Potential Traffic from Eva-Mar Development a 'Nightmare,' Residents Say

'You're really taking your life into your own hands...' —Scott Krivosh, Wagner Farm

Dozens of citizens lined up behind the mic to speak out at the Jan. 6 meeting in Bel Air about a proposed retirement community and single-family homes off MD Route 543. (Credit: Elizabeth Janney)
Dozens of citizens lined up behind the mic to speak out at the Jan. 6 meeting in Bel Air about a proposed retirement community and single-family homes off MD Route 543. (Credit: Elizabeth Janney)
Hundreds of residents packed a meeting with developers this week to demand traffic improvements as part of plans for turning 150 acres off North Fountain Green Road/MD Route 543 into a retirement community and sites for single-family homes.

Developer Elm Street plans to construct 120 single-family homes on the south portion of the property.

On 58.5 acres at the north end of the property, Towson-based organization Presbyterian Home plans to build up to 700 units—from assisted living to villas—for a continuing care retirement community.

The main entrance to the retirement community would be off Sparta Court, with emergency access on Falstaff Road and another access point on Cloverfield, Amy DiPietro of engineering firm Morris & Ritchie Associates said at the Jan. 6 meeting that drew approximately 350 people.

"I can assure you Cloverfield Court is going to be the main funnel out of that development because [Route] 543, I get out on it every day to go to work—and it's a nightmare," Sam Livingston, who lives on Cloverfield Court, said.

"People are going to go out the back of that development and onto Cloverfield Court. It's a very narrow road. We have people on both sides of the road parking cars out on the street...."

The planning process requires a traffic study before development, Paul Muddiman of Morris & Ritchie Associates said. He noted that officials identified 13 intersections that would be reviewed in the study in collaboration with Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning:
  • MD Route 22/Churchville Road at MD Route 543/North Fountain Green Road
  • Route 22 at Moores Mill Road
  • Route 22 at Prospect Mill Road
  • Route 543 at Southampton/Thomas Run Road
  • Route 543 at Redfield Road
  • Route 543 at Prospect Mill Road
  • Route 543 at Henderson Road
  • Route 543 at Amyclae Drive
  • Route 543 at Sparta Court
  • Prospect Mill Road at Thomas Run Road
  • Shakespeare Drive at Falstaff Road
  • Amyclae Drive at Cloverfield Court
  • Moores Mill Road at Southampton Road
"There will be improvements at several of them—typically a center turning lane and a deceleration lane," Muddiman said, to accommodate additional traffic. Two developments currently under construction off Route 543 would be taken into account as well, he said.

Citizens added their own suggestions for roads that should be included, using words like "suicidal" and "nightmarish" to describe intersections off Routes 543 and 22.

"Andreas Drive and [Route] 22...that is a major intersection," Marian Arminger, who lives in Amyclae, said. "That needs to be studied." Arminger mentioned that residents from Amyclae East used Andreas particularly when the traffic from Harford Community College stacked up.

Others said intersections at Prospect Mill should be reviewed.

"You're really taking your life in your own hands..." Scott Krivosh, who lives in Wagner Farm, said. "The current infrastructure that's in place right now can barely support what we have going on...Infrastructure should be taken care of first before you put something like this in."

Officials said the traffic study would be completed by April or May, submitted to the Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning with a site plan.

The community input meeting was the beginning of an 18 to 20-month planning process, according to Joseph Snee, the attorney representing the developers. There would be two other meetings where public input would be allowed before construction. First, developers must submit their site plan to the county.

"This is not going to be an easy battle for you guys," Livingston said, "and I for one will be fighting it tooth and nail."
kwalsh January 09, 2014 at 11:43 AM
My question is, why have people waited until now to express these traffic concerns? I live in Hampton Ridge off Rte. 543 and traffic has been horrific for years - why is no one writing/calling/emailing the state and local officials who actually control traffic decisions??
Mary January 09, 2014 at 05:10 PM
http://543concernedcitizens.com/ https://www.facebook.com/CCevamar


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