One of my priorities over the past two years has been to preserve open space in our communities. During the 2012 rezoning process, at my request, the Baltimore County Council applied open space zoning to 54 acres in Towson, 47 acres in Parkville, and 72 acres in Perry Hall. As a result, the Fifth District now has more land zoned for open space than any other County Council district.
This week, we announced that Baltimore County will protect more than 38 acres of forested land at two locations in Perry Hall, the largest dedication of open space in more than a decade in this part of northeastern Baltimore County.
The county will reclassify about eight acres of publicly-owned land in western Perry Hall as the Seven Oaks Environmental Conservation Area. This is the wooded property in the 9200 block of Seven Courts Drive, north of the Seven Oaks Senior Center and southwest of Pinedale Drive.
Baltimore County will also preserve about 30 acres of publicly-owned land to the north and south of the existing Indian Rock Park, creating an almost-uninterrupted greenway from East Joppa Road to White Marsh Boulevard. This will become the Indian Rock Environmental Conservation Area.
Not only is this announcement important for the environment, but it is great for taxpayers. The land was already owned by Baltimore County; the Indian Rock area, in fact, was the never-used alignment for Perry Hall Boulevard. The only cost is for two signs, one at each area.
I first talked about this concept in February. Quite frankly, I did not want this county-owned land ever surplused for development. By creating the conservation areas, we made it highly unlikely that a future County Executive or County Council will ever try to auction off these environmentally-sensitive regions.