New census data reveal major changes in the demographics of the Woodlawn-Liberty Road area. Population in those convenient beltway area neighborhoods decreased by 8 percent between 1970 and 1990, even though Baltimore County's overall population increased by 12 percent. Meanwhile, the area's racial make-up kept changing. While neighborhoods are still integrated, 66 percent of the population now is black.
With spanking new housing sprouting up in nearby Owings Mills, where quality shopping is plentiful, county officials are becoming concerned that the Liberty Road communities might lose their attractiveness. To make sure that depopulation and racial change will not lead to blight, high vacancy rates and instability, the county Office of Planning and Zoning is proposing that a community conservation district be created for neighborhoods stretching from the city line to the beltway, bounded by Milford Mill Road and the Metro rail line in the north and by I-70 in the south.
To prevent what happened in the city's Howard Park from being repeated along Liberty Road, county authorities are proposing that any property owner wanting to convert a single-family home HTC into three or more units must go through a public hearing before the zoning commissioner. Even if increased density is approved, the outside entrance and appearance of the converted property could not be altered.