600 zoning proposals await Baltimore Co. Council

August 24, 2008|By Nick Madigan | Nick Madigan,nick.madigan@baltsun.com

The Baltimore County Council faces a busy schedule Tuesday, with action expected on more than 600 requests for changes as officials seek to complete the county's official zoning map, a redrawing process undertaken every four years.

At its 6 p.m. meeting, the council will consider amending the zoning classification of individual properties after hearing recommendations from the county Planning Board. The council, which may reject or change any of the planners' suggestions, will adopt a separate map for each council district.

"It's a big deal," said Councilman Vincent J. Gardina of the 5th District, where 58 requests for changes will be considered. There is unlikely to be much, if any, dissent from his fellow council members, he said, which should make the process go smoothly.

"You don't like to stir the pot," said Gardina, a Democrat. "Even if I disagree with an issue, I don't want them voting against mine."

Nevertheless, he said, there might be some discussion of zoning changes submitted by Republican colleague T. Bryan McIntire, who represents the huge 3rd District. Gardina said some of the properties would not be eligible for consideration because they are owned by the state or the county.

Earlier, McIntire said he had not yet made his mind up about some of more than 230 proposals from his district, and that he disagreed with "about 100" of the planners' recommendations for them.

"Where we agree with the Planning Board, we vote as a bloc," he said. "Where I disagree with the board, you have to go into each one."

Many proposals, however, appeared to be a done deal. "It's a mapping process," McIntire said, "so I have to tell [planners] ahead of time what I'm going to do or they would never have time to put it together."

Thomas J. Peddicord Jr., the council secretary, said he doubted that there would be controversy about the zoning changes. "I would bet you there won't be any discussion at any of them," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, at 2 p.m., council members are to attend a work session in anticipation of their Sept. 2 legislative session.

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