Marks calls for zoning reduction on Cromwell Valley tracts

Fifth District County Councilman David Marks said this week he's recommending that 66 acres off Cromwell Bridge Road be downzoned when the council votes on the 2012 Comprehensive Zoning Map Process package.

"I am taking action to lower the development potential of an area that should have been downzoned years ago," Marks said in a release.

Marks, who represents Towson, said the move represents "the largest downzoning in this area in county history, encompassing more acreage than exists at Loch Raven High School."

The 76.6-acre parcel between Cromwell Bridge Road, Littlewood Road and Satyr Hill Road consists of land owned by Baltimore City, a homeowner association and private homeowners, Marks said.

It was primarily zoned DR-3.5, which allows for 3.5 units per acre, with portions of DR-5.5, DR-2, and DR-1.

Marks, however, initially requested that much of it be changed to DR-1. But after the Planning Board recommended no change, Marks has submitted a large swath of the land as DR-1 NC, a classification created earlier this year that requires publicly-held land to remain as open space.

Under Marks' recommendation, 41.76 acres will be zoned DR-1 NC, with 25.16 zoned DR-1, and the rest DR-3.5 and DR-5.5.

Jim Kelly, president of Friends of Cromwell Valley, said in the release that Marks "has been a champion for protecting Cromwell Valley."

"His decisive action will help preserve more than 66 acres from intense development," Kelly said.

The County Council's vote on the CZMP decisions will be held Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers. The entire council votes on the CZMP package, but members traditionally follow the recommendations of each council member for his or her district.

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