In Arbutus, people petitioned to save forests near Patapsco Valley State Park and a snowball stand.
In Pikesville, neighborhood activists wore matching green "No up-zoning" T-shirts. And in northern Baltimore County, preservationists presented highly detailed analyses, including traffic projections, for dozens of zoning requests being considered by county officials.
The final public hearing before the Baltimore County Planning Board about the comprehensive rezoning map process is tonight.
The board will hear public comment about 47 requests for zoning changes in the County Council's 7th District, which includes Dundalk, Millers Island and Edgemere.
Among them is a request by Councilman John Olszewski Sr. to reduce the density of residential units that could be built at the site of the former Yorkway Apartments.
"The community doesn't want see another apartment complex," said Carolyn Jones, president of the Greater Dundalk Alliance.
The crime-ridden apartment complex was purchased by the county, and the last building was demolished about a month ago.
Residents are also concerned about a request by a property owner to change residential zoning on a 1.6-acre parcel at Lynch and Eddlynch roads to "Business Local."
The property includes one of the original Dundalk farmhouses, according to community leaders, and the idea of it becoming another grocery store or carryout is disheartening, they say.
Overall, though, there seem to be fewer controversial issues, compared with some parts of the county, said Olszewski, a Dundalk Democrat.
The hearings held this month on the zoning change requests have been well-attended.
In the 3rd District, if each of the 240 residents who wanted to talk about zoning changes had been given the standard three minutes to speak, the meeting would have lasted 12 hours.
Because of the importance of land issues to residents, Olszewski said, he always forms a committee of neighborhood leaders and business owners to review the zoning requests. The rezoning map process takes place every four years.
"The more input, the better," Olszewski said.
In mid-May, the planning board will issue its recommendations.
Another series of public hearings will be held in June by the County Council, which ultimately approves any zoning changes in September.
Tonight's hearing is at 7 p.m. at Patapsco High School, 8100 Wise Ave. in Dundalk.
For more information about the requests and process, go to www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/planning/zoning/2008czmp/index.html.
Zoning change requests
A sampling of requests for zoning changes in the 7th District, which includes Dundalk and Millers Island:
Thompson 124 Northpoint Ltd. Partnership seeks to change manufacturing zoning on a 9.4 acre site at North Point Boulevard and East Baltimore Street in the Canton Industrial Park to "Business-Major," which allows large-scale commercial development.
A property owner seeks to change rural conservation zoning on nearly 6 acres near Potomac and Linden avenues near Batavia Park to allow higher-density residential zoning.
Wells-McComas Citizens Improvement Association seeks to change manufacturing designation that permits industrial use on 30 acres in the neighborhood to rural conservation and residential zoning.
[Source: Baltimore County Office of Planning; 2008 CZMP Log of Issues]