Neighbors protest plan to extend Bosley Avenue to Dulaney Valley Road Increased traffic feared from proposal in 1992 growth guide

December 04, 1997|By Suzanne Loudermilk | Suzanne Loudermilk,SUN STAFF

A proposal to extend a major thoroughfare in Towson has sparked a protest from hundreds of residents who fear the project would harm their neighborhoods.

In a letter-writing campaign, they are asking county officials to delete a recommendation in Towson's growth plan that calls for stretching Bosley Avenue to Dulaney Valley Road.

"Our biggest concern is mostly traffic," Cheryl Reilly of Towson Park said yesterday. "If the extension goes through, we're afraid it will bring more traffic at higher rates of speed."

Community members say they already have difficulty maneuvering on the congested roads. They said they expect traffic to get worse as Beltway travelers increasingly use their roads as shortcuts and an 18-acre parcel in their midst is redeveloped.

The decades-old neighborhoods, designated a community conservation area by the county, include almost 1,000 townhouses, apartments, condominiums and detached homes bounded by York and Dulaney Valley roads and intersected by Fairmount Avenue.

During last year's comprehensive rezoning process, the 18-acre parcel, the site of the Dulaney Valley garden apartments, was rezoned -- a move that could allow the development to grow from about 250 units to more than 900.

Del. James M. Kelly, a Republican who represents Towson, supported his constituents at a community meeting Tuesday.

"My position is that I'm against this cut-through," he told the crowd of about 50. "It's only going to increase the traffic flow and traffic speed."

If the road is built, two houses on Locustvale Road would have to be razed. And just the prospect of the extension is affecting the sale of properties, said Emory Brown, a real estate agent with O'Conor, Piper and Flynn.

"It has a definite, dramatic effect on houses along Locustvale and could extend to [the current] Bosley," he said.

Usually, a house in the Towson area sells within 70 days, Brown said, adding that he has been trying to sell a three-bedroom colonial on Locustvale Road for eight months.

But county officials said they don't understand the fuss.

The road extension "is not a main priority," said Public Works Director Charles R. "Bob" Olsen. "I wouldn't object if it dropped off the plan. I don't see any driving need to extend Bosley Avenue."

Said County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, "The funding is not in place. It's not one of my priorities. I don't see it happening during my administration."

Residents worry about the repercussions if the road-extension proposal remains in the 1992 Towson Community Plan, a guide for the county seat's commercial and residential growth.

"It can happen down the road," said Lynn Johnson of Towson Park. "Even if Dutch doesn't do it, what happens when the next person comes and they won't be privy to any previous conversations?"

County planners will make recommendations on the 10-year master plan, which includes the Towson Community Plan, to the planning board next month. A public hearing is scheduled for April.

After more deliberations by the planning board, the proposed master plan will move to the County Council, which also will hold a public hearing.

The council could vote on the master plan -- which is advisory, not binding, -- next year or in 1999.

Pub Date: 12/04/97

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