The Lutherville Community Association and College Manor have reached an agreement that will end a decades-long zoning dispute between the two parties and allow 3rd District County Councilman Todd Huff to pull a bill that drew constituents' ire.
"I think that people feel like both sides got pretty much what they wanted," Laurie Hooper, president of the Lutherville Community Association, said Friday. "College Manor gets to build the wing in order to expand its facilities, and we get to have a long-term protection for the rest of the property to preserve the open green space."
Under the covenant that was signed Friday, Hooper said 3.62 acres of College Manor's property on West Seminary Avenue in Lutherville would be rezoned from DR-2, which allows two units per acre, to DR-16, which allows 16 units per acre.
On the rezoned land, College Manor will build an 80-bed addition to their existing facility, while the existing 80-bed facility will be converted into a dozen apartment units.
In return for the community's consent, College Manor has agreed not to develop the remainder of its 11.5 acres for 25 years.
"I think that although we'd been negotiating for a longer covenant, we're pleased with the result," Hooper said.
Representatives of College Manor could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
Because of the agreement, Huff announced Friday in a press release that he would withdraw Bill 48-12, a piece of legislation that would have allowed for College Manor to expand regardless of whether an agreement was reached.
At the Tuesday, July 31 county council work session, Huff said the bill was meant to protect the community, but residents said it undermined their negotiations and was legislation written for just College Manor.
Hooper said the community association board of directors met Tuesday night and agreed to College Manor's most recent proposal in principle. When College Manor accommodated a handful of changes and Huff saw the signed covenant, he announced the bill's withdrawal.
In a statement, Huff said the legislation was "not needed," because the agreement "will permit College Manor to expand its business, thereby providing much-needed assisted-living beds, while still preserving the unique residential character of this historic community."
"Although I did not participate in any substantive negotiations, I encouraged the parties to come together to find agreement," Huff said. "They did so, and the result is positive for College Manor, the Lutherville Community, and the citizens of Baltimore County."