Hearings give citizens chance to speak out on rezoning requests

September 09, 1992|By Patrick Gilbert | Patrick Gilbert,Staff Writer

The Baltimore County Council's quadrennial round of hearings on requests to change the county zoning map will continue with a hearing tomorrow night in the 4th District.

The council will listen to proponents and those in opposition to 600 petitions to change the designated use of county land. Recommendations from the county Planning Board, which held hearings this past spring and early summer, will be presented to the council.

"This is the end of the road, the last opportunity for interested parties to state their case," said Arnold F. "Pat" Keller, the county's deputy planning director. The council is the final authority on zoning changes. There is no appeals process.

This comprehensive rezoning process is conducted every four years. The council will hold seven hearings on the rezoning requests, one for each councilmanic district. The council will vote Oct. 15.

Dozens of petitions in each district were singled out for separate discussion. Hundreds of others were routinely denied. Among the more notable requests are:

* 1st District -- The board voted to keep zoning for research parks at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and at Spring Grove Hospital and agreed with a request by the Greater Oella Community Association to reduce the number of houses that could be built on 200 acres in that community.

* 2nd District -- The board rejected a request from Baltimore City to rezone for commercial use some of the rural acreage around the the Cloisters Children's Museum of Baltimore. The city had hoped to raise money to refurbish the mansion housing the museum. Area residents also opposed the rezoning change.

* 3rd District -- The sprawling district, with the most open land, generated almost 200 petitions. Those that drew fire from residents and planning staff members included a proposed 3,000-unit housing development on watershed land at York and Phoenix roads, and several warehouse outlets proposed near the heart of upscale Owings Mills.

The board rejected these petitions, and an apartment building proposed by the Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. The board also rejected a petition to rezone 970 acres of land near the Parkton landfill for a golf course and residential development. The board voted in favor of Arundel Corp.'s plan to turn a quarry near Owings Mills into a lake and office park.

* 4th District -- This district featured the hottest single issue: Giant Food Inc.'s desire to expand onto three acres of the county's Forge Park and build a new designer grocery at its site in the 6300 block of York Road. Towson-area residents opposed the expansion and the board rejected Giant's request. To satisfy the company's opponents, who are also its customers, an attorney for Giant already had said the company would withdraw its petition if it couldn't find other parkland.

* 5th District -- The board voted no significant changes in the Perry Hall and White Marsh areas, after the planning staff recommended more studies of that growing part of the county.

* 6th and 7th districts -- These districts featured efforts to use zoning to ease the increasingly incompatible intermingling of industry and homes. Planners suggested reducing housing density on some parcels, restricting manufacturing uses on others, and employing a new category -- the service employment zone -- to create a buffer of offices and warehouses that don't generate traffic and noise.


Scheduled Baltimore County Council hearings on comprehensive rezoning:

District 6 -- Tomorrow, 7 p.m., Loch Raven High.

District 3 -- Monday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m., Dulaney High.

District 5 -- Thursday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m., Kenwood High.

District 4 -- Tuesday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m., Towson High.

District 2 -- Thursday Sept. 24, 7 p.m., Reisterstown High.

District 1 -- Wednesday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m., Lansdowne High.

NOTE: The hearing for District 7 was Sept. 1.

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