UPPER MARLBORO — Thirty-four townhomes will soon be going up along the side of Branch Avenue in Clinton after the county planning board approved their detailed site plan.
The board approved the plan on Jan. 4 after brief diction of the plans for the site. The new home, to be built by Blue Ocean Realty, will be on Serenade Lane about 1,800 feet from the intersection with Summit Creek. Branch Avenue to the East and existing homes to the south will border the new homes.
“The subject property is irregular in shape and constrained by MD 5 on the eastern boundary of the property, and a tributary of Piscataway Creek on the northwestern property line,” reads a staff report from Andrew Bishop who is with the urban design section of the planning department.
The homes will be near Joint Base Andrews and must meet height requirements of 350 feet tall, Bishop said. The site plan complies with those needs and also lists details for a sound wall where the property borders Branch Avenue and plans for a small recreation area. The houses will be rear loading with standard decks, while some will have side entrances. Varied roof lines are planned for the development, which will use brick, stone and masonry as their high quality materials for the outside of the houses.
The planning board unanimously approved the detailed site plan with some revisions to the recommendations for approval. There were eight major recommendations, broken into approximately 40 sub recommendations, but the applicant and the board members made several revisions.
Mike Nagy, the attorney representing Blue Ocean Realty, asked to strike a few of the recommendations due to the developers not needing to meet a requirement and due to the fact that they already complied with other line items.
Some of those requirements included adding several items to the details site plan such as garage details, driveway dimensions, marking unites that would need modifications for noise compliance, details for the sound barrier and sound wall, and the design of the housing tract’s sign.
Commissioner Manuel Geraldo had specific questions about the sound wall planned for the development and what it would look like from Branch Avenue
Bishop said the planning staff had not laid out any proposed conditions for the sound wall. However Nagy was able to offer details on the wall, saying it is planned as a low height wall due to the distance between the property and the major thoroughfare. The wall will be just three feet high.
“Branch Avenue is significantly below so the existing berm there acts as a sound wall for a good portion of it, so we needed just a short section,” Nagay said noting a detailed plan for the wall would be included in the detailed site plan.
He said the rest of the freestanding walls on the site would be made of masonry and there would be additional fencing made of low-sheen, non-white vinyl.
Another condition noted in the staff review was for additional passive recreation on the site. Commissioner Dorthy Bailey asked about the difference active and passive recreations, which Bishop explained.
Passive recreation includes items such as benches, whereas active recreation would include tot lots and playground.
“But we didn’t feel that there was a lot of passive recreational activities on the site, which is why we recommended that,” Bishop said.