Board OKs lifting age restriction from Ballenger Run project

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
Frederick County planning commissioners have granted a request to let people younger than 55 live in the proposed Ballenger Run development. The owner of roughly 197 acres on Ballenger Creek Pike on Wednesday night secured the county planning commission's unanimous blessing to lift an age restriction from the bulk of the project. With the volatility of the housing market, age-restricted communities had become a less viable option for the Ballenger Run development, project representatives said. "It was also very clear from the beginning that this location, with schools all around it ... was much better suited to an all-age community," said Steve Oder, the project manager. Plans approved in 2006 allowed for 970 age-restricted homes on the property just across from Tuscarora High School. The development plans now would include 855 dwellings, a community center, open space, a trail along Ballenger Creek and a roughly 13-acre school site.

Senior developments face restrictions or impact studies

Frederick News Post
Karen Gardner
Housing for older people in Frederick County may either face a school capacity study or be restricted entirely to those 62 and older, according to proposed ordinances before the Frederick County Commissioners. The commissioners will have a public hearing on the two ordinances, which are mutually exclusive, next week. The ordinances are aimed at reducing the possibility that older-adult communities could add to the school population. There may be legal roadblocks to passing the ordinance requiring all residents of age-restricted developments be 62 and older. "There is very little case law," Kathy Mitchell, assistant county attorney, said at a public workshop session Thursday. She told the commissioners that such an ordinance could bring about legal challenges. Most age-restricted housing developments in the U.S., including those already in existence in Frederick County, require that 80 percent of households have at least one resident 55 or older. Courts have determined that these developments for older residents are not discriminatory. Those types of developments may still attract residents who have school-age children. The proposed ordinance would apply to all residents in a 62-and-older community, not just one person per household.

County approves senior development

Frederick News Post
Liam Farrell
The graying baby boomers in Frederick County are getting another community just for them. On Tuesday night, the Frederick Board of County Commissioners approved a change in zoning to allow construction of the Monrovia Town Center, an age-restricted development of more than 1,600 units south of Monrovia. About 50 acres of the area, near Urbana, will be donated for public use and will eventually house a fire and emergency medical service substation and a Frederick County Sheriff's Office substation.The developer, 75-80 Properties L.L.C., will also put $10,000 for each market value unit, or about $14 million, toward improving neighboring roads such as Md. 75. Any new development of 25 or more dwelling units must make at least 12 percent of its units affordable for middle-income residents.