Towson needs balanced approach to core redevelopment [Letter]

I wish to respond to Mr. George Good's letter in which he complains about redevelopment in the Towson area (Towson Times, June 12).

I certainly agree that Towson needs more and better open space, which is why our office has worked hard to make Towson greener at the same time we are redeveloping the commercial core.

During the last rezoning cycle, our office initiated the most extensive downzoning of land in recent history in the Towson area. At my urging, the Baltimore County Council downzoned 67 acres of land to limit future development in Towson's neighborhoods. About 54 acres was designated as open space, which the County Council was able to do thanks to legislation I sponsored earlier that year.

Before the last rezoning cycle, the Mount Pleasant Golf Course was zoned to allow more than 700 apartments, townhouses or condominiums if it were ever to be sold. It is now designated as open space. Zoning was also lowered at undeveloped sites in Southland Hills, Burkleigh Square and Fellowship Forest.

I opposed the relocation of the Towson fire station to Towson Manor Village Park. We supported the eventual conversion of the old Carver Center into fields, as well as improvements to Towson High School's athletic area. Our office also successfully secured funding for tree plantings throughout Towson, including along Bosley Avenue near Riderwood Hills.

Regarding the need for new open space, if Mr. Good knows of a private property owner who is willing to donate his or her land for a park, or a school for that matter, I would be more than happy to have that conversation.

Towson can be among the greenest communities in Baltimore County. That's why I am aggressively pushing for more bike lanes and, yes, a circulator so residents can visit Downtown Towson without driving their cars. Mr. Good may not think this is a priority, but many residents leaders support the concept.

Towson needs solutions. That's what I have tried to offer, as well as an energetic approach that balances both community needs and the redevelopment of the downtown core.

Councilman David Marks

5th District


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