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(Editor's Note: Due to a production error, the following letter was cut off from completion in last week's edition. It is reprinted in its entirety here.)

There are some facts missing from your recent article on the Estates at Mineral Hill Road. ("Mitigation costs worry home developer," Feb. 25, The Eagle.) Besides the lots on conservation land, 44 houses are proposed for the development. Nineteen houses with half-acre lots would line Mineral Hill Road, creating 18 driveways.

Two other driveways already exist at the bottom of a blind hill with a severe curve. Two serious accidents have occurred at this curve. Another driveway is proposed at this site.

Two of the three-acre lots are at stream heads that lead to the lake. One of the lots (in back of the church,) should not be developed at all.

The proposed lot places a long downhill driveway by wetlands, and a stream that flows in the lake a short distance away. Road salt, fertilizer, and possibly manure will flow down the stream from the driveway.

Commissioner Julia Gouge said, "It's the county's responsibility to protect the environment." Building a house in this sensitive area is not responsible. The county needs to take a more thorough look.

This development needs to be scaled down. The facilities are not there to support a major development on the approximately five-mile road. Forty-four new houses will greatly increase the amount of traffic on an already overburdened road that has had numerous serious accidents.

Two houses have been hit by cars, one of the accidents resulted in the death of an older woman. The neighborhood has asked for a car count of the entire road, which includes Pine Knob, Oakland Mill and Mineral Hill Road.

Every school that will be impacted by this development already has trailers. Liberty High has one-way halls because of overcrowding. The community would like to see the school impact report.

Although the county considers emergency services to be covered, in actuality there are two resident troopers and no fire department in Eldersburg.

There is also an impact on natural resources to consider. As much of the forest as possible needs to be preserved.

Thousands of animals and a rich plant community are on this land. New studies show that students learn better and patients heal better when they can look at trees. Water resources will also be diminished. When another drought occurs, the community's supply will lessen even more.

Many neighborhoods now include open space and playgrounds. It would be right if a large development such as this gave a bit back in the form of open space. The community has made a modest request that we be allowed a path to the watershed, which we have enjoyed for the many years the land was owned by the Catholic Church.

We were told by planning and zoning officials that our property values will rise with the addition of this large development. In fact, the opposite is true. I know when I tried to put my house on the market (because of this development), the agent dropped the price because of the heavy traffic. Also, houses are compared to similar houses. The neighborhood houses would not even be in the same market as the McMansions we expect to see built for $700,000.

The time to weigh in on the plans for this development is now. Citizens may request that they be sent notification of meetings, and a plat. They may e-mail comments to planning and zoning. I know it is discouraging to participate when the community feels it has no say in what goes on, but let your views be known anyway.

Colleen Hoffmeister

Sykesville



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