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Baltimore County judge approves Towson Station development plan

A Baltimore County administrative law judge ruled last week that the Towson Station development can move forward.

Judge Lawrence Stahl ruled on Feb. 8 that developer Caves Valley Partners can proceed with the controversial retail development at the corner of York Road and Bosley Avenue, according to a written decision.

“I believe that the Developer’s extensive and expert driven presentation met and exceeded the ‘guidance’ provided for development in the [Downtown Towson] district,” Stahl wrote in his decision, referring to the zoning district that encompasses the property.

At hearings in January that involved more than seven hours of testimony, multiple county government employees recommended that Stahl approve the proposal for the shopping center on the site of the former county fire station, saying it met the county laws and guidelines reviewed by each department. Caves Valley needed the administrative law judge’s approval to start construction.

Four Towson residents representing the group Save Towson’s Gateway and attorney Michael McCann appeared as the opposing party, though McCann said the group was not against the development. McCann cross-examined witnesses, and the residents testified that though they liked the project better than the original proposal for a Royal Farms gas station, it could still be improved.

The residents recommended the developer add open space and pay to replace trees taken down by the county, allegedly for the benefit of Caves Valley, in an incident community members dubbed “Tree-Gate.” The judge did not address the recommendations in the decision.

McCann said his clients “wish that [our recommendations] had been addressed.”

Asked for comment and when construction might start now that the plan has been approved, Caves Valley attorney Christopher Mudd, of the law firm Venable, replied, “My client has no comment.”

asolomon@baltsun.com

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