Artifact of Subdivision Timeframes

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Artifacts of Subdivision Timeframes explain many things about the street geometry of Aspen Hill, Maryland.

General Explanation

The development of Aspen Hill's subdivisions was spread over the better part of a decade. Frequently one development was partly or mostly completed before adjacent developments were fully planned or begun.

The large tracts of land generally had once been farm lands, and many of these farms were characterized by at least one long straight boundary fence line. The developers generally built one long street along such boundary lines.

Thus, the longest and straightest streets in Aspen Hill are clues written on the landscape, clues to the shape of the large tracts of land which were subdivided to create our neighborhoods. These clues written on the landscape are Artifacts, of the timeframe of subdivision over most of a decade.

Flint Rock Road

The southernmost leg of Flint Rock Road demonstrates this effect.

The plat maps of "Bel Pre Woods, Plat Thirteen" and "Bel Pre Woods, Plat Twenty-Five, Part of Blocks 17 & 29" show Flint Rock Road as it lies entirely within the Bel Pre Woods subdivision; the plat map "Bel Pre Woods, Plat Nine" makes references to deed metes and bounds. The other side of those bounds, outside of this development and subdivision, may be seen in the plat map "Rock Creek Manor, Plat Two", which is in the neighboring subdivision, Rock Creek Manor subdivision.

Note that for much of their length, Flint Rock Road in the southerly leg and Russett Road are almost perfectly parallel, and roughly equally spaced from the former lot line of the original tract.

As the Rock Creek Manor subdivision plat map is submitted as of September 1963 and as the Bel Pre Woods subdivision plat maps were filed as of January 1963, the timeframe isn't the major cause of the artifact. Rather, the major cause of the artifact is the division of labor between different development companies: Lord Fairfax Development Company for Bel Pre Woods in this area, and the Rock Creek Manor development adjacent was done by the Adrian Corporation and Iris Corporation, which also developed much of the Aspen Hill Park subdivisions to the south.