Residents Express Concerns Over New 516 Apartment Development In White Marsh

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Credit: Baltimore County Project Manager John Krach

WHITE MARSH - On Tuesday night, Baltimore County residents gathered to discuss a proposed 516-unit apartment building adjacent to the White Marsh Mall.

The overwhelming attitude of the meeting was against the proposal, with many residents citing concerns such as increased traffic and school overcrowding.

Peggy Winchester, President of the South Perry Hall Blvd Improvement Association, said Honeygo boulevard is already over-congested.

"Some of our concerns are the traffic. If you try to get on Honeygo Boulevard after 4:00, you have to wait half an hour to go five blocks. If you have somebody going into high school, they have to go to a school that's 110% overcrowded," Winchester said.

The planned building would be separate from but adjacent to the mall, built on the old Sears lot. The four-story building will feature around 516 units and is projected to bring approximately 1,600 more people to the area.

Other residents expressed concerns about the lack of communication between planners and the community. Carla Nealy of Nottingham said she only heard about the proposal last week.

"I don't remember any correspondence about it before hearing about it last week. I'm concerned about density, I'm concerned about traffic, and I don't remember there being much additional infrastructure, and there's been quite a lot of building over the last five years," Nealy said.

The concerns expressed on Tuesday may have influenced the project. The property managers said residents would receive more opportunities to express their opinions before everything is finalized.

The developers have one year to submit final plans containing all necessary information and timelines to Baltimore County. The county will make these plans available to the public once received.

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Yes, the additional traffic and strain on all schools in the area was mentioned, but the most important issue is the lack of hospital space in the area.  The county Police Dept. is also understaffed and having delayed response times to emergency calls. MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is already overwhelmed with patients, all beds are constantly full and the Emergency Department has an 8-12 hour wait.  If an emergency vehicle is turned away from MSFSMC they are detoured to Towson, Bel Air, or Bayview.  Adding these apartment will not save the mall or reduce crime in the area.  They are currently using studies from 1983-1985 when the mall was built.  The population of this area has grown tremendously in the last 40 years and the new schools have barely kept up with the increase in students.  Adding over 1,500 people to this area without another hospital, additional police, more schools and better roads would be a mistake.  Another point raised was that if they are going to build, they should build condos so residents are less transient and have a stake in keeping the neighborhood home values stable.  Not one person at this meeting who spoke was in favor of this project except for the representatives from the engineering firm and the lawyer who work for the owner of this project.  Drivers have enough trouble negotiating 2 left turn lanes, wait until there are 3 left turn lanes west bound at Rt 43 & Honeygo Blvd, and also 3 left turn lanes on south bound Honeygo Blvd & Rt 43.

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I don't understand what the obsession is with continuing to build in this area. Leave it alone, it's fine. We have enough people, the area can't hold anymore. As the above poster Barbara mentioned, there is absolutely no benefit to this community from adding more apartments, it's all negatives across the board. Just stop building in White Marsh. Stop it. We don't need more crime either.

If they wanted to save White Marsh mall, they'd realize that the #1 thing that started to kill it was increased crime in the area directly linked to the bus lines coming in from the city. Was anything done about this? No. People don't want to risk being held up at knife point in the parking lot.

White Marsh mall used to be a great place to go even just to hang out. Now people are scared to go there especially at night. We don't want our community to have inner city problems. We'd move to the city if we wanted that.

So, IMO, the message we're sending to these developers is.. STOP IT! Leave Nottingham/Perry Hall alone, hasn't there been enough damage done over the last 20 years with this stuff? Just stop it. STOP!

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Seems as if the county is **** bent on making this part of the county another section of Baltimore city. I was so pleased with the neighborhood when I moved here in 1979. Since then just way too much building , traffic and increase in crime. When will enough be enough.

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