Conflicts between industrial and residential land use shape ,, many of the rezoning issues in Baltimore County's 6th Councilmanic District, where the county Planning Board will hold a public hearing at 7:30 tonight at Parkville High School, 2600 Putty Hill Ave. Registration for speakers begins at 6 p.m.
"Some of these residential areas are suffering a lot of truck traffic generated by industry," says Gary Kerns, chief of community planning.
Many trucks already use the two-lane Philadelphia Road in the eastern part of the county as an alternative to Pulaski Highway or Interstate 95, Mr. Kerns says, and much of the land yet to be developed is zoned for industrial use.
In January, the County Council adopted a land-use plan for the Philadelphia Road corridor from Rossville Boulevard north to Cowenton Avenue, and between Interstate 95 and the CSX railroad tracks.
Currently in the rezoning process, which occurs every four years, the planning staff has recommended adding a "restricted" designation to several parcels that would limit the manufacturing uses, Mr. Kerns said.
Another proposed solution is a new designation, service employment zone, now awaiting a County Council vote, he said. If adopted, this zoning could create a buffer of "flex warehouses" -- so-called because they can be used as either offices or warehouses -- that don't generate truck traffic or customer automobile flow.
Meanwhile, a proposal to allow a new, large warehouse store (such as B.J.'s, PACE or Price Club) across I-95 from White Marsh Mall has the planning staff's support.
The staff also has recommended lowering the density on 90 residentially zoned acres near Essex Community College and Franklin Square Hospital, one of the largest remaining open spaces in the area. The proposal would eliminate apartments and allow only townhouses and single-family homes, so new development would blend with existing neighborhoods, Mr. Kerns said.
Of the eastern county in general, Planning Director P. David Fields observed: "Throughout that entire part of the county . . . industry and housing sort of traditionally mixed over the years. But as both have developed, they've become less and less compatible. . . . "