The director of the Montgomery County Planning Board’s development review division does not think a Clarksburg developer purposely intended the numerous building violations it is accused of.
But if the board’s staff has its way, McLean-based Elm Street Development will still have to pay nearly $1.2 million in fines. A hearing on the issue is scheduled during the planning board’s Thursday meeting.
"Whenever we approve a plan, we put a lot of development standards in place that they were supposed to meet," said Director Rose Krasnow. "And, we found out, they were not."
Elm Street is accused of five acts of non-compliance that would have resulted in thousands of homes being built in violation of county rules.
Only about 200 houses have been built so far, Krasnow said.
The plans include language that would have resulted in 10 more homes being constructed than agreed upon, 22 smaller lot sizes and 30 homes being built too close to the road. The plans also would have led to a road being constructed at 70 feet wide where an 80-foot road was called for.
"I really think, because the market was so hot, everyone was just trying to get this done as fast as they could," Krasnow said.
A representative from Elm Street did not return an Examiner reporter’s phone messages Friday. The Planning Board is not scheduled to decide on the actual amount of the fine on Thursday but will do so some time in July, Krasnow said.
Clarksburg Village is a 771-acre, large-scale mixed-use development that will eventually include 2,654 dwelling units, 20,000 square feet of office and retail space and 5,000 square feet for daycare facilities. The plan also calls for two schools, parks, greenways, trails and recreational facilities.
"We’ve met with them many, many times and they argue that it’s a mistake," Krasnow said.
"We do feel that we need to make it clear that when you agree to abide by a plan, you abide by them."