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Marks recommends no change in office zoning along Bosley Avenue

ElectionsAmerican LegionDavid Marks

Fifth District County Councilman David Marks said last week he wouldn't support any zoning changes on properties west of Bosley Avenue and north of Bosley Hall as part of the county's quadrennial Comprehensive Zoning Map Process

The decision came in advance of the County Council's scheduled vote tonight, Aug. 28, on the countywide CZMP — essentially a review of all zoning across Baltimore County.

The changes along Bosley would have impacted about 7.5 acres total and had been requested by property owners as well as a Planning Board member. The requests sought to shift zoning on several properties from the existing residential/office designation — primarily allowing converted houses for small business offices — to instead allow full-scale office buildings.

But Marks said Bosley Avenue is the traditional western boundary between downtown Towson and neighborhoods of Southland Hills, West Towson and Riderwood Hills, and said, "I will respect this boundary."

"Intense commercial development will not creep over into western Towson's established neighborhoods," said Marks in a statement on the decision.

The councilman said he didn't rule out the possibility that some of the properties could be redeveloped, but said proposals could be addressed through the county's Planned Unit Development process, which would allow community comment and review.

He suggested that some redevelopment could also occur through special exception requests.

The decisions regarding Bosley were the last of Marks' announced recommendations on CZMP cases. Leading up to the council's vote, Marks had stated positions on several other CZMP cases — including some reviews he had requested himself. Among them were moves to place some city-owned land in open space categories, including the Wachs Water Works facility on Aigburth Avenue, and an 8.5-acre plot south of Hillen Road and west of Stevenson Lane that includes the Towson Reservoir.

Another key position by Marks was to reject a proposal to increase the potential zoning density on some tracts in the Towson Triangle, the area between York Road, West Burke Avenue and West Towsontown Boulevard. The Towson American Legion Post 22 had opposed any changed, and Marks agreed.

Although the council as a whole votes on the CZMP package, Marks essentially had the final say on 5th District issues, with the council traditionally deferring to each district's representative for CZMP decisions.

The County Council is scheduled vote on the overall CZMP package at a meeting at 6 p.m. tonight, Aug. 28, in the council chambers, in Towson.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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