The Baltimore Sun

Zoning rules permit PUD for care center

A recent letter regarding the Keswick Multi-Care Center's proposal for the Baltimore Country Club property misrepresents the zoning aspects of the proposal ("Roland Park proposal imperils zoning code," Jan. 5).

Keswick's plan for its continuing-care community would require the City Council to approve a planned unit development (PUD) ordinance for the property but would not require the area's existing R-1 zoning to be changed.

The R-1 zoning category was not designed as an exclusive single-family enclave but, in fact, expressly permits such nonresidential uses as schools, museums, community recreation centers and religious institutions.

It further allows such conditional uses as nonprofit clubs, hospitals, nursing and elderly care facilities, swimming pools and residential planned unit developments.

Indeed, the Roland Park area already has four successful planned unit developments, including Roland Park North, which is in an R-1 district, Roland Park Place and the mixed-use Village of Cross Keys, which is across the street from the land Keswick proposes to develop.

The planned unit development provision was an important feature of the city's last comprehensive zoning code, which was adopted in 1971.

More than 100 of them have been adopted since then, and they have proved successful in all areas of the city when communities and developers have worked together.

The mayor was correct in urging Roland Park to work with Keswick and come up with the best plan for both parties.

Alfred W. Barry III, Baltimore

The writer is a former assistant director of planning for the city of Baltimore who is now a planning consultant for the Keswick Multi-Care Center.

New leadership offers new chance in Mideast

Israel has every right to defend its citizens from terrorists, though unfortunately you can't destroy a group like Hamas as it has little trouble finding fighters to replace those killed ("Muslims step up Israel protests," Jan. 3).

What is needed now is strong American leadership in the region.

I have given up on the current administration in this regard; let's all hope that the new Obama administration does a more effective job at diplomacy.

Steven M. Clayton, Ocean, N.J.

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