October 2014

 

By E-Mail

Councilman David Marks

400 Washington Ave.
Towson, MD 21204

 

            Re:      McDaniel’s Orchard – Proposed Planned Unit Development

 

Dear Councilman Marks:

 

The purpose of this letter to provide the Perry Hall Improvement Association’s input regarding McDaniel’s Orchard, the proposed planned unit development of sixty-five “luxury” townhomes at the southeast side of the intersection of Honeygo Boulevard and Joppa Road.

 

The PHIA executive board met with a representative of the developer of the proposed project, reviewed the details regarding the project and had multiple meetings to formulate its position on behalf of the community.  The factors we considered included, but were not limited to, school overcrowding, public safety, environmental issues, and concerns related to transportation and other public infrastructure. The PHIA also balanced the pros and cons of the project proceeding under the current zoning, which would allow for approximately twenty-five homes to be built, versus the PUD process. While we recognize that a certain level of growth is inevitable, any growth must be sustainable.

 

The PHIA does not oppose the McDaniel’s Orchard PUD under the following conditions:

 

1.     Reducing the number of townhome units to forty, without any action being taken to address the school overcrowding issues in the northeastern area of Baltimore County. We note that this is approximately the number of units that would be permitted if the property was zoned DR-5.5.

 

2.     Reducing the number of townhome units to fifty, provided that the construction of a new elementary school in Perry is in the “engineering” phase.

 

3.     Reducing the number of townhome units to sixty, provided that the construction of a new elementary school in Perry is in the “engineering” phase, and the construction of a new middle school in the northeast region is in the “design” phase. Although the construction of a new high school in the northeast region is not specifically included in the PHIA’s position regarding this proposed development, we reiterate our request that the county identify a suitable site for a new high school in the northeast area as soon as possible and take meaningful steps towards completion.

 

4.     Compliance with all applicable Honeygo Plan design guidelines.

 

5.     Widening Joppa Road to no more than two travel lanes not to exceed twelve feet in length and a parking lane along the south side of the road not to exceed six feet in width.

 

6.     Ensuring that appropriate steps are taken to provide for the safe flow of traffic in and out of the proposed development on to Joppa Road, given that Joppa Road is heavily traveled, with a traffic light and traffic circle in close proximity.

 

7.     Providing for an additional “community benefit” to be dedicated to the White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company and the Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company, both of which have capital campaigns underway.

 

As you can see, the PHIA’s primary concern regarding the proposed PUD relates to the chronic school-overcrowding issues that have not been adequately addressed over the past decade. We know that the bulk of the development was approved before you took office, we know you are mindful of those issues and appreciate your advocacy on behalf of the community.

 

Thank you for your consideration of the PHIA’s position regarding this matter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need any additional information.

 

 

                                                                        Very truly yours,

 

 

 

                                                                        President, Perry Hall Improvement Association

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