About six acres at Hines Road and Joppa Road could be barred from nearly all future development, according to a proposal by County Councilman David Marks.
"It is a densely populated corridor, with almost no forest area left between Joppa and Belair roads, and I think it should remain undeveloped," Marks said. "Frankly, I think this is in the best interest of the community."
Marks announced plans for the additional open space at Joppa Road about a week after he proposed 49 acres of open space along Honeygo Boulevard, also in Perry Hall.
Marks was the principal sponsor of a bill, passed by the County Council in March, that created a new open space zoning classification known as Neighborhood Commons. Previously, the lowest a potentially residential area could be downzoned was one house per acre, DR 1. Classification NC-DR 1, however, essentially leaves an area untouched by any construction.
Most of the 6.32-acre property, east of the Perry Hall Apartments on Joppa Road before the Hines Road intersection, is privately owned, Marks said, with a small portion belonging to Baltimore Gas and Electric.
The property owners were notified about the potential for a zoning change, he said, back in September 2011. They have not, however, contacted Marks or made any effort to oppose the downzoning.
"I have to make a decision in the best interest of the community," Marks said.
A representative of Perry Hall, LLP, the property management company of Perry Hall Apartments, declined to comment on the portion of land that is owned by the company and is proposed for open space.
Marks has made several attempts at downzoning areas in Perry Hall since taking office in 2010. He first announced plans to lower the development potential of nearly 300 acres of land in Perry Hall in December 2011. The Baltimore County Office of Planning, however, has stated its opposition to nearly all of the downzoning proposals, claiming that they would needlessly devalue the land.
Marks' proposals and the Office of Planning's stance, as well as Planning Board recommendations and community feedback, will be factored into the county's 2012 Comprehensive Zoning Map Process, which reexamines zoning designations every four years. The County Council is scheduled to vote on the final zoning map by Sept. 16.
Do you think Perry Hall is in need of more open space? Tell us in the comments which areas you believe should be protected from development.