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Bel Air to host Nov. 16 virtual meeting on annexation of field near historic mansion

The Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners will meet for a public hearing Monday to discuss the possible annexation of a field near the Liriodendron Mansion into the town. Developers are proposing building three homes on the land.

The meeting on the proposed annexation will begin at 7:30 p.m. Nov 16, and citizens can submit their comments via teleconference or phone, the town announced.

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After a spirited Oct. 1 meeting, the town’s planning commission favorably recommended the annexation on a few conditions: Development there must be restricted to single-family detached homes, no cars will be permitted on Gordon Street and the property will require a landscaped buffer from the Liriodendron’s private drive.

The parcel, about 1.5 acres of open field between Catherine and Gordon streets, was bought by Liriod LLC in March. According to Maryland’s property search tool, the site was valued at $72,500, but it was purchased for $160,000. At the time of the planning commission’s October meeting, the company was not in good standing, as it had failed to file its annual report for 2020, but it has since filed the report and returned to good standing with the state.

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Liriod LLC is owned by a collection of other LLCs, the company’s registered agent Dennis Reimann said at a previous public hearing. One of the owners of the company is Len Parrish Sr. His son — also named Len Parrish and who is the county’s director of economic development — rents a home from Harford County Government on West Gordon Street, across from the proposed annexation.

Plans call for three plots on the property, each corresponding to a home. Fewer homes could be squeezed onto the property under Bel Air’s zoning code than Harford County’s. Harford County’s zoning classification for the property requires 7,500 square feet of space for each plot, while the Bel Air zoning code requires 10,000 square feet per plot.

Previously, Bel Air’s Director of Planning Kevin Small said he received conflicting information on whether the proposed annexation was on the National Registry of Historic Places, and that the town would defer to the state and county’s decision on whether it is. It can still be annexed, even if it is on the registry, he said.

Small did not respond to questions by 3 p.m. Thursday.

Those interested in listening to the meeting can dial in to 877-568-4106 using the access code 614-751-925 or attend virtually. Anyone who wishes to comment is required to register online. The comment registration opens 30 minutes before the hearing.

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