In response to Baltimore County Councilman David Marks' recent letter about the proposed Nottingham Ridge Outlet Mall, I would again point out the project's appalling lack of community input ("Marks: Consider the alternative to the outlet mall plan," June 23).

As Councilman Marks is aware, I have been a long-time supporter of both his work with the Baltimore County Council and his volunteer work within the community. In fact, I believe our working friendship began in 2008, when he was president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association and I was president of the Perry Hall Middle School PTSA. I was impressed by Mr. Marks' dedication and reliability and was pleased to learn that we both shared a genuine love of our community, both being alumni of Perry Hall High School.


I was a proud supporter of Mr. Marks during his campaign for councilman in District 5, and I never regretted it. Mr. Marks has always demonstrated a high level of integrity, and I am proud of the accomplishments he has achieved during his relatively short tenure as councilman. I was disappointed to lose him as my representative when the community was split during the 2012 redistricting process.

When the current PUD for Nottingham Ridge was approved in 2008, it called for 1,250 residential units, which would have contributed significantly to school overcrowding. As Mr. Marks states, his predecessor was responsible for this approval.

However, the development never was undertaken, and six years later a new development team has proposed significant changes. It is worth noting that the County Council deemed these to be "major" changes, but instead of bringing the PUD back to the council for approval, or at the very least community input, the council apparently did nothing other than deem the changes to be "major." I have since learned that after 14 days of inactivity by the council the matter automatically defaults to an administrative law judge for a decision, thereby bypassing any potential community input.

Many things have changed since 2008 when this PUD was originally approved. There have been environmental regulation upgrades to protect Bird River, storm water management regulation changes and the White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company has plans to relocate to the area directly across from the proposed development site. The traffic engineer at the June 19 hearing seemed to allude to the fact that even after the proposed updates and widening of Philadelphia Road and the possible addition of an eastbound ramp to Route 43 after the anticipated influx of traffic to the outlet mall, traffic patterns will essentially revert back to their current situation.

Many residents have complained that we already are over-saturated with retail businesses, that local businesses and property values may suffer from the proposed development and that the site could better be used as a future site for a much-needed high school or developed as an "Over-55" Community, which would provide stability, a tax base and residents with expendable incomes to spend in our already established retail venues.

All these points illustrate the need for community input into this project. We do need to eliminate school overcrowding, but not to the detriment of our community and our quality of life. That's why we need to "think outside of the box" in order to find other potential uses for this property that would be both beneficial to our community and provide revenue for the county.

I am hopeful that we can soon begin some sort of process for getting the community input this project demands.

Heather Patti, White Marsh


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