Sparks Glencoe Community Planning Council

News from The Sparks-Glencoe Community Planning Council


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The Royal Farms proposal to build a gas station and store on Mt. Carmel Road in Hereford is again before the Baltimore County Board of Appeals for further hearings, on March 27, 2017, in the Jefferson Building, 105 W. Chesapeake Ave.,Towson, MD, Room 206, beginning at 10 am.

Obrecht Townhouse Development Moving Forward

The Obrecht development of 79 townhouses in Hunt Valley, on York Road at Fila Way, is moving through the development process.

Councilman Todd Huff paved the way for this development by granting Obrecht the zoning they requested in last year's Comprehensive Zoning Map Process.


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April 30th Annual Meeting Features 3rd District Candidates>>
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SGCPC Introduction to CZMP>>
MD CREP Video>>
Did You Know...>>

News Archives>>

Past News...

CZMP 2016: Itís upon us again: the Comprehensive Zoning Map. The CZMP occurs every four years and allows any citizen (individual, contract purchaser, community organization, County Councilman) to request a zoning change on any property in the County. Our organization has filed three issues to right zoning wrongs that were imposed on the North County during the last CZMP. READ MORE>>

ROYAL FARMS: Another intrusion into the rural atmosphere of Hereford may be coming our way soon. Royal Farms is proposing to build a new store and gas station on Mt. Carmel Road, on the field where the Hereford Fall Festivals have traditionally been held. READ MORE>>

CELL TOWER ALERT: The need for modern communication technology has prompted Oldfields School to propose the placement of a cell tower on its Glencoe Road campus. READ MORE>>

OBRECHT TOWNHOUSE DEVELOPMENT: An update from SGCPC regarding the Obrecht development plan for York Road and Fila Way. READ MORE>>

BALTIMORE COUNTY REFORESTATION: Have you been wondering how your stormwater management fees are being spent? READ MORE>>

PIPELINE WOES: May 30, 2013, seems a long way off. Yet the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (CORPS) have refused since then to reissue a public notice for wetlands and waterways mitigation and a water quality certification for the looming Columbia Gas Transmission MB-Line Extension project. READ MORE>>

DEATH BY A THOUSAND PERMITS: The County continues to approve growth along the York Road corridor in Loveton/Highlands, exacerbating traffic congestion and eliminating options for improvements. READ MORE>>

SGCPC Introduction to CZMP and Summary of Issues:

SGCPC Response to CZMP News Articles:

Dear North County Neighbