Councilman Marks Vows To Curb Extensive Apartment Developments In White Marsh: Urges Participation At Upcoming Community Input Meeting


The AVENUE in White Marsh. (Credit: Google/ Google Maps)

PERRY HALL - Baltimore County Councilman David Marks has promised action to halt the ongoing developments in the White Marsh area. In an email sent on Monday, the council member clarified his position on the three proposed developments in the region.

"I want to make it very clear—I oppose making the White Marsh Town Center a sea of apartments," Marks wrote.

The response comes after Baltimore County scheduled a community input meeting for July 18 (previously reported by the county as June 18) to discuss a new 200-apartment development in White Marsh. Named "The Avenue at White Marsh Apartments," the new development is planned for a site at 4921 Campbell Boulevard (21236), according to the Department of Permits, Approvals, and Inspections.

The councilman stated his intentions to use the rezoning process, which commences this summer, to potentially halt the widespread apartment projects across the White Marsh Town Center.

"You have my word I will do all I can to ensure that any new housing is as limited as possible and reflects good planning principles that enhance the White Marsh Town Center," Marks wrote.

Plans to bring more industrial space and high-rise housing to the Perry Hall area have received significant backlash from the local community, citing concerns including school overcrowding, lack of infrastructure, and devaluing homes.

In late 2022, community input meetings were held over another proposed apartment project involving 516 units near the White Marsh Mall. The community response was largely negative, with primary concerns focusing on potential increases in traffic and pressure on local schools due to overcapacity.

Peggy Winchester, the President of the South Perry Hall Blvd Improvement Association, emphasized the already problematic congestion on Honeygo Boulevard and cautioned that further apartment developments could worsen the issue.

"Our worries revolve around the traffic situation. Post 4:00 p.m., it takes about half an hour to cover a five-block distance on Honeygo Boulevard. Adding to that, any high school-going kid is left to attend an already 110% overcrowded school," Winchester said.

In his email, Marks cited the creation of a task force aimed at envisioning the future of the White Marsh Town Center. Established in December of 2022, the 15-member committee includes a blend of residents and community leaders, planners, and business owners. It is chaired by Pat Keller, former head of the Baltimore County Office of Planning and president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association.

Patch spoke with Keller about the task force and his vision for the White Marsh Mall. He says there have always been issues regarding development around the mall, and he sees the task force as a way of helping the county make a plan acceptable to residents.

"We thought maybe we could jumpstart something and be of assistance to the county in terms of generating ideas, gathering some basic information, forming a work group, and getting the whole process started."

A survey conducted from January to March 2023 received hundreds of responses from local residents, which will guide the town center's development, reinvestment, and design standards.

Marks also indicated planned reforms of the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance to effectively regulate the development impact, particularly on Overlea High School, one of the most overcrowded schools in Baltimore County.

The councilman urged residents concerned about the development proposals to participate in the upcoming community input meeting on Tuesday, July 18, at 7 p.m. at the Community Christian Church, 8009 Corporate Drive.

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