Not everyone is sweet on plans for Honeygo

January 16, 1994|By Patrick Gilbert | Patrick Gilbert,Staff Writer

Gus Moore and David Marks have strong feelings but different ideas of what Perry Hall's Honeygo area should be like in the future.

Mr. Moore, 59, owns 20 acres in the Honeygo area, a rural section of Perry Hall, and has lived there all of his life. His apple and peach orchards have been in the family for 140 years.

Mr. Marks, 20, also has lived in Perry Hall all of his life and, after graduating from the University of Maryland College Park, hopes to spend the rest of his life there.

They, along with more than 150 area residents, attended a public meeting Thursday to discuss what will be planned for the 3,000-acre Honeygo development area.

The land stretches from Belair Road north of Chapel Road to the Gunpowder Falls stream, then south along Interstate 95 and Philadelphia Road to Honeygo Run.

Thursday night's meeting ended with most residents favoring a low-density development that emphasizes single-family homes.

That pleased Mr. Marks, who believes development in the Perry Hall/White Marsh area has not been planned well and has overwhelmed local services, such as schools and recreation. Honeygo has to be done differently, he said.

"We have to plan this with future generations in mind," said Mr. Marks. "The plan must fulfill the needs of the community."

Mr. Moore said he couldn't sleep after the public meeting.

"If the low-density plan goes through, it will affect the value of my land," said Mr. Moore, whose 20 acres are zoned for townhouse development. He said he believes the value of his land would decrease.

Mr. Moore doesn't favor the low-density plan, which would allow 4,400 units. He also doesn't favor the current zoning, which allows 10,500 units. He is hoping for a compromise, but thinks the decision should be left to property owners.

"I don't like the idea of politicians and planners making this decision for me," he said.

A little more than a year ago, County Executive Roger B. Hayden responded to community pressure by proposing a three-year building moratorium in Honeygo. The County Council balked at the idea. A two-year voluntary moratorium on development is in effect.

Meanwhile, county officials and residents are studying how best to develop Honeygo. County planners came up with four development plans, which residents debated Thursday night.

"I hope the county now fully understands that no matter what kind of development goes into Honeygo, the county has to commit the money to match the infrastructure -- schools, roads, sewers -- with the density," Dorothy McMahon, president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association, said after the meeting.

The Honeygo Advisory Committee, a group of residents, landowners, developers, county bureaucrats and elected officials, will decide which plan to recommend to the county Planning Board.

County Councilman Vincent J. Gardina, who represents the area and serves on the advisory committee, said residents' arguments on the zoning issue might become moot.

"The idea is to make the Honeygo development a planned unit development, which means the planning will be done based on the best use of the land, not just the existing zoning," he said.

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