Marks' Zoning Plan Calls for Curbing Perry Hall Development

Plan proposed by Baltimore County Councilman David Marks is expected to reduce possible increases in density and development of more than 280 acres of Perry Hall.

Referring to land zoning as one of his "most important responsibilities," recently , which spans Towson and Perry Hall.

More than half of the impacted area, about 281 acres, would be located within Perry Hall's boundaries, Marks informed Patch Tuesday afternoon.

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The plan calls for the immediate downzoning of about 72 acres with a review of 209 more. The downzoning process would reduce possible increases in density and development. Many areas that currently allow 5.5 dwelling units per acre would be reduced to 1 dwelling unit per acre, based on the plan.

Plan proposals 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.

While downzoning can help lessen the stress on public infrastructure, including schools and roads, it also tends to lower a property's selling value and may restrict the actions of prospective home builders, home buyers, investors and business owners, according to county zoning documents.

"On the one hand, development creates jobs and expands Baltimore County's tax base, and I respect the right of property owners to make a profit by selling their land," Marks stated. "On the other hand, I am concerned about the ability of our schools and infrastructure to absorb growth, and I want to preserve the quality of life that has made Perry Hall such an appealing community."

Zoning changes to the latter 209 acres are pending discussions with community members over the next eight months.

"I will be seeking input from property owners, the planning board and the general public before making any decisions," Marks stated.

Marks previously told Patch that his downzoning plan aligns well with the goals of the , in February 2011, which he assisted in writing while serving as president of the .

Are you in support of preventing new housing developments from entering some areas of Perry Hall? Tell us in the comments.

The plan calls for the immediate downzoning of the following 72 acres:



Proposed Zoning Changes*

Undeveloped land west of near the Tremper Farms and Northgate Hall communities 37.1 From DR 5.5, DR 3.5 and DR 1, to all DR 1
Land north of and , between and , including the abandoned right-of-way for the section of that was never built. 11.7

From DR 5.5 to DR 1

Forested land west of the 12.3 From DR 10.5 to DR 1 Forested land west of the Cedarside Farms community 7.4 From DR 5.5 and DR 3.5 to DR 1 Land surrounding and including the on Meetinghouse Road 3.9 From DR 2 to DR 1

Additional downzoning of 209 acres, pending input from community members, includes:

Area Acreage Current Zoning*
Large, relatively undeveloped region between East Joppa Road and north of Bowline Road 69.7 DR 5.5, DR 3.5H and BL** Land located northwest of and , a heavily forested property and one of the largest blocks of undeveloped land in Perry Hall 55.8 DR 5.5 and DR 3.5
Wooded property along Perry Hall Boulevard between and Silver Spring Road 41 DR 16, DR 10.5 and BM*** Undeveloped land near and the Red Fox Farms community 10.9 DR 5.5 and DR 3.5 Forested land north of on 8.7 DR 3.5 Undeveloped land north of and Silvage roads 7.2 DR 2 Undeveloped land north of Gunview Farm Court off 7.1 DR 2 Forested land east of the power lines and the on Joppa Road 6.3 DR 5.5 Undeveloped property south and west of 2.7 DR 5.5

*Density Residential (DR) zones 1-16 are defined by the number of dwelling units allowed per acre. Buildings may not be constructed more than 50 feet high in DR 1-10.5. Buildings may be constructed up to 60 feet high in DR 16.

**Business, Local (BL) zones allow for a wide variety of businesses, including retailers, personal services, banks, taverns, grocery stores and medical clinics.

***Business, Major (BM) zones allow for service garages, theaters and warehouses, in addition to businesses permitted in BL zones.

More detailed information on zoning designations is available on the Baltimore County website, the Quick View online database and the Citizen's Guide to Planning and Zoning.

