After more than four years of work, Lower Back River Neck Peninsula residents are praising the Baltimore County Council's approval of a plan they say will protect and preserve their community. At Monday night's meeting, the council approved a plan residents and the county Office of Planning and Zoning created to preserve the peninsula's marshes and woodlands and restore its coastal creeks. The plan, which the county Planning Board has approved, calls for limiting development, reducing zoning density and rigorously enforcing environmental regulations. Bob Christopher, board chairman of the Back River Neck Peninsula Community Association, said he was pleased with the council's vote, adding that the plan "will protect the future of our peninsula." The Lower Back River Neck Peninsula is bordered by Middle River on the east and Back River on the west, both Chesapeake Bay tributaries. It runs from Turkey Point Road on the north down to Balliston Point on the bay, and contains 2,000 acres of woodlands, 122 acres of tidal wetlands and 560 acres of open land. Development of the lower peninsula started with summer homes in small, scattered bay shore villages. Over the years, the area's rural character attracted other developers. The upper end in Essex is filled with apartments, townhouses and shopping centers. "I'm just elated over the passage of the plan," said Alfred E. Clasing Jr., a peninsula resident and member of the county Planning Board. "The plan will not just protect our community for those of us who live here," he added. "It will also preserve this wonderful natural resource for all county residents to enjoy."