Building restrictions for duplexes could get tougher

Balto. Co. proposal aimed at Towson golf course plan

November 02, 2005|By JOSH MITCHELL | JOSH MITCHELL,SUN REPORTER

In a further attempt to check development of land owned by a Towson golf course, a Baltimore County councilman has proposed legislation that would subject plans involving duplex structures to a tougher review process.

But the proposal drew a cool reception yesterday from at least one council member, who questioned whether the proposal might have unforeseen consequences in other parts of the county.

Councilman Vincent J. Gardina's bill would prohibit duplex houses from being built on land zoned for one or two houses per acre. Plans for such houses on land zoned for 3.5 houses per acre would have to undergo public hearings and more county scrutiny.

Gardina, a Perry Hall-Towson Democrat, hopes to block a plan to build 56 duplex houses on 16 acres owned by the Country Club of Maryland in Towson. He has also proposed a building moratorium on 170 acres that includes the golf course, which is zoned for 3.5 houses per acre.

That bill is to be discussed at the council's Nov. 21 meeting.

"I'm worried that we're passing bills that affect us countywide," County Councilman Kevin Kamenetz, a Pikesville-Ruxton Democrat, said at yesterday's council work session. He suggested that the country club and community residents select a mediator and come up with a plan both sides agree on.

Gardina contended that his bill would help limit "infill" development - homes built in gaps of older neighborhoods.

About a half-dozen local real estate agents said Gardina's proposals would drive up home prices in surrounding areas and exacerbate what they called a serious shortage of affordable housing in the county.

Several people who live near the country club expressed to the council their support for the moratorium and the bill on duplex dwellings. They have complained that the project would take valuable trees, exacerbate flooding problems along Herring Run, further crowd public schools and increase traffic congestion.

"We do not want our community degraded," resident Joan Kolobielski told the council members.

josh.mitchell@baltsun.com

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