Dormant Development Gets Underway to Dismay of Nearby HOA

July 26, 2012
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A long-dormant Planned Unit Development (PUD) in the Wildewood area of California, Md., is now moving forward. And the initial stages of the development of the Oak Crest Center have drawn criticism from some neighbors in the residential Wildewood HOA that sits directly across the street. That's because Oak Crest has no residential development planned, only commercial, industrial, and office space—a different use than originally contemplated when it was approved in 1990 by the St. Mary's County Commissioners. Oak Crest was planned to be 1.3 million square feet of buildings on the 139.5 acre property, including residential housing. That has since been reduced to about 900,000 square feet by St. John Properties, which bought the land and development rights to the project in 2007.

The Wildewood HOA's members have expressed concern that construction for Oak Crest Center and the nature of the businesses that will rent space there could create flooding on their properties, and they're asking for the developer to construct a berm as an added buffer. The HOA has also expressed concern that the development will create a potential conflict between traffic entering and exiting the residential development and traffic using the Oak Crest PUD. The HOA has requested that the St. Mary's County Commissioners look at the PUD since its approval was granted so long ago and circumstances have changed since then.