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Quirk, Baltimore County Planning hosting two meetings on comprehensive zone map process

Every four years, Baltimore County begins its Comprehensive Zoning Map Process (CZMP) in which any citizen can request a zoning change on any property in the county.

The approximately 12-month process starts in mid-August, with a public pre-filing period, so applicants can get an early start and schedule an appointment to meet with planning staff.

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In September through mid-October, the public can submit applications; in October, the county Planning Board and the county Department of Planning can file an application; and in November, the County Council can file an application.

Then come a series of meetings, work sessions and public hearings for proposed changes.

The County Council will review all the requests from July to September 2020, and must take a final vote on each zoning request by Sept. 16, 2020.

In preparation for the process, County Council Chairman Tom Quirk, who also represents the southwestern part of the county on the council, is hosting two public meetings to provide an opportunity for residents to gain a better understanding of the process.

Land zoning “dictates what can happen on that land,” said Quirk, an Oella Democrat.

“Whether it is redevelopment, or development or preservation, everything flows through zoning maps,” Quirk said.

He said he did not have any specific properties or plots of land in mind for zoning changes, but that he’d listen to the community and see what they thought was important.

Speaking generally, Quirk said he’s most interesting in continuing to down-zone land around Patapsco park, and in finding ways to make the southwestern part of the county more pedestrian and bike friendly. Additionally he said he wants to encourage “redevelopment and investment in [the region’s] commercial redevelopment areas.”

The community meetings to learn about the CZMP are scheduled for July 1, at 6:30 p.m., at the Arbutus branch of the Baltimore County Public Library and July 10, at 6 p.m., at the Woodlawn branch library.

A full timeline of the process can be found online at https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/planning/czmp/timeline.html.

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