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Clarksburg
Clarksburg planning controversy
The development of Clarksburg, a massive new community being built in northern Montgomery County, has seen numerous problems since construction began. The Montgomery County Planning Board concluded recently that more than 500 homes in the new Clarksburg Town Center are taller than they were allowed to be, or are built too close to the street. The controversy may have consequences not only in Clarksburg, but in Montgomery County and statewide.

Aug. 31: Group: Take away power to alter site plans
The authority given to county planners to make changes in site plans for new developments -- in consultation with developers and out of the public eye -- should be eliminated, the Montgomery County Civic Federation said Tuesday.

Aug. 24: Council returns to morass of planning
The County Council will pick up where it left off next week as members return from their summer recess, pondering the problems surrounding the growing fiasco of regulating development.

Aug. 24: Fixing the problems
A county planner who has walked the embattled Clarksburg Town Center development says the project has strayed but can still achieve its goals.

Aug. 24: Terracing triggers new Town Center stop-work order
Developer Newland Communities was creating 8- to 10-foot high terraces on which to build apartment buildings when John Carter, chief of the Planning Board community based planning division, and Rose Krasnow, chief of the development review division, toured the area Aug. 13 with members of the Clarksburg Town Center Advisory Committee.

Aug. 24: More planning errors charged
Allegations of planning missteps in Bethesda have cast further doubts on Montgomery County development review, as five investigations continue after residents exposed building violations in Clarksburg earlier this summer.

Aug. 10: Again, officials listen to wish list
Unhappy with the results thus far, the residents of Clarksburg - both old and new -- tried once again Monday night to outline their unified vision for the fast-developing community.

Aug. 10: Heights at issue again; this time it's ceilings
Dave Schaefer wonders why with all the new homes being built in Clarksburg in violation of approved plans and the need for affordable housing in the county, inspectors want to condemn his Clarksburg rental homes.

Aug. 3: Knapp: More staff won't solve planning woes
A Montgomery County councilman is questioning the addition of 17 positions to government departments regulating development, a major county reaction to the debacle surrounding Clarksburg Town Center.

Aug. 3: Long list of Clarksburg flaws needs more action, some say
Even with a short-term freeze ordered by the county executive, Clarksburg activists are frustrated that county officials are not being more aggressive in putting the brakes on building in Clarksburg Town Center.

July 29: Clarksburg oversight tightened
Acknowledging that its oversight contributed to a debacle, the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday ordered new controls on Clarksburg development.

July 29: Builders are glad for 'thaw' in freeze
Business officials expressed approval about the Montgomery County Councilšs vote this week that stopped short of a feared long-range halt to issuing building permits in most new subdivisions.

July 27: Council spurns moratorium for reforms
The County Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday night establishing 12 actions that county development agencies must take to avoid permitting and planning missteps like those that have roiled the Clarksburg Town Center.

July 27: Activists sue over ag reserve homes
A group of Boyds residents has filed suit against the county Planning Board over plans to build a cluster of homes on 434 rural acres in neighboring Clarksburg - just one example, residents say, of unwanted development encroaching on the Agricultural Reserve.

July 27: Brockovich style: Women bring planning to its knees
For Kim Shiley, Carol Smith and Amy Presley the fight is against the Clarksburg developer and builders that have not built the Town Center development where they live according to plans.

July 22: Clarksburg hearing postponed
A hearing to decide sanctions for Clarksburg Town Center violations has been postponed, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announced Friday.

July 22: Clarksburg may derail pols' plans
The Clarksburg Town Center controversy could damage the political futures of some Montgomery County incumbents and help construct an anti-development movement, some observers are saying.

July 22: Permit freeze stymies builders
Montgomery County's freeze this week of building permits in most new subdivisions has created confusion among homebuilders, industry leaders say.

July 20: Road to finally reopen and ease Clarksburg traffic
The traffic woes in Clarksburg improved today with the long-awaited reopening of Piedmont Road and drivers should see steady progress in the coming months

July 20: Emergency funding to give Clarksburg a fire station
Acting to correct what it called a serious omission in its current budget, the County Council voted Monday to approve money to open a temporary fire station in Clarksburg within weeks.

July 15: Prosecutor investigating Clarksburg
The Maryland State Prosecutor has launched an investigation to see if any criminal activity took place during the planning process of Clarksburg Town Center, Montgomery County officials said Friday.

July 13: Editorial: Sorting out the mess
The mess in Clarksburg, the massive new town being built in north Montgomery County, has left an embarrassing stain on the government's development process.

July 13: OLO to review Clarksburg controversy
Montgomery County's Office of Legislative Oversight will assess how county agencies approve and enforce development standards, focusing first on actions that allowed about 600 homes to be built too tall or too close to the street in the Clarksburg Town Center.

July 13: Frustrations rise as Clarksburg violations mount
While the Planning Board was unanimous in ruling Thursday that almost 600 homes in the Town Center have been built in violation of required height and setback restrictions, it did not address other issues raised by residents.

July 13: Town Center's newest residents dodge a close call
A few teachers played hooky from summer classes Thursday to ask the county Planning Board to let them move into Clarksburg Town Center homes they had bought

July 6: Planners want audit in wake of Clarksburg mess
Montgomery County planning officials are calling for a stem-to-stern examination of how the county oversees development after allegations that a planner falsified documents to make it appear builders did not violate construction limits in the massive Clarksburg Town Center.

July 6: Violations rampant in Town Center
County officials acknowledged that nearly 600 homes in the Clarksburg Town Center development violated height and setback restrictions, and the group of residents who discovered those violations last year are now pointing to even more deviations - including the elimination of a street and a pedestrian walkway.

June 15: Lack of pool has residents steaming
The fractious Democrats put on a remarkably intense show of unity at their annual pre-session luncheon Tuesday, but it remains to be seen whether that talk will last beyond their override of the governor's medical malpractice veto.

May 18: Holdouts strained by building dust, noise
Unwilling to sell to Clarksburg developers, Joe and Jennette Laban knew one day they would be surrounded by hundreds of homes, but they were not prepared for the dirt, dust and noise construction brings.

April 27: The heart of the retail debate: Will Clarksburg center be one?
The Clarksburg Civic Association is questioning whether the retail district proposed for the Clarksburg Town Center development will become the heart of the Clarksburg community envisioned in the master plan.

April 20: No height violations in Town Center; all buildings legal
The Montgomery County Planning Board ruled last week that although some apartment buildings in the Clarksburg Town Center are taller than envisioned in the area master plan, they are perfectly legal.


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