In December 2012, Councilman Marks formed a committee of business and community leaders to study potential projects for the Towson Triangle. The Towson Triangle consists of the properties that border the American Legion property along Burke Avenue, York Road and Towsontown Boulevard. The Triangle Committee was established and our task was to review proposals for redevelopment especially along the deteriorating York Road stretch of the triangle area.
One of the potential projects we were asked to study was 101 York near the corner of York and Burke. DMS, a developer who has never built student housing wants to build an oversize 611-bed, 15 story dormitory complex on this small parcel. It is not allowed under the county zoning on this property.
David Marks suggested that if we agreed, he would introduce a PUD (planned unit development) to allow the project. The PUD process was meant to be used when a developer and the community work together to bring a mutually beneficial project to life. Our committee relishes the idea of redeveloping this blighted area of York Road, but we were interested in a project that would be of an appropriate size for the site, complementary to the surrounding neighborhoods and of benefit to the greater Towson area. 101 York achieves none of these.
Among the committee's many concerns were its massive size, major environmental and community impact, as well as inadequate setbacks, insufficient parking and increased traffic problems at this already failing intersection.
Ultimately, the Triangle committee voted 11 to 1 opposing the PUD resolution. Councilman Marks has chosen to ignore the vote of the very committee he set up and move forward with the PUD resolution which would allow the project to be built.
We are very disappointed that our councilman chose to agree with outside interests and not the community.
Towson Triangle Committee Members
Ed Kilcullen, Towson Manor Village
Michael P. Ertel, West Towson
Paul Hogan, American Legion
Paul Hartmann, Aigburth Manor
G.T. Keplinger, Burkleigh SquareCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun