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19-home Catonsville subdivision blocked in unanimous vote by Baltimore County Council

The Baltimore County Council voted unanimously this week to block the Davis Farms housing project, a proposed 19-home subdivision off Maple Avenue in Catonsville.

The development plan for Davis Farms in Catonsville. - Original Credit: Courtesy Photo / Little & Assoc.
The development plan for Davis Farms in Catonsville. - Original Credit: Courtesy Photo / Little & Assoc. (Courtesy Photo / Little & Assoc.)

The resolution passed by a 7-0 vote Monday night at the county council legislative session, reinforcing the county’s master plan to promote open space for a more sustainable future.

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Council member Tom Quirk, a Democrat who represents Catonsville, said relief from possible development is a “significant win” for the community, but challenges still “lay ahead.”

The resolution is not binding, according to Thomas Bostwick, the council’s legislative attorney and secretary. Now the case will go back to Administrative Law Judge Paul Mayhew for approval, Bostwick said.

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“In this case (Mayhew) made the decision to deny approval and when the case goes back to him … he will ultimately be tasked with making that decision again or at least issuing a revised order,” Bostwick said.

In 2019, about 100 residents showed up to a community input meeting in Catonsville regarding the proposal from Ellicott City-based Tri-Star Development calling for 18 new single-family houses on a 21.7-acre plot of land at 106 Maple Ave. There are three structures on the lot; two would be demolished and one would remain, creating a 19-home development.

Neighbors widely opposed the project, saying the new homes would add traffic, exacerbate flooding, crowd schools and worsen dangerous conditions at Maple Avenue’s intersection with Frederick Road.

In February, Mayhew denied the developer’s plan to build the project, calling community concerns about traffic and environmental impact “justifiable.”

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In his written decision, Mayhew noted the developer’s assertion that new vehicle trips on Frederick Road would be increased by almost 50%. Traffic volume and congestion there “are already horrible,” he wrote, adding that Frederick Avenue’s two closest intersections with traffic signals, at North Rolling Road and South Rolling Road, currently operate at a level of service “D,” a grade that indicates the severity of traffic backup.

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