"I believe the courtyard is only getting enhanced by what we're proposing," Glazer said.

He said the elimination of the third building increases the courtyard space by 25 percent and increases visibility of the retail space.

The board seemed to agree.

"What this (plan) does is actually opens that courtyard area to the other uses in the center," board member Mary Kay Sigaty, a Columbia Democrat, said.

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The center will become "much more of a piece rather than two divided sections," she added.

The other two opponents raised concerns that Kimco's plan would affect the quality of life in nearby neighborhoods.

Maureen Shuttle said she worries about the effect the 70-foot residential building will have on her home and others on Cross Fox Lane that are located directly behind where the building is planned to go.

"We're not going to have so much sunlight and so forth," she said.

At the June 12 hearing, Daniel Griffith, a Wilde Lake resident who lives on Faulkner Ridge Circle, said the plan would destroy the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.

The board's approval clears the way for Kimco to continue through the county land development review process, which will involve traffic studies and school capacity tests to be conducted before final site development approval is granted.

Glazer has said that if all goes well, Kimco could break ground on the project in the early spring of 2013.