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Committee to Review Land Use Near Perry Hall Library

Community members will review the county's prospective use of public land, between the library and planned Bishops Meadow housing development.

A planned next to the , known as Bishops Meadow, will likely result in a sizable land parcel being deeded over to Baltimore County for public use.

But the county's use of the expected of space, directly southeast of the library along Honeygo Boulevard, is at least partially in the hands of community members.

has appointed a committee to recommend the best possible use of the land, Marks' office announced on Sunday.

Committee members will include:

  • Committee chair , former member of the
  • with the
  • , president of the
  • Ed Beranek, White Marsh Recreation Council
  • Norman Crouse, a nearby resident
  • ,
  • , owner of
  • , president of the
  • Kelly Szczybor, a local resident

“The zoning for the [Bishops Meadow] project was in place before my election and I cannot influence the development of this site,” Marks stated in the press release. “But I do want to make sure that if the project is approved, the uses at the community site have strong local consensus.”

Bishops Meadow remains in the planning stages. It was the subject of a on Dec. 8, led by developer Jonathan C. Mayers, president of Chesapeake Realty Partners. Mayers was instrumental in planning , a popular Perry Hall shopping center along Honeygo Boulevard.

The proposed lot of public land is part of a land-swap deal, included in the plans for Bishops Meadow, Mayers said during the meeting. It is large enough to house a county senior center or possible gymnasium.

Some have already suggested that the space be used for the  complex, according to Marks. 

What would you like to see built next to the Perry Hall Library? Tell us in the comments.

