Panel OKs zoning for Remington apartments

Change to allow 6-story, 47-unit building on lot

October 08, 2001|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

Baltimore's planning commission has voted to change the zoning on a vacant lot in Remington from business to residential, clearing the way for a six-story, 47-unit apartment building there.

The bill affecting the site was approved 8-1, and the rezoning proposal will move to the Baltimore City Council. The lot is owned by Un Kim, the Papermoon Diner proprietor who proposed building a late-night restaurant with live music there last year, an idea that never took hold after neighbors objected.

A plan to build market-rate apartments in the 2800 block of Cresmont Ave., next to the Papermoon, attracted mixed reviews from North Baltimore residents last week, with objections over scale, parking, shade and light.

Remington Neighborhood Alliance officers criticized the developer and the plan at Thursday's hearing. "This is a house of cards," said alliance President Ward Eisinger.

Eisinger said residents were concerned about parking problems and the increased population density that the apartment building would bring to the neighborhood, which has mostly rowhouses, with some industrial and commercial streets and a police task force office nearby in the 200 block of W. 29th St.

Eisinger told the commission he had hoped to live with his family in the shade of sycamore trees, not in the shadow of a large building.

Alliance members also charged that the business bearing the name of the developer, Sandy Marenberg, has not been officially incorporated in the state. Marenberg told the panel it was a "paper problem" he would correct.

Sarah Fawcett-Lee, a resident serving on a four-member task force working with the developers, told the panel she was "thrilled" to see a sizable investment, estimated at $6 million, in Remington.

Marenberg said he and his project partner, Earl Armiger, were excited about building close to the Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus, the Jones Falls Expressway and Pennsylvania Station, which they hoped would draw tenants who want easy access to their workplace or downtown.

Joan Floyd, an alliance officer, described the bill as "spot zoning" for a specific purpose and said townhouses would be more appropriate. She and other alliance members recently published a study identifying other possible uses for the site, including a day care center and a medical facility.

No date has been set for the City Council to review the proposal.

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