Cumberland Times-News

Local News

July 13, 2014

Residents want Terrapin Run removed from county plan

Public comment focused on eliminating potential housing development project from document

— CUMBERLAND — Although the Allegany County Comprehensive Plan is a 266-page document, the only part of it that generated comment at a public hearing Thursday was the potential for construction of the Terrapin Run housing project near the Green Ridge State Forest.

Terrapin Run would be a residential housing project on 935 acres upon which the developer proposed nine years ago the construction of more than 4,000 homes. It is in the eastern end of Allegany County, north of Interstate 68 and 25 miles from Cumberland. The possibility that it will be developed remains in the county’s comprehensive plan.

Attorney Robert Paye, representing the developer, Michael Carnock, spoke Thursday, encouraging the county commissioners to make their own decisions about where development should take place.

Paye described the process to write the comprehensive plan as lengthy and thorough. “It is the right of the county to plan and develop,” he said.

Three people spoke asking that the development be removed from the plan.

Dale Sams said such a development would “take a rural agricultural area and turn it into an intense urban area, without any discussion of how that would occur and what it would cost.”

Jackie Sams also spoke, predicting that the existence of that many homes 25 miles from Cumberland would not economically benefit the county seat. She urged the commissioners to apply Maryland Smart Growth principles when considering such developments and pointed out that no infrastructure for Terrapin Run exists.

Francis Zumbrun, too, opposes development in that rural area.

“Our natural resources are green gold,” he said. “There are other aspects of economic growth than building houses,” he added, speaking about outdoor tourism.

“The effort for this development has not gained broad-based support. It will turn 15-Mile Creek into a sewer pipe to the Potomac River.”

The commissioners will accept public comment for two more weeks. The plan can be read and comments made online at www.gov.allconet.org. A copy is available at the public library on Washington Street.

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.

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