Stop Work Order Issued for Parts of Clarksburg Town Center

September 19, 2005

SILVER SPRING, MD — Officials at the Montgomery County Department of Park and Planning ordered developer Newland Communities to immediately stop work within portions of Clarksburg Town Center today based on evidence that the developer has likely violated additional aspects of the site plan approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board.

In a memo to agency director Charlie Loehr, Rose Krasnow, chief of the agency’s development review division, cited inconsistencies in signature sets and inconsistencies in record plats as reasons for issuing a stop work order. An agency inspector will visit the site tomorrow and post the stop work order notice.

Record plats are filed with the Circuit Court and delineate lot boundaries and lot sizes. The site plan for Clarksburg Town Center established a minimum lot size of 4,000 square feet for single-family detached homes. According to records, Newland filed plats for single-family detached homes with land areas as small as 3,640 square feet.

The developer and builders must submit a plan of compliance to the Montgomery County Planning Board. The Planning Board will ultimately decide what corrective actions the developer and builders must take before the stop work order is lifted.

Under the order, the developer and builders are prohibited from moving earth, removing trees, felling, clearing, paving and building. Only those activities required and authorized to correct violations or ordered by permitting agencies are allowed.

The order is in effect for three portions of Clarksburg Town Center including phase 2D; phase 1A-3; and parcel A block H within phase 2A.

Phase 2D is located between Sugarloaf Chapel Road, Burdette Forest Road, Grapevine Ridge Terrace and Catawba Hill Drive. Phase 1A-3 is located to the east of Clarksburg Square Road and north and south of Arness Point Road. Phase 2A (parcel A, block H) is located on the northwest corner of the Clarks Crossing Drive and Clarksburg Square Road intersection.

On July 7, the Planning Board unanimously ruled that the developer and five builders had violated the Planning Board-approved site plan by constructing numerous townhouses too tall and too close to the streets.

The Planning Board is currently scheduled to hold two additional hearings on matters related to Clarksburg violations on October 6 and October 27. The Planning Board is currently scheduled to hold a plan of compliance hearing on November 3.

Due to the quasi-judicial role of members of the Planning Board, they are prohibited from commenting on the matter – including chairman Derick Berlage.