(Nov. 15, 2019) Windmill Creek, formerly known as Evergreen Village, passed step two of the master plan review during the Worcester County Planning Commission meeting last Thursday, but with the condition that developers build a sidewalk on both sides of the project along Beauchamp Road.
The proposed 90 single-family lot subdivision, located northwest of Beauchamp Road and north of Racetrack Road, cleared its first hurdle when the Worcester County Planning Commission passed its concept plan in early July.
The project received its designation as a residential planned community from the Worcester County Commissioners on Sept. 3. It recently passed the master plan review from the Technical Review Committee on Oct. 9. The project would be the first residential planned community in Worcester County in 11 years.
During the review, Planning Commissioner Jay Knerr voiced a concern that the plan depicted a sidewalk leading from the project leading out to Beauchamp Road toward St. John Neumann Church, but not toward River Run Golf Course. He cited pedestrian and bicycle safety as a reason to extend the sidewalk.
“River Run Golf Course may someday be redeveloped, just like this one,” said Phyllis Wimbrow, deputy director of review and permitting.
Chris Larmore, a contractor for Blue Water Development, said that the intent of the sidewalk was to build it leading toward where people would most likely walk – the church and Showell Elementary School. The proposed sidewalk is currently about 1,800 feet long.
If the sidewalk were to extend toward River Run Golf Course, it would add 900 feet of sidewalk.
Larmore added that they were tight on the project budget and extending the sidewalk could cost an additional $18,000.
“Either start requiring people to put in sidewalks like they’re supposed to, or just do away with the recommendation,” Wimbrow said as the planning commissioners deliberated.
Hugh Cropper, attorney for the residential planned community, reminded the planning commission that the project already has thousands of feet of sidewalk both around and inside the proposed residential planned community for connectivity.
The planning commission approved the site plan based on the seven findings of fact and approved the lot requirement as stated, but required a sidewalk across the entire project.
Blue Water Development plans to begin infrastructure work in February 2020 and housing construction by late summer or early fall 2020.