- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 10, 2007

Montgomery County officials said yesterday they have made changes to new-home inspections in Clarksburg after problems two years ago with height and other building requirements.

Officials are inspecting under-construction homes twice a month and found one single-family home that exceeded the maximum 40-foot height requirement.

Rose Krasnow, chief of Development Review for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, said a citation was issued to the builder, which immediately removed the roof to begin the lowering process.

“This happened just the way it should,” Mrs. Krasnow said.

In May 2005, planning officials discovered that hundreds of houses had been built too high or too close to roads in the 1,300-home Clarksburg Town Center. The town center’s Advisory Committee discovered more violations and said a San Diego building company arbitrarily changed site plans.

More inspections found other builders were violating site plans throughout the county, particularly in nearby 2,654-home Clarksburg Village. Lots were found to be too small, as were houses, with many that were too close to streets.

Former County Planning Board Chairman Derick P. Berlage, who resigned last year, instituted 62 reforms in the system, and the Montgomery County Council approved legislation defining the planning-approval system.

The new inspection system was presented yesterday at the end of hourlong Clarksburg Development Status report to the Planning Board. The report — including maps that detailed development in the Clarksburg area on both sides of I-270 and Highway 355 — described locations of schools and residential areas, and construction of roads, government projects and retail shopping areas.

A two-story library is planned for the Clarksburg Town Center. Six more schools and 15 parks also are planned. About 160 acres, called greenways, will be untouched by construction projects but will have hard-surface and earthen trails throughout the Clarksburg area.

Several thoroughfares will be constructed two lanes at a time so traffic can pass through until all four lanes are completed. There will be no aboveground multistory parking garages, but parking will be allowed along main streets and underground.

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