Baltimore County Proposes Changes To Comprehensive Zoning Map Process

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Credit: Van Fisher/Patch

PERRY HALL -The Baltimore County Council has proposed two Comprehensive Zoning Map Process changes.

The first change requires the Planning Department to prepare an Information Report that would be made available to the public upon request. This would dramatically increase transparency and allow the community to better understand the developments under construction in their area.

The second change is a shift in the timeline for zoning approval. Under the new bill, the Planning Department will not provide its recommendations to the Planning Board until after the public hearings.

Both bills represent substantial changes to the Comprehensive Zoning Map Process and allow for more community input on proposed developments. Perry Hall Improvement Association (PHIA) President, Pat Keller, says this is a step in the right direction for the county.

"Having the planning staff listen to the comments from the public before they make a recommendation. I mean, how can that be bad?"

Zoning and new housing developments have been at the forefront of discussions in White Marsh as residents expressed concerns over a new 516-unit apartment building under construction at the mall.

According to Keller, this bill is not directly related to the White Marsh development but may amplify community objections.

Keller also shared concerns over the level of detail that will be provided in the county's reports. He says it is essential for the community to understand how any new development will affect traffic and school overcrowding.

"what level of data would be provided in the report? By that, I mean, for instance: parking, are the schools overcrowded? What's the traffic situation like?"

These bills will be discussed at a County Council Work Session on Tuesday, December 13, at 4:00 p.m.

The final reading and vote will occur at the Legislative Session on Monday, December 19, 2022, at 6 p.m.

To read the bill in its entirety, see here.

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