Marks Announces Final Perry Hall Downzoning Proposal
County Councilman David Marks announced his support for the downzoning of an additional 69 acres near the corner of Chapel Road and Joppa Road.
Following months of planning, paperwork and hearings, Baltimore County's 2012 Comprehensive Zoning Map Process is nearing a conclusive County Council vote on Aug. 28.
Councilman David Marks, a Perry Hall resident and first-term Republican, has used the process to propose hundreds of acres of downzoning in Perry Hall—an effort to lessen future development in the swelling community.
This week, Marks released his final formal announcement in support of downzoning 69 acres near the corner of Chapel Road and Joppa Road. In total, he has announced support for downzoning about 265 acres in Perry Hall.
Currently, the Chapel Road and Joppa Road property is zoned for commercial and medium residential uses, including BL, DR 3.5 H and DR 5.5. A portion is owned by the county, while the rest is privately owned. Marks has proposed rezoning 10.1 acres of the area into open space near the Meadows at Perry Hall neighborhood—a move that would virtually prevent any future development in that area. Under Marks' plan, the roughly 59 remaining acres would be downzoned to DR 1, one house per acre, the councilman announced.
"In making this decision, I considered the impact that future development will have on Chapel and Joppa Roads," Marks stated in his announcement. "This is one of the more lightly-developed parts of Perry Hall, and I would like it to retain a semi-rural character."
Rick Stecker, president of the nearby Honeygo Falls Homeowners Association, also announced his approval, stating, "This helps preserve a very special part of Perry Hall, while still giving propertyowners the ability to subdivide their land for lighter density development."
The 2012 Comprehensive Zoning Map Process examines zoning designations every four years. Issues considered for rezoning were first submitted between September and November 2011, and all property owners were notified of proposed changes over the past year. A series of public hearings have also been held.
Marks has repeatedly stated that he feels confident that all of his proposals related to rezoning will be approved by the County Council on Aug. 28.
Community feedback, the Office of Planning, the Planning Board, Marks' stance and the opinions of other councilmembers are each factored into the final vote.
The main resistance to many of his proposals has flowed from the Baltimore County Office of Planning. Donnell Zeigler, the 5th district's community planner, has claimed that downzoning properties, especially those owned by the county, can cause them to become needlessly devalued for resale.
"What I continue to hear from people in Perry Hall is they’re very concerned about schools and roads," Marks told Patch this month.
"I look at the high school which is overcrowded, Joppa View [Elementary] is at capacity, and I look at financial situation in the county—downzoning is the responsible thing to do," he said.
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