Number of houses, apartments planned for quarry sites cut

County Council members want more reductions

September 01, 1999|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Plans to build hundreds of homes at two huge Baltimore County quarry sites might be sharply reduced as a result of negotiations between County Council members and the owner of the quarries.

Council Chairman Kevin B. Kamenetz said Arundel Corp. officials agreed yesterday to cut the number of houses and apartments planned at their 286-acre Greenspring Quarry site from 850 to 750.

He said he will try to win additional reductions when he meets with Arundel in the next few weeks.

Kamenetz, a Pikesville-Randallstown Democrat, said he wants to cut the number of apartments planned for the quarry site -- currently making up more than half of the development's 750 homes -- by at least 100.

"They still have far too much multifamily housing going in there," he said.

The quarry on Greenspring Avenue is expected to close this year. Rob Hoffman, a lawyer for Arundel, said that he will continue to meet with Kamenetz, but declined to discuss the negotiations.

Councilman T. Bryan McIntire, the north county-Owings Mills Republican whose district includes the Delight Quarry near Reisterstown, said Arundel also has agreed to a 40 percent reduction in the proposed 476 homes for that quarry site. Plans to develop that 125-acre quarry site are two to three years away.

The discussions were prompted by a bill Kamenetz introduced in July that would amend a 1984 law and give the council the authority to review -- and possibly reject -- Arundel's plans to develop both quarry sites.

Arundel won planning board approval in January for 100 single-family homes, 120 townhouses and 256 apartments and an 80,000-square-foot village center at the Delight Quarry site.

The planning board also approved 850 homes and numerous shops and businesses at the Greenspring Quarry site around a 500-foot-deep lake that would be formed after the quarry is closed. That approval was initially granted in 1985 and renewed by the planning board in 1995.

Kamenetz's bill would require that quarry development plans be consistent with the county master plan, updated every 10 years and scheduled for a council review by the end of the year.

But Kamenetz tabled the measure Aug. 2 after Arundel officials asked that council members negotiate with them and threatened to sue if the bill passed.

Company officials say that both quarry plans were approved only after they met with community leaders and agreed to concessions that meant scaling back quarry operations, costing them millions of dollars.

Approval of the Greenspring project was valued "in the millions of dollars" when Arundel was sold in 1987 for $85 million to a Florida-based firm that makes concrete products.

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