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Concerns over proposed Maple Avenue development in Catonsville include traffic, school crowding

Concerns over proposed Maple Avenue development in Catonsville include traffic, school crowding
Residents look at plans for a proposed development along Maple Avenue off Frederick Road in Catonsville. (Cody Boteler / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Catonsville residents worried about traffic, sewage and school crowding dominated a community input meeting concerning a proposed 19-home development along Maple Avenue off Frederick Road.

The meeting, held at the Catonsville Library on Feb. 27, saw about 100 people show with dozens asking questions.

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“We’re very concerned, not just to the impact of our property, but for the safety of our residents,” said Monica Simonsen, who lives on Maple Avenue, across from where the new homes would go.

The street is narrow, Simonsen said, and she called the intersection where Maple Avenue connects with Frederick Road “the most dangerous intersection in Catonsville.”

The narrow streets, she and other residents said, would make it difficult if not impossible for construction vehicles to move up and down Maple Avenue if people are parked along that road. Others expressed concern that construction vehicles could damage their property.

The proposed development, dubbed Davis Farms, would add 18 single-family houses to a 21.17-acre plot of land at 106 Maple Ave. There are currently three structures on the lot; two would be demolished and one would remain, creating a 19-home development.

The houses would be districted for Hillcrest Elementary School, Catonsville Middle School and Catonsville High School.

John Motsco, senior project engineer with Little & Associates Inc., a Towson-based firm that’s working on the project, said the new subdivision will likely include a new homeowners association to maintain a parcel of open space and stormwater management.

Lisa Mack, the school board member who represents Catonsville, asked how the development would affect school enrollment in the area, considering the schools are already over capacity.

Motsco said the developer would “have to address that when we do the school impact analysis” later in the process.

Others in attendance said they were concerned that additional buildings in the area would create excessive stormwater in the region, potentially damaging houses, and that constructing new sewage lines would be costly and inefficient.

To concerns about potential flooding, stormwater and sewage capacity, Motsco largely deferred to county and state standards, and said the plan would be adjusted as necessary if relevant departments had concerns.

The project would not require zoning changes, because the property is zoned for 22 total single-family homes. The decision on whether to approve the project is subject to the approval of an administrative law judge, not the county council.

The developers now have one year to address concerns from the public and from county agencies before moving to a development plan.

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