Quirk Opposes Belle Grove Road Zone Change
Councilman Tom Quirk said Thursday that he is opposed to upgrading the zoning at 11 South Belle Grove Road, but hasn't made a decision on if development should be allowed on the property.
A property owner will not get the zoning he wanted for a controversial proposed townhome development on a 3-acre parcel in the Catonsville community of Paradise.
Councilman Tom Quirk said he is rejecting a request by Carl Kozoil to rezone the property at 11 South Belle Grove Road to allow more than 10 homes per acre. The current zoning allows for about 3 homes per acre.
Quirk told Patch Thursday that he hasn't decided about what the zoning classification should be changed to, however.
"It's important to maintain the character of the neighborhood," he said, but added that the land is zoning for some type of development.
Paradise Community Association President Stuart Merenbloom told Patch Thursday that the association is opposed to all development of the three acres.
"We don't want anything on that historic property," he said.
The proposed townhomes were to be built on the historic caretaker's home.
The change is part of the Comprehensive Zoning Map Process, which occurs every four years. Property owners can request changes to zoning. The zoning changes are first reviewed by the Baltimore County Planning Board and then the Baltimore County Council.
At several community meetings this spring and summer, a majority of residents in Paradise have spoken out against the zoning change.
At a planning board hearing in March, Paradise resident Jimmy Laughlin said the higher level of density would negatively impact the community. A portion of the 3 acres is not developed and is one of the few open spaces in the area, he said.
Laughlin and his partner Brad Sweet purchased the historic Belle Grove Estate in 2011, which abuts the property and was built in 1871.
The Baltimore County Council is scheduled to vote on 39 separate zoning issues that amount to 263 acres in the first council district on Aug. 27. In zoning votes, the council's recommendations are almost always what is approved by the entire council.