Maximizing Space and Value at Elkridge Woods

It can be difficult to find undeveloped land for new residential housing in the Mid-Atlantic. So, when landowners in Elkridge were prepared to sell, Elm Street Development jumped at the opportunity, despite the challenges. The 15 acres of land located near a railroad and airport also included a stream, huge changes in topography, and an unmarked cemetery. But the developer saw the potential, and Bohler was able to maximize the space into 42 lots with usable yards, turning obstacles into success.

Utilizing Existing Conditions

Creating a residential development on a 15-acre parcel with a 90-foot grade change and a stream running through it that served as a stormwater basin is a challenging task. To create usable lots, Bohler utilized the existing grades for the internal roadways to minimize earthwork, utilizing shared driveways off the main roads to fit more lots into areas that couldn’t accommodate a public road right-of-way.

The stream was worked into an open area that doubled as stormwater management. Because of the property’s location, Bohler had to account for the impact of large storm events. The solution was to design a basin with a large embankment that would hold water to slowly release into the stream. Since the design had no adverse impact on downstream structures or people, in the event of a failure, there was no need to develop an emergency action plan.

Accounting for the Surroundings

Because the site was near the Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Airport, Bohler had to work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure there was no impact on planes taking off or landing. This included landscaping solutions like avoiding trees that would attract birds, which could create dangerous situations for pilots.

To mitigate the noise of the nearby railroad, Bohler got creative with grading to create natural sound buffers. Hills and ridges blocked much of the noise, while decorative walls no taller than three feet high took care of the rest.

Accommodating Unexpected Changes

As due diligence efforts on the property continued, the developer discovered there was a century-old unmarked cemetery on the site. Bohler and the developer worked with a consultant to determine the best solution and notify the families, who were unaware of the graveyard’s existence. Bohler found a way to shift the design to accommodate a memorial space and still maintain the same number of planned lots.

Despite the complexity of the terrain, Bohler was able to overcome challenges and maximize density at the Elkridge Woods site. The result was 42 creatively designed residential lots, fit into a space that others would likely deem too difficult.

15 Acres
42 Lots
90 Foot Grade Change

Ready to Move Forward?

Our approach makes a meaningful difference for our most ambitious clients. Contact us to learn more.

Let's Get Started