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CC Letter to MDP re. Proposed St. Charles PFA Expansion

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CC Letter to MDP re. Proposed St. Charles PFA Expansion Powered By Docstoc
					                                                    July 31st, 2012


Mr. Richard E. Hall, AICP, Secretary
Maryland Department of Planning
301 West Preston Street, Room 1101
Baltimore, MD 20201

Dear Secretary Hall,

Charles County has received a proposal from The St. Charles Companies to expand the border of the Priority
Funding Area (PFA) to include the balance of the property in the St. Charles planned community. This
expansion would make the Charles County's overall PFA map more consistent with the designated growth
areas, which include all of the planned build-out areas within the St. Charles Planned Unit Development
(PUD). The area was first designated as a PUD with the signing of Docket 90 in 1972, the overall development
agreement between St. Charles and Charles County. Per this agreement, it is planned to include approximately
11,000 single and multi-family housing units, developed at an average rate of 300 units per year, and also
includes multiple parcels for commercial and public use, including Regency Furniture Stadium, St. Charles
High School, and White Plains Regional Park.

The St. Charles Companies is proposing this PFA expansion for the following reasons:

   1. Expansion of the PFA as proposed would "represent a long-term policy for orderly development and
      efficient use of land and public services." Currently, more than 25% of the county's population lives in
      existing neighborhoods of St. Charles; this expansion would help build on that successful record of
      smart growth.

   2. Expansion of the PFA will help Charles County foster growth in its Development District, between
      Route 301 and Route 488, in an area already served by a major collector road (St. Charles Parkway).

   3. Because of the extensive use of architectural review boards in St. Charles, and the imposition of
      covenants, the new neighborhoods will be consistent with and maintain the character of existing
      neighborhoods.

   4. The expansion will not require any additional State or County funding. Because Docket 90, St. Charles
      Companies development agreement, requires that St. Charles build all necessary infrastructure for the
      community, no public monies will be required or requested from the State of Maryland.
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July 31 , 2012



St. Charles has met the required criteria to qualify for PFA designation for areas beyond the periphery of an
existing community as follows:

    1. According to the 2006 Charles Comprehensive Plan, the proposed expansion area is within a locally
       designated growth area. Also, per the 2006 Comprehensive Plan, the proposed expansion area is
       approved for residential and commercial growth. The proposed expansion area is also in accordance
       with Docket 90, the St. Charles Master Plan, and the approved master plans for Fairway Village and the
       Southern Villages.

    2. Mandatory density levels for a PFA range between 2 and 3.5 units per acre. Neighborhoods under
       construction now in St. Charles, and those planned for the future, will exceed 3.5 units per acre.
       Documentation for the ultimate density levels in the proposed area can be found in the approved Master
       Plans, respectively, for Fairway Village and The Villages of Wooded Glen and Piney Reach ("the
       Southern Villages"). In Fairway Village, the proposed expansion area includes the neighborhoods of
       Gleneagles North and Gleneagles South, totaling 1,706 housing units. In Wooded Glen and Piney
       Reach, the total number of approved dwelling units is 10,076. Combined, the proposed expansion area
       includes 11,782 dwelling units. The total acreage for the proposed PFA expansion area, is 3,710 acres.
       However, after subtracting for 731.4 acres of open space that is approved in the Southern Villages, there
       remains 2978.6 developable acres. 11,782 dwelling units over 2,978.6 acres equals a density level of
       3.95 units per acre, well in excess of the PFA guideline of 3.5 units per acre.

    3. The proposed expansion area is in the ten-year water and sewer plan for Charles County.

Other relevant information regarding the proposed PFA expansion is as follows:

    1. The total area of the proposed PFA expansion is 3,710 acres.

    2. The Gleneagles and Southern Villages areas are zoned PUD. Gleneagles has approval for 1,706 units.
       The Southern Villages are approved for 10,076 units. In St. Charles, the number of units approved for
       each of the five villages is contained in Docket 90, the overall development agreement between St.
       Charles and Charles County.

    3. 11,782 dwelling units are approved in the proposed PFA expansion area.

    4. Homebuilders in St. Charles, specifically Lennar, have used the Maryland Mortgage/CDA program to
       great success. In Charles County, a household of one or two people with an income of $127,320, or a
       household of three or more people with an income of $148,540, can qualify for a home of $429,620, and
       a loan amount up to $417,000, in a non-targeted area. These income levels fit perfectly under the St.
       Charles buyer profile, and well above the current average price for new homes in St. Charles.

    5. Maps of the proposed PFA expansion in St. Charles are attached, as well as included on a CD in GIS-
       compatible format.
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We appreciate your review and consideration for this proposed PFA expansion request in St. Charles. If there
are any questions, please feel free to contact Beth Groth at 301-645-0684 or grothb@charlescounty.org, or
Cathy Thompson at 301-396-5815 or thompsca@charlescounty.org.

                                                           Very truly,

                                                  COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF
                                                  CHARLES COUNTY, MARYLAND



                                                  Candice Quinn Kelly, President



    Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq., Vice President                                Ken Robinson



            Debra M. Davis, Esq.                                               Bobby Rucci




cc: Craig Renner, The St. Charles Companies
    Mark MacFarland, The St. Charles Companies

				
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