Eight-story building may be built at Green Spring Station, panel rules Residents protest, say traffic will be problem

August 14, 1998|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,SUN STAFF

An eight-story retail and office complex may be built at Green Spring Station in Lutherville, a Baltimore County panel ruled yesterday after a three-hour hearing marked by angry protests from eight community groups in Ruxton and Green Spring Valley.

County review group members Bob Bowling and Lynn Lanham, representing the Department of Public Works and Office of Planning and Community Conservation, agreed that developers can move forward with the 130,000-square-foot structure, which would include five levels of parking, three stories of offices and 30,000 square feet of retail space.

"The property owners intend to move forward promptly," said Stuart D. Kaplow, attorney for developer Herb Fredeking, president of Foxleigh Enterprises.

About 65 residents who live near the complex at Falls and Greenspring Valley roads turned out to protest the plan because they fear it will attract more traffic to the intersection and overburden the county sewage system in the northern suburbs.

The residents had asked Bowling and Lanham to delay a decision on the development plan for at least one month so additional traffic and sewage studies could be conducted by county engineers. Residents predict the development could attract up to 4,000 new commuters to the area, which draws 25,000 vehicles a day.

Bowling said 1997 traffic counts show that the intersection is heavily traveled but not so overcrowded that it should hinder development at the complex. He refused to wait for traffic studies being conducted in October when schools are open and construction is completed on the Pikesville-to-Towson section of Interstate 695.

"It may stink, but that's county law," Bowling said, as he was booed by residents.

"It is strictly politics," said Norma Reed, who lives in The Meadows, a Lutherville subdivision.

The Foxleigh project would be built on the site of a 250-space parking lot between two retail buildings and Greenspring Racquet Club. It is one of two projects proposed for the station. Last spring, developer Howard Brown and William Hirshfeld, who owns the 22-year-old Greenspring Racquet Club, revealed plans to raze the club and build two office buildings with 242,000 square feet and a parking deck.

Jim Tebay, spokesman for the community coalition, said the groups' representatives will decide by the end of the month whether to appeal the panel's ruling on the Foxleigh project to the Board of Appeals.

Pub Date: 8/14/98

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