, but we still have concerns," she said.

dlevitz@dcexaminer.com

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