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Towson Gateway hearing set for next week

The Baltimore County Council has scheduled a public hearing on a developer's proposal to turn an old fire station in Towson into a gas station and retail center.

The hearing will be part of the council's work session at 2 p.m. Dec. 13 in the Historic Courthouse, 400 Washington Ave. in Towson.

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Towson Gateway is proposed to include a Royal Farms gas station and retail center at the corner of York Road and Bosley Avenue. Baltimore County is selling the 5.8-acre property — which has housed a fire station and a public works facility — to developer Caves Valley Partners.

The project needs the council's approval to proceed in the county's planned-unit development process. Planned-unit developments are granted zoning flexibility in exchange for providing a community benefit. The current zoning on the property does not allow for gas stations.

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Councilman David Marks, who represents the area, introduced legislation in October to allow Towson Gateway to go forward as a planned-unit development. His resolution, however, does not specifically allow for a gas station — which he said was designed to bring the developer and residents together to negotiate details.

Local residents, including homeowners in West Towson and members of the Green Towson Alliance, have opposed the sale of the land and the proposed Towson Gateway redevelopment. They've said it would worsen traffic and create an uninspiring entrance to downtown Towson.

In October, a few dozen residents protested before a County Council meeting, chanting "Don't cave to Caves!"

The council is expected to vote on the Towson Gateway proposal Dec. 19.

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