Harford council hears arguments against apartments planned for Bel Air South

The Harford County Council heard more arguments against 198 apartment units planned for the Plumtree Road area from residents, about 20 or 30 of whom came to Tuesday's council hearing on the development.

Bill Wehland, who represented the group and has also spoken against the Walmart proposed in the same area, said the traffic on Tollgate Road will be even worse, even though the road's last missing link between Bel Air and I-95 will be completed as part of the new development.

The apartments would be in the 1900 block of Toll Green Way and the 1800 block of Eastport Way, both streets to be built off the Tollgate extension, which will likewise be built by the developer.

Wehland contested a statement in zoning hearing examiner Robert Kahoe's opinion that "the opening of Tollgate Road through the subject property would, if anything, allow traffic to flow more readily and freely and should decrease traffic congestion in the area."

Robert Lynch, the lawyer for Evergreen Business Trust, the property owner, said there was extensive testimony earlier about the natural resources district and found no detriment or significant public impact from the project. He said the project will take place in what is already a well-developed area of the county.

Evergreen Business Trust, which is seeking a special zoning exception for the planned development, has a contract to sell the property to Peak Management, which manages 2,000 apartment units in Baltimore County, Harford County and Baltimore City.

Peak Management will not be able to accept government-subsidized vouchers for any of the units planned on the Evergreen site, according to Kahoe's decision, which is before the council in its capacity as the county Board of Appeals.

Last week, the council approved an earlier decision by Kahoe that permits Evergreen-Peak to configure the development to accommodate the 198th unit.

The council took no action Tuesday on the latest opinion, considered the most significant of the two in permitting the project to move forward.

Also during Tuesday meeting, council members held a short hearing on an appeal of Kahoe's decision to deny a variance to a Darlington couple for a kennel in the 2000 block of Glen Cove Road.

Steven and Sigrid Moody have 10 dogs, as well as chickens and cats, and were told when they bought their property in March 2012 that it would be suitable for a kennel, according to the decision.

The council members did not vote on that case, either.

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