I was disappointed to read in the July 2 issue of the Towson Times a letter by a few residents who complained that I ignored the recommendations of the Towson Triangle Committee.

As I explained at the first meeting of this committee, their role was not to veto any proposal for property in the Towson Triangle, which is bounded by York Road, Towsontown Boulevard and Burke Avenue. Their role was to offer suggestions, many of which we included in the proposal.

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Committee members wanted a project that offered a blend of retail and residential with a strong street presence and elements to make this area safer and more walkable. Regarding the 101 project, I incorporated numerous suggestions into the final proposal, increasing onsite parking by 25 percent to address concerns from adjacent neighborhoods.

Ultimately, the residents who signed this letter could offer no alternative proposal for this site. Their suggestion of a conference center was rejected by Towson University. Apartments and condominiums would have worse traffic impacts than housing that is used eight months a year and actually gets students out of their cars and walking to campus.

These residents are dead wrong in presumably wanting to continue our failed approach on student housing. For 10 years, that philosophy has been to insist on the state university system to build more dormitories in order to address a student housing crisis they created. But look at the oversaturation of neighborhoods with rentals and the worsening traffic from student rentals.

Neighborhoods like Burkleigh Square, Knollwood-Donnybrook and Riderwood Hills are inundated with student rentals. While many students are good neighbors, there are others who create problems for our police during late-night hours. How can anyone think this strategy is working?

It is time to stop waiting for help from the university system and begin pulling student rentals out of our neighborhoods, or at least stop the spread of these rentals which will only continue if some continued the failed approach of the past 10 years.

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks

District 5

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