Leah December 07, 2011 at 02:36 PM
I hope I'm not the only one that notices that a lot of these developing options require cutting down almost all of the forested areas of Perry Hall. Why can't we have a little bit of conservation going on? We don't have room for all these new developments. I agree that, if not conserving these undeveloped lands, we should be limiting the amount of housing. The more developments you put in Perry Hall, the less demand there will be. And if you know anything about economics that means the prices of houses will drop. Urban sprawl, anyone? The schools are mostly maxed or ridiculously close to capacity and from what I understand there is not enough room in the northern Baltimore County area to build another high school. Stop developing an area that isn't ready to grow!
JCG December 07, 2011 at 02:53 PM
Mr. Marks is on "the mark" by attempting to limit development in an already "built out" Perry Hall. Of real concern to me is the overcrowded schools in the area as reported earlier in the "Patch". The Elementary and Middle Schools are busting at the seams. The Perry Hall High School is also overcrowded. The previous County Executive REFUSED to deal with the problem.....in fact, he thought there WAS no problem. We need to AT LEAST set aside some land ( if there is any left ) for a high school. The "Crossroads at 95 " would be a good area for a high school. In fact, we could build just an annex to Perry Hall HS ( which would require less acreage thus lowering the cost to build ) to be used by 9th / 10th graders . Right now, A Royal Farms store is being built at the "Crossroads". Folks, we don't need another convenience store ! WE NEED A HIGH SCHOOL !!!
Tim December 07, 2011 at 03:24 PM
Holy cow, and he's a Republican. This is my kind of Republican, to be honest. The first step in reducing overcrowding at our schools, since the County is at the mercy of the tax and spend governor to allocate funds for new schools here. Well done good sir, and I was actually surprised you recognized me at the Parade this past weekend!
Tim December 07, 2011 at 03:25 PM
Let's not forget all the awful drugstores degrading our neighborhoods.
Dottie Cordwell December 07, 2011 at 03:27 PM
I know that our public infrastructure, including schools and roads are maxed out. We do need trees or we will be more prone to flooding because of the run off. As an area Realtor, I am concerned about only one home per area. Are people going to be able to afford the homes? If they do manage to buy one of these homes, which I am sure will be expensive, will they be able to continue paying the mortgage? Are we asking for more foreclosures and short sales in the area? This also brings down our property values. Just a thought.
Tim December 07, 2011 at 03:32 PM
Homes are only worth what people are willing to pay for them, Dottie. Supply and demand. There's a good reason all these new home sites aren't "selling like hotcakes". Your concerns are better suited for a macro/national policy level, which is where the real issues and conlfict lie, imho.
PAA December 07, 2011 at 06:40 PM
Hmm...instead of one house per acre, how about none. Let's keep some trees. Schools and roads over crowded already. Glad to see someone in government going in the right direction, not just looking out for the interest of builders and others NOT in the community.
LalainMaryland December 07, 2011 at 10:30 PM
Leah, You do realize that down zoning means saving trees, right?
Bill Howard December 08, 2011 at 04:43 AM
@PAA If you want "NONE" are you willing to pay for it? That is someone else' s property. What if some decided you have too many cars or clothes? May we take them? However, builders don't care about crouded schools and roads. The county used to have a moritorium on building when these were too full. Then money got spread around during the Ruppersberger and Smith years and builders could do as thet pleased.
Bill Howard December 08, 2011 at 04:45 AM
@Bears Marks has responded and has done worthwhile and is not up for reelection in 2012.......so you sound like a fool. Try backing up what you say.
Jason Danaher December 08, 2011 at 07:38 AM
I am all for this plan. My dad and i have a reat estate business in perry hall. The amount of people moving in and the infrastructure not keeping up with development has made congestion in the area. The only thing I would like to see is more stores like home depot, grocery stores. Until ace hardware opened it was a 20 min plus drive to goto loews or home depot.
David Marks December 08, 2011 at 11:48 AM
Tim, thank you very much and for obviously caring about the community we all love.
David Marks December 08, 2011 at 12:15 PM
I would like to thank all of the writers above, minus one, who made thoughtful, accurate, and constructive comments. The readers of Perry Hall Patch know of my love for this community and the work I have accomplished over the past year.
Christie Pulvino December 08, 2011 at 01:38 PM
It is so nice to see a responsive and involved politician. So far I support your initiatives from curbing housing development, working with Kimco to secure more commercial tenants at the Perry Hall Shopping center, the Indian Rock park extension, dog park, etc. Great job Councilman Marks!
Barb February 13, 2012 at 07:09 PM
It is so sad Mr. Marks wasn't in office sooner to help poor Forge Road. What a nightmare! I see a future of unsold, weed-covered lots and more on the way.
Emily Kimball (Editor) March 20, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Check out Patch's live blog of the March 20 Planning Board meeting, updates coming at 7 p.m., here - http://perryhall.patch.com/articles/live-blog-district-5-rezoning-hearing-at-perry-hall-high
Nicole K. June 05, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I don't see how downzoning and preserving space as Councilman Marks proposes decreases property values. In fact, the preservation of space and establishment of a more livable community makes a community more attractive. I think the argument of whether or not people can pay falls to the companies that approve people for mortgages. I would imagine some of the poor decisions mortgage companies and consumers made to provide for balloon type and interest only mortgages will hurt a lot of people who bought the big homes in Honeygo who, at the end of the day, really couldn't afford them. That will leave a surplus of negative equity homes and foreclosures more than anything else.
Sassy July 26, 2012 at 05:31 PM
I think any further housing would make the community less desirable with houses on top of one another. One of the factors that dictate desirability of a community is the way the neighborhoods are kept by its owners and whether or not its a safe place to live. If the community is not desirable, who would want to live in it? Also, the existing houses for sale would complete with the new housing. That's not helping individual home owners. Hopefully, they won't build Section 8s anywhere cause if that happens, there goes the neighborhood.


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