CUMBERLAND — Final plat approval for the Montagne subdivision will be conditional on the execution of a public works agreement between the developers and Allegany County, the Planning and Zoning Commission ruled at its monthly business meeting this week.

The 24-lot major subdivision in the proposed Laurelhurst development on the site of the former Barton Farm along U.S. Route 220 will be approved on the condition the developers, KFM, LLC, are able to execute an agreement containing a four-point requirement list for the subdivision’s access road.

The agreement is required in part because the county wants assurance the proposed Laurelhurst Boulevard access road to Montagne will be constructed, preventing future Montagne residents from asking the county for road assistance, which would create a “significant financial burden,” Planning Commission Executive Director Phil Hager said.

Requirements pertaining to Laurelhurst Boulevard are as follows:

* No use and occupancy permits will be issued for new homes in Montagne until the lower 4,000 feet of Laurelhurst Boulevard is bonded or constructed in place.

* A letter of credit for 100 percent of the estimated construction costs for the upper 3,500 feet of the road must be in place when application is made for the first use and occupancy permit.

* A bond or letter of credit for the lower 4,000 feet of the roadway must be in place for final plat approval for the second phase of the Laurelhurst development or the initial 4,000 feet of Laurelhurst Boulevard is constructed.

* Ten percent of the estimated construction costs for the lower 4,000 feet of the access road will be maintained by the county until the full 7,500 feet is constructed to the satisfaction of the county engineer and Department of Public Works.

Montagne residents will be able to use temporary gravel roads until Laurelhurst Boulevard is constructed.

“In its final form, it will be a very nice roadway,” Hager said.

Surveyor Mike Coughenour said that the first 4,000 feet of the roadway could be completed within two years, which commission member Bill DuVall said is “an ambitious” goal but could be accomplished.

Commission Vice President Charles Norris, however, wondered if the Montagne residents would have to wait several years before the roadway is completed.

Attorney Bob Paye, who represents KFM, LLC, said the developers need to operate by “reasonable standards.”

“This is a very reasonable way to handle it,” he said, adding the current requirements are “pretty good security.”

“That agreement is going to have to be in play before things move forward on this,” Hager added.

The commission also approved waiving an improvement plan for the subdivision. Paye said the 24 single-family lots will be in a forested setting with wells and septic systems and will not have paved roads.

“Based on this presentation and the fact that we’ve beat this horse pretty badly,” Chairman William Davis said, in reference to the multiple meetings the developers have attended in the past few months, “the planning commission may wish to approve this motion.”

Doug Macy also requested a re-zoning of property owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Williams Road. Macy requested a re-zoning of the front part of the property from agricultural to G-2 or general urban district

“The reason for the changes on zoning is the change in the neighborhood,” he said, noting new developments such as the proposed Willowbrook Market place and the new Western Maryland Health System hospital.

A hearing will be held on the request March 21.

Furthermore, Hager presented the commission with its first glimpse of the current land-use map for the LaVale region. The map will be used while staff creates LaVale’s first comprehensive plan, as well as to create a future land-use plan.

Hager said he will bring the map with him to public meetings for comments.

The commission will meet for a work session and site visits March 12, followed by a public business meeting March 21.

Tai Shadrick can be reached at tshadrick@times-news.com.

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