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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    48
    Location
    Maryland
    Tractor
    n/a

    Unhappy Frustrated in Maryland

    The title covers it. I found TBN last summer shortly after making an offer on 5 acres in Carroll County, Maryland. I've spent a lot of time reading but this is my first post. I really enjoyed Motor Seven's build thread (spent most of a week reading every post), Obed's build thread, and Eddie Walker´s epic on building a pond. I'm now following pclausen´s 90-day thread.
    My wife and I offered to buy something big enough for us and our son & his family (2-1/2 y/o and 3 month old boys) so they could move out of inner city Baltimore. He bought when he was single but now realizes it isn't a suitable place to raise a family and he´s still upside down on his mortgage so can't sell and buy elsewhere. I'm sure a lot of you will feel we're being too soft by buying a house for them but our daughter died from cancer at age 20 so he´s all we have. We want to get out of the area where we now live. It was nice 26 years ago when we bought here but has changed drastically. We spent a lot of time looking at a lot of houses with an in-law suite but we couldn't find anything suitable so we decided to build.
    It´s been two steps forward and one step back since last May. Plan A was a duplex, 3,000 sq ft per side. Had a hearing with the Zoning Commission and they approved it. I qualified for a construction loan that was more than enough to build, but the appraisal came in at about half what it would cost to build so the bank said no deal. On to Plan B. The bank recommended subdividing the 5 acres into 3 lots and building two single family homes 1,500 sf upstairs over a 1,500 sf walkout basement & 2-car garage. That´s when it became really complicated. Civil engineering fees jumped from ~5k for the duplex to ~30k for the 'minor subdivision? We have no plans for the 3rd lot so it'll be undeveloped provided I can convince the county that I shouldn't be required to drill a well on it.
    There is one small spring-fed stream alongside the road and another near the back of the narrow & long lot (~235 wide x ~935 long), both of them run year-round. The state department of environment says the front streambank is wetlands so we have to get a permit from them as well as the county and put a clear span bridge (`35 span) over it for the driveway. The topography in the area is rolling hills. The seller had a county permit to put in a driveway but the county canceled it a couple weeks after we bought. They say it didn't provide sight distances required by code which is true, but there is no location along the road where we can have the required sight distances so why did they initially issue the permit? No matter, says the county, we have to submit studies for a couple of other potential driveway locations and they'll approve one and grant a variance. So it´s another 5k for the civil engineer to lay out alternate driveway locations. The county won't approve the subdivision plan unless we agree to put all the trees on the property into a perpetual forest conservation easement. Basically, we can't do anything in the easement no trimming, pruning, clearing, mowing, nothing. That reduces the usable area of the 5 acres to about 2.5 acres or a bit less. I fully intend to contest whatever the tax assessment is, due to the loss of use of land. They also require stream buffers 100 to each side of the streambeds, with the same prohibitions as the forest easement. That´s also less usable land. At least they won't make us tear down the 4-stall horse barn that sits next to the rear stream. The county requires any 'subdivision developer' to complete road improvements adjacent to the property, but they don't want me to do that. They want (require) me to pay 17k into the county road improvement fund which they've told me will NOT be used on our road but will be used in another area of the county. Am I justified in being somewhat frustrated?
    We still want to build. The area is really nice, all 3 public schools (elementary, middle and high) are within ď˝˝ to 2 miles. The county public schools are among the highest rated in the state. The immediate neighbors are all 5+ acre properties, and there are two typical neighborhood subdivisions about ď˝˝ mile away in different directions which will be nice for the boys when they get old enough to want to visit/play with friends. There's also a large shopping center (important to the wife) about 2 miles away.
    I still intend to buy a tractor but I have to reassess my 'needs' based on the area I'll be maintaining. I'm now thinking a SCUT for me and a lawn tractor for my son (to keep all the lawns mowed). I imagine I'll be asking (dumb) questions about a suitable tractor before too long.
    It looks like we might even have permits by mid-April. After reading pclausen´s experiences with them, I've also asked my builder to look into using Superior Walls. With any luck, we'll be moving in before the end of this year.
    Sorry for such a long post. I'll make sure future ones are reasonable in length.
    Charlie
    Last edited by Sparks45; 02-20-2013 at 11:47 PM. Reason: cleaning up weird characters

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    596
    Location
    Coastal Rhode Island
    Tractor
    Jinma 354, purchased 2007

    Default Re: Frustrated in Maryland

    You're post is just about unreadable. Did you prepare it in another program and paste it in?

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    48
    Location
    Maryland
    Tractor
    n/a

    Default Re: Frustrated in Maryland

    Yep, I did it in MS Word. I think I've fixed everything. Thanks for alerting me to the problems.
    Charlie

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4,089
    Location
    Somewhere USA
    Tractor
    My tractor is an old

    Default Re: Frustrated in Maryland

    Welcome Charlie to TBN.

  5. #5
    Advertiser kennyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    11,622
    Location
    Westminster, MD
    Tractor
    John Deere 4110, 455

    Default Re: Frustrated in Maryland

    Welcome from Westminster
    KennyD
    www.boltonhooks.com



    Bolt On Grab Hooks, Weld On Grab Hooks, Specialty Chain Accessories, Specialty Hydraulic Components.

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  6. #6
    Super Member mguitas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5,394
    Location
    Schuylkill County Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1423 Hydrostat

    Default Re: Frustrated in Maryland

    Massey 1423, 1462 loader, wallenstein Ranch ho gx620, with subframe mount.

  7. #7
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    16,386
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: Frustrated in Maryland

    Murph ------------

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    16,070
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Frustrated in Maryland

    Welcome to TBN, it always amazes me how lucky I am to live in such an unregulated area where we can do pretty much what we want to with our land, I can't even imagine dealing with all the stuff you are.

    As for being soft, I don't think so, if I could afford it we would buy a new house for all of our kids. We are lucky all four live relatively close and in good areas though.

    A SCUT seems like a good choice, we have used one for years on our home area with the bigger ones being used elsewhere.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  9. #9
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    16,386
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: Frustrated in Maryland

    Look else where.
    Murph ------------

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    48
    Location
    Maryland
    Tractor
    n/a

    Default Re: Frustrated in Maryland

    Quote Originally Posted by murphy1244 View Post
    Look else where.
    We did look around, a lot. We'll be about 45 mins to an hour west of Baltimore and don't want to go any further west. Both son & DIL work in B'more - or "Balmer" as the locals pronounce it - so we're at the edge of their comfort zone for commuting. The other possible locations we looked at (Baltimore County and Howard County) are even worse than Carroll for bureaucracy. Not to mention that we got a really good deal on the land. Even after subdividing and developing it, I'll have less into it than the market value. The appraisal the bank did for the loan values the land, once subdivided, at more than double what it cost me and the completed project about 40% over their investment. That's why the bank is so ready to give us the construction loan. If I default, they can foreclose and easily recoup their money.

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