Cromwell Wins Approval
Published on October 13, 2023
Preliminary plan approved for 488-unit age-restricted development in New Market area
A preliminary plan to build a 488-unit age-restricted development on 161 acres in the New Market area was unanimously approved by the Frederick County Planning Commission on Wednesday.
The planned Cromwell Active Adult Community is a project of Elm Street Development, a company based in McLean, Va., that responsible for several other area developments, including the Lake Linganore neighborhood and town center.
Elm Street Development proposes to build 192 single-family detached units, 184 town homes and 112 multifamily attached units. The single-family detached units and the town homes would be constructed within private cul-de-sacs.
The developer has opted not to build any moderately priced dwelling units and will instead pay a fee-in-lieu to the county. Elm Street Development will also provide a 4-acre public use site to the county for a library and a senior center.
In addition to the housing units, the developer plans to construct a clubhouse, 12 bike racks, and parking space for 1,547 vehicles. The club house could include a fitness room, an outdoor pool, pickleball courts and a “tot lot.”
The community would also include 77.7 acres of open space, 3.8 acres of which are deemed “active open space” for recreational activities. The active open spaces include pocket parks, dog parks, overlook and picnic areas, and a 1.5-mile nature trail system.
The community would be geared toward people age 55 and older and would be subject to a housing covenant that prohibits any permanent residents under age 19.
The site of the planned community was previously known as the J. Cromwell Hammond farm. In early 2020, the property was rezoned from agricultural to planned-unit development to make way for the senior housing project.
At the time, Elm Street Development petitioned the county’s Planning Commission to allow up to 600 homes on the property.
The former agricultural property dates to 1850. Though it includes 21 historical structures and artifacts, the farm has undergone “a continuous program of construction and modification” and no longer has “historical integrity,” according to the Maryland Historical Trust.
Ground-penetrating radar revealed three gravesites on the property, though no remains were found. Per state law, the grave features will be reinterred at a memorial garden elsewhere on the site if the project moves forward.
Members of the Planning Commission encouraged the developer to work with the county staff to ensure that the history of the property and the people who once lived there is accurately reflected by the planned memorial.
“I know it has come up with other historical things around the county, so it’s all been an interesting chapter,” Jason Wiley of Elm Street Development said Wednesday. “We’re trying to close it out in a good way by making it really publicly accessible where that placard and the story about the property will live.”
The Planning Commission’s approval of the preliminary subdivision plan will be valid for five years. The developer has also submitted separate site plans for the town homes and multifamily units, which will be reviewed at a later date.
Original Article by Ceoli Jacoby