A community association in southern Odenton has rejected a proposal to lift the age restriction on the Preserve at Two Rivers project, throwing a wrench in developers' plans to build more than 2,000 homes.
The Forks of the Patuxent Improvement Association voted to keep in place covenant agreements that restricted the Two Rivers project to residents aged 55 and over. Koch Homes and Classic Communities Corp. had been seeking to lift the age restriction, citing market conditions.
"The Two Rivers Development team and the association worked very hard to negotiate terms that would mitigate issues that would affect the community," FOTPIA President Sue Meyer said. "After several general membership meetings, the majority of the FOTPIA members felt the original covenants from 2006 should remain in place."
Meyer said the vote was "not a landslide" but that the community made clear it was not interested in changing its previous agreement with the Two Rivers developers.
The Preserve at Two Rivers was originally approved for 2,060 homes, designed for people aged 55 and above. But the developers said recently that the market for age-restricted housing had softened, and have been seeking to open up the project for residents of all ages.
Now that FOTPIA has rejected efforts to change covenant agreements on the property, the status of the project is uncertain. According to the 2006 agreement, developers could still be allowed to build an all-ages development, but "would be limited to those uses permitted in a [rural agricultural] zoning district."
Current "RA" zoning allows for approximately one home for every 20 acres, which is considerably less dense than the current plan.
William Dodd, a director of development for Koch Homes, declined to comment. Attorney Eric DeVito, who represented the developers in their negotiations with FOTPIA, did not return a call requesting comment.
Also unclear is the status of a proposal by the developers to pay for a $38.2 million elementary school to accommodate students from the Two Rivers project and other nearby developments. If the age restriction on Two Rivers remains in place, the development would presumably not introduce new students into the area.
The Anne Arundel County Board of Education on Sept. 5 voted to allow school system officials to negotiate with the developers on a construction agreement for the school.
Alex Szachnowicz, the chief operating officer for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, said he had not been informed of the FOTPIA decision and had not been involved in any talks regarding the school project in more than two weeks.
Attorney Michael Leahy, who represented the developers in their talks with the school system, also said there have been few discussions since the board vote. He declined to speculate on how the FOTPIA vote would affect the school proposal.