Tearing down the Dulaney Valley Apartments and building more than three times as many upscale apartments and condominiums in their place would be a fine idea, if not for the traffic it would bring, Towson residents said at a meeting last night.
With its proposed brick and stone accents, courtyards and hidden parking, the $160 million development would look nice, community leaders have said.
But at a community session at the Towson public library, residents expressed worries about the traffic that would be generated by about 900 units proposed at Dulaney Valley Road and Fairmount Avenue, across from Goucher College and less than a block from Towson Town Center.
"The materials and design are exceptional," said Corinne Becker, a community activist from Riderwood Hills. "My concern is that traffic always seems to be an afterthought. ... It's already congested in the area."
The apartment complex currently has 256 units in 59 two-story buildings spread across 13 acres. The concept plans submitted by Lane Northeast LLC, a New Jersey-based developer that bought the complex within the last year, call for tearing down the beige stone buildings in two phases - the first beginning in January.
The second phase would begin two years later, said Robert A. Hoffman, a lawyer representing Lane Northeast.
In all, four buildings - each four stories - would be constructed, providing a total of 318 condominiums and 581 apartment units. All of them would be marketed to upscale buyers and renters, county officials said.
"The architectural design of it will bring a sort of cosmopolitan-slash-European look to the area," said Baltimore County Councilman Vincent J. Gardina, who represents Towson. However, Gardina said he shares the community's concerns.
Even with the traffic light on Dulaney Valley Road at Goucher Drive and Locustvale Road, residents are worried about the trips generated by residents of 900 units, said Ed Vojik, president of the Campus Hills Community Association.
"Goucher Boulevard is already becoming a drag strip. There's already so much traffic," he said.
Hoffman said that before more detailed development plans are submitted, Lane Northeast would be looking at ways to ease congestion.