Baltimore County Zoning Referendum Stirs Controversy

The Baltimore Sun reports that community leaders are fighting a referendum drive to put land-use decisions on the 2014 ballot in two Baltimore County districts.  The referendum would challenge recent zoning decisions in districts 2 and 6.  As the Sun reported, community leaders point to ties between the drive and developers who opposed recent zoning boards decisions to re-zone the former Solo Cup site and allowing retail at the Middle River Depot.

At a news conference outside the courthouse in Towson, community activist Noel Levy said signature gatherers are misleading voters about what the referendum would do. He called Brown and Cordish “a couple of very wealthy, well-heeled developers circumventing” the county’s zoning process.

The Committee for Zoning Integrity states on its website,

The Baltimore County Council voted in August to approve new comprehensive zoning maps for the County after what many consider to be the most contentious rezoning process ever in the history of Baltimore County. Many worry that the final maps ignore the Master Plan and were completed without the appropriate amount of study to determine the true economic, environmental and traffic impact of rezoning decisions.

According to the Sun, referendum supporters must collect more than 28,000 signatures to put the issue on the ballot and a third of those signatures are due by October 15.

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