Johnny D January 09, 2012 at 10:27 PM
The land should be used for athletic fields or a gymnasium. It would be a perfect fit between the neighborhood and the library.
Sharon P. January 09, 2012 at 11:30 PM
I agree Johnny! Our kids are playing indoor soccer games @ 9:30 @ night. That shows that we do not have enough facilities for your children to play organized sports. Another possibity is a teen center that would have to be manned by the parents whose kids sign up for a specific time period.
Evets January 10, 2012 at 12:18 AM
"Our kids are playing indoor soccer games @ 9:30 @ night. That shows that we do not have enough facilities for your children to play organized sports" Or it could be that we have too many children playing organized sports... Just sayin' I think the county should build a velodrome.
Evets January 10, 2012 at 12:20 AM
BTW, when is the park at the corner of Honeygo and Joppa (Gough Park) going to be completed? Years ago a baseball backstop was put in place there, along with a sign alerting residents that a 'Lighted 90' baseball field' was to be constructed there. Maybe the county should finish that job before worrying about the land near the library.
David Marks January 10, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Evets, the park at Joppa Road and Honeygo Boulevard is funded through the design stage, but due to cutbacks in Program Open Space funding from the state, there is no money for construction. This project is at the top of the list once money becomes available. Regarding the library site that is the focus of this article, if a recreation complex is the recommendation, quite a bit of money has already been raised. Not everything needs to be financed by the government.
Tracy Dietrich January 10, 2012 at 02:03 AM
thanks for the clarification David - you're doing a great job!
Rebecca Jenkins January 10, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I think a great idea for the space would be a gymnasium center with a pool! There really is no pool in Perry Hall for year round use. What would be great about a pool is that all ages, from kids all the way to seniors, can use the pool to enhance their health. Many people are so limited in exercise - many are unable to walk, or are cautioned against running due to health problems, however aquatics is something that all ages, even those with disabilities, can use.
thomas gary likens January 10, 2012 at 01:06 PM
while were on the land use topic who is responsable for fixing the fence around the forest conservation area on chapel rd. across from chapel valley apts. it looks like a land fill .!!!! thomas g. likens.
Matt January 10, 2012 at 01:16 PM
We really could use a dog park on the east side of Baltimore County.
julkd1 January 10, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I love the idea of a year round aquatics facility. Perry Hall Swim Teams!!! That is my dream for this area.
venu January 10, 2012 at 03:12 PM
As Rebecca mentioned 'pool' is what's missing in our town, which is much needed and useful to most people. The Y center on ebnezer is a express center doesn't have plans to add a pool.
bernieb. January 10, 2012 at 03:13 PM
I don't know what can be "built" on a plot of land that is less than an acre, less than the size of a football field(minus endzones). 45K+ sq. ft. to an acre, I believe. This area is a little over 32K sq. ft. With access roads, parking and probably a buffer zone required, between the new housing and whatver is to be built, it doesn't leave too much room for some of the things proposed in previous posts.
Missy Lauterbach January 10, 2012 at 05:05 PM
This constant development and land clearing is leaving no natural space. Why not plant some native shrubs and trees and cut a small multched trail that leads to a few benches where people can sit and read books from the library? It would be inexpensive and beneficial to the community and the environment. Nature walks can be lead from the library...butterfly programs or bird talks.
Missy Lauterbach January 10, 2012 at 06:01 PM
This is a great example... http://www.childrenandnature.org/blog/2012/01/10/providing-places-to-play-in-nature/
bernieb. January 10, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Amen. I agree with you Missy. It just amazes me that this parcel of land, 25+ acres, was deemed "too small" to have an elementary school go on it as originally planned. Now we have 50 individual homes and who knows what else to be built on the same piece of land. Here we thought all the time that it was the community outcry that nixed the placing of a schoolbus depot there. Now we know the rest of the story. It was just a ruse. You think that the county bowed to our wishes? Not a chance. It's the developers and builders winning out as usual in Baltimore County. Now they're going to throw us a bone. 32,500 sq. ft. Wow!!!
Maria G. January 10, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I whole-heartedly agree with Missy Lauterbach!!! Having spent 3 months in Europe, I can tell you that one of the most impressive things we saw were the huge parks for everyone to use for leisure walking, and reading. The parks were tree-laden with park benches for reading, gravel trails, and a variety of shrubs. The physical and psychological effect of a green area for relaxation and socializing are trememdous. These parks were well-used by people of ALL ages. We have enough houses, stores, and buildings in Perry Hall...we need greenery and a place for solace and relaxation! The location is ideal, being so close to the area library.
David Marks January 10, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Mr. or Mrs. Beres (Bernieb), I am well aware of the school bus depot because I helped defeat that proposal; I don't know your level of involvement. I've also made it very clear that as a freshman County Councilmember, I cannot block this project because it is based on existing zoning. I am, however, potentially downzoning 280 acres of land in Perry Hall to limit future development. That is equal to more than six times the acreage of Perry Hall High School. No conspiracy theories - those are the facts.
Amy Young January 10, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Reading books outside is one of my favorite pastimes. Missy, thanks for providing the link about nature play areas. There's a wonderful one in Montgomery County at Brookside Gardens (http://tinyurl.com/7spueo4). My son and I spend a lot of time playing at the Perry Hall Library, and it would be wonderful to have a nature play area nearby to further enrich our playtime/learning experiences.
Cathy January 10, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Isn't the traffic along Honeygo Blvd.overwhelming as it is and now your planning to add 50 more homes there, when do you start listing to your constituents that put you in office. I remember way back a traffic light was being considered along Honeygo & Cross but that was soon forgotten.... We are tired of all the traffic,deliveries, school buses & other vehicles that new homes will bring, I agree with the quiet park with benches for reading, leisure walking,picnicking, relaxing and socializing for all ages. How many more existing zoning are going to surface before the new year is out??
bernieb. January 10, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Councilman, My neighbors and I had just as much if not more involvement in defeating the bus depot as you had. We don't have to crow about it because we're not running for public office. According to you everything must be etched in stone as far as the zoning is concerned. It sounds as if no existing zoning can be changed and yet you say your working on "downzoning" areas in Perry Hall. If nothing can be changed, what was the parcel of ground zoned for when initially an elementary school was to be built there and what was the zoning when the bus depot was proposed?
Karen B January 10, 2012 at 10:36 PM
I have said from day one, it should be a teen center with a pool. It can also be used for other members of the community during school hours for other activities. Mon-Fri 8am-3pm ..... Sat & Sun 8am -5pm for Adults and children. Mon-Thurs 3pm-9pm Teens, Sat 5pm-12pm teens. It would benefit everyone in the community. The adults would love it, it would give our teens a safe place to go and have fun on Fri and Sat nights. It could be like a Family/Teen Fun center. Now that they have placed the curfew at the Avenue and the Mall for the teens, they need a place to go. This facility could have video games, pool tables, air hockey tables, ping pong, a Large pool with slide and so many other fun things. It would be a great addition to the community and give our teenagers a safe place to go, as well as volunteer for community service hours for High School. NO MORE HOMES!!!! Enough already. I have been hearing about a new High School which we desperately need since 1999 and it's been nothing but new homes and no new school. The developers need to get over their greedy needs and think of the communities needs.
Evets January 10, 2012 at 11:52 PM
A dog park? What park in Baltimore County is not a dog park? I have stopped taking my kids to play at Honeygo Regional Park because of all the dogs**t in that park. You can't walk or run 5 feet w/o stepping in it or having to dodge the piles. Same goes for the park on Snyder Lane, Belmont Park, and any of the school grounds. Clean up after your pets and maybe you would get some support for a dog park. BTW, I have a dog and a huge supply of plastic bags that are used to clean up after her. Ain't that hard...
Evets January 11, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Cry me a river about developers and builders. It was likely developers and definitely builders that built the houses that all these whiners live in. People need to remember that at one time there was little or no human habitation in what is today Perry Hall. I guess the neighborhood started to go to pot when Mr. Gough built his mansion up on the hill. Can't you just picture some Indian, pardon me, Native American, watching the mansion going up, thinking about the greed of this new generation of landowners. And we have not stopped moving into Perry Hall yet. I moved to Perry Hall 20 years ago, into a house that is 70 years old. Wish I would have remembered to close the gate so that no one else could enjoy the experience of living in such an open and welcoming community.
Andrew January 11, 2012 at 01:12 AM
I am in favor of a gym, senior center, or any other facility that would not result in a drastic increase in traffic on Honeygo Blvd.
David Marks January 11, 2012 at 02:10 AM
I would like to thank all of you who have made productive and positive comments.
Emily Kimball (Editor) January 11, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Share your suggestions in our poll, http://patch.com/A-qcVm POLL: What Belongs Next to the Library? The choices are, an indoor public pool, an indoor gymnasium complex, a senior center or other (share your answer in the comments).
Paul Amirault January 12, 2012 at 11:09 AM
This project was described as a 2.5 acre parcel (100,000 sq ft) at the community input meeting, not a 32,500 sq ft parcel. Looking at the drawing it is closer to 100,000 sq ft as the lots must be 85 feet wide.
Heather January 13, 2012 at 03:06 AM
I am dismayed to hear that more homes will be built with no consideration for building or adding additions to any of the existing schools. My kids go to Gunpowder, and it is very overcrowded. My daughter's first grade class has 27 kids and they are packed in there like sardines. I am very worried what the middle and high schools will be like in a few more years...it's only going to get worse!
Cathy January 14, 2012 at 05:06 PM
My understanding that the land at Cross and Honeygo known as "Bishops Meadows" belongs to the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, if this is true, I just can't understand why the Archdiocese would deed over to Baltimore County for public use this parcel of land for a 50-house development when we need more schools no matter how big/small in Perry Hall. No child should be in classrooms housing 27 students. I also feel this is a burden for the teachers. Give us residents some kind of educational or socializing community not more homes.

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