- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Residents, developers and builders involved in an ongoing dispute over irregularities discovered at the Clarksburg Town Center yesterday filed a joint motion with the Montgomery County Planning Board that would give the groups time to mediate a resolution and postpone today’s scheduled hearing on violations at the development.

“I believe this represents a positive step forward in this difficult case,” said Bill Mooney, acting director of the county’s Department of Parks and Planning. “We are cautiously optimistic that all parties involved will begin to focus on solutions that will result in a Clarksburg community that reflects the original intent of its master plan.”

Planning Board Chairman Derick P. Berlage granted the groups 60 days to deliver a Community Improvement Plan for the board to consider at a public hearing scheduled for Feb. 9.

Last week, the Department of Parks and Planning recommended that developers come up with a plan of compliance for the entire Clarksburg project.

The 28-page document also recommended $2.11 million in fines for developer Newland Communities of San Diego and builders at the site, including Bozzuto Homes Inc., for several violations.

But the department also said in the report that the fines and further hearings on violations should be suspended to give developers a chance to come up with a plan of compliance for the development, which originally was slated to include 1,300 houses.

Amy Presley, co-chairwoman of the Clarksburg Town Center Advisory Committee, which uncovered hundreds of potential violations at Clarksburg since August 2004, said the stay will give residents and developers a chance to see whether the community can be built as it originally was envisioned.

“I think this kind of effort could hasten the results versus going through all the other hearings,” Mrs. Presley said.

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