Construction on 48 single-family homes near the Perry Hall-Kingsville line could begin within a year, developers said during a community input meeting Wednesday evening at the Perry Hall Library.
The development, known as Gunpowder Overlook, is planned for a 21.4-acre lot between Belair Road on the east, Forge Park Road on the west, Honeygo Boulevard on the south and Perry Hall Road on the north. More than 20 residents shared concerns about the development related to the local economy, traffic and the impact on local schools.
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Jeffrey Magness of Kingsville said he was concerned that an additional housing development would further lower the area's selling prices.
"[Developers] already built a lot of homes that are still just stagnating," Magness said. "I'm looking to sell my home right now."
Ronald Schaftel of Southern Land, a home-building firm, said it was too soon to tell what impact homes would have on a future housing market.
"If they were priced today, they'd probably be in the mid-$500,000 to $600,000 range. But there's not a lot of houses selling in that range right now," Schaftel said.
The property, which currently holds a vacant home on a steep hill, would be reshaped to accommodate a residential street. The neighborhood's entrance would rise about 18 feet between Belair Road and the first planned home on the south side, said Dean C. Hoover, principal civil engineer at Morris & Ritchie Associates.
Several residents said they were concerned about additional traffic congestion along Maryland Route 1.
"Especially during rush hour, this is going to be hellish to get out of," Magness said. "This is going to be a mess."
Hoover said he would be able to comment on traffic concerns after a Baltimore County study had been conducted, which is planned for after the school year begins.
Carole Nolet, who lives at the corner of Perry Hall Road and Belair Road, said her major concern was the impact on local schools.
"They are already overflowing," Nolet said. "I don't have any kids, but I care about the kids. I want them to be educated."
Based on the county's calculations, upon completion, the development is expected to add 11 students to Gunpowder Elementary, seven students to Perry Hall Middle and nine students to Perry Hall High, Hoover said.
"I'm going to give Baltimore County a pat on the back. They're very good at pinpointing exact numbers," he added.
The development plan is still in its beginning stages, said Darryl Putty, a Baltimore County project manager who recorded community concerns during the meeting.
Several adjustments, as well as a public hearing and a traffic study are expected to occur before construction begins, Putty said.
In spite of the lengthy process ahead, Schaftel said he was optimistic about the development's future.
"It is going to happen. We've been developing in Baltimore County for the past 20 years," he said. "We have a right to buy and subdivide properties, but we want to get the community involved with the property. We don't want angry neighbors."
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article stated that a vote would go before the County Council before construction would begin on the new housing development. However, a vote is not required. Patch regrets the error.