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Letter: Marks says Towson zoning decisions will protect property rights, preserve open space

September 5, 2012

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On Aug. 28, the Baltimore County Council acted on my recommendations to lighten the impact of future residential development in the 5th District.

The council downzoned 417 acres of land that was designated for potential residential development. Zoning affects what can be built on a property, as well as the intensity of development.

In Towson, Loch Raven and the Cromwell Valley, 134 acres were downzoned, the largest change ever adopted in this area.

The County Council eliminated the possibility that hundreds of apartments or townhouses could be built at the Mount Pleasant Golf Course if the city ever sold the property for development.

The council also downzoned community parks at Southland Hills and Burkleigh Square, the Prospect Hill Cemetery, and city-owned land in Aigburth Manor and Fellowship Forest. About 97 acres have been designated as open space where development cannot occur.

On a few occasions, I supported some commercial zoning changes to help businesses or to advance infrastructure improvements that cannot be paid for entirely by Baltimore County — but these increases in zoning only constituted five percent of all the changes in the 5fth District, when measured by acreage.

By contrast, 95 percent of the acreage that changed during the rezoning process was lowered in intensity.

I am very proud of this rezoning process. Development will still occur in targeted areas, and landowners will still have the ability to sell their property for profit — but we have lightened the impact of growth on our schools, roads and infrastructure, and we have preserved more green space in our neighborhoods.

County Councilman David Marks, 5th District

Towson