Home construction approved a decade ago
Sep. 19, 2001
Myra Mensh Patner
Staff Writer

Workers began clearing a small wooded lot on Linden Lane next to Maplewood-Alta Vista Park last month, sparking questions from neighbors who didn't expect development on that site.

No one could recall a public hearing or notice about development of the property.

"Everybody was asking. No one knew how it could happen," said Sharon Constantine, co-president of Maplewood Citizens Association.

But Carey Hoobler, the Silver Spring developer who owns the triangle-shaped site just a few feet from Pooks Hill Road, said last week the Planning Board approved a seven-townhouse development for the property more than a decade ago.

Hoobler, head of Ellison Corp., which bought the property about a year ago, said he will soon begin building six luxury townhouses, not seven, with one group of two and another of four. Each townhouse will have underground parking for two cars.

Bill Landfair, a zoning specialist for the county Planning Board, said there is no time limit on a development once the board approves it and a developer files a legal document called a plat to show how the property has been subdivided.

"It's good forever,'' Landfair said. "There is no deadline, no time frame for developing that property."

Hoobler obtained a building permit over the summer. Pepco workers have been laying wire, and trees have come down to provide access to the site by bulldozers. More trees are going to be cut to make way for buildings, Hoobler said, though some will be left on the periphery.

"It's a difficult little site," Hoobler said. The land is less than one-acre and oddly shaped, sloping down across the back.

Hoobler said his architect, GTM Architects of Kensington, has come up with a design that will have Italianate details, like roof terraces and a courtyard.

"We think they're pretty nice," he said. "It's going to be a little European-looking. I think they'll be nice without being snooty."

All the units will have individual identities. "They won't be cookie-cutter like," he said.

Hoobler said the homes will sell for between $400,000 and $700,000.

Hoobler said he will construct a sidewalk on Linden Lane that will connect to one on Pooks Hill Road. The project is expected to be completed in early spring.