Baltimore County Councilman Todd Huff has postponed consideration of a housing development near Timonium that has drawn strong opposition from neighbors.
Huff has pulled his resolution seeking council approval for 33 attached homes on Pot Spring Road near Old Bosley Road, the first of several approvals the developer will need to complete the project. The matter will not go before a council work session next week or come up for a vote the following week, as had been scheduled.
An aide to Huff said he wanted to give the developer, Jeffrey C. Kirby, time to revise the proposal after a Monday night meeting that drew a crowd of about 200 residents, most of whom were opposed to the plans.
Huff "felt there was not enough time between the meeting Monday night and the work session" scheduled for this Tuesday, aide Marcie Goodman said. Goodman said he will let the community know when or if Kirby offers a revised plan.
Dr. Paul Apostolo, a leader of the community opposition, said Thursday that he appreciated Huff's decision, but he said neighbors want to be "assured of no further PUD proposals on Pot Spring Road. … The community is certain that conventional development is a better option for both the community and the developer."
Kirby is seeking approval for a planned unit development, a designation that allows developers to build more homes than the zoning permits in exchange for a defined community benefit. He's proposing 33 homes, 20 more than the zoning allows.
Under the county code, the community benefit could include construction that meets established green building standards, a community park, or senior or work force housing. In his resolution, Huff argues that Kirby's proposal meets the requirement because it would be built for people 55 and older.
At a two-hour meeting Monday night in Cockeysville, residents urged Huff to withdraw his resolution, briefly chanting, "Say no, say no, say no." Several wanted to know why the new councilman had introduced it at all, given that he had pledged to meet with neighbors first, according to members of the opposition group Savepotspring.org.
Former Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, a strong campaign supporter for Huff but an opponent of the Pot Spring development, said she would have expected him to let her know if he had changed his mind.
"I was in politics a long time," said Bentley, a Republican who served 10 years in Congress. "If I ever backtracked, I called and told them about it … This is a lesson any elected official should know."
Huff could not be reached for comment. Messages left for Kirby were not returned.
The community organization presented a list of 10 key objections to Kirby's proposal, arguing that it includes too many homes, does not allow for visitor parking, proposes inadequate traffic management and encroaches on property in the resource conservation zone that takes up about a third of the 101/4 -acre tract.
Some of the biggest cheers at the meeting came for calls to limit any development on that wooded site to the 13 single-family homes allowed under current zoning.
Kirby argued that his plan would have less impact on the neighborhood than single-family homes because many of the residents would be retired and would be unlikely to have children living at home.