Fifth District County Councilman David Marks said this week he will recommend downzoning two tracts in the Towson area, including the Prospect Hill Cemetery.
The 6.2-acre cemetery just north of Towson City Center is currently zoned for retail, but Marks said he consulted with the cemetery's executive committee about downzoning the property.
According to a news release, Prospect Hill Board President Carolyn Parker Knott wrote a letter to Marks last month that lauded the move, saying: "We appreciate your suggesting that the cemetery be included in this designation as an additional means of preserving historic Prospect Hill on behalf of the 3,000 people buried here, and also as a means of maintaining our six green acres in the heart of the Towson core."
The property was raised as an issue in the quadrennial Comprehensive Zoning Map Process by the county Planning Board, which requested it be zoned as part of a town center business district.
But instead, Marks is calling for it to be zoned DR-1 NC, an open space classification reserved for publicly held land.
Additionally, Marks said 2.39 acres off West Towsontown Boulevard that holds the Southland Hills Park — and the space that was earmarked by the failed proposal for a Towson Swim Club — will be downzoned to DR-1 as well. In the announcement, Marks said he protected the land to follow through on a campaign promise.
"These decisions will protect a historic cemetery that serves as the largest piece of open space in downtown Towson, as well as an important green space in the Southland Hills community," Marks said.
The CZMP package will be voted on by the County Council at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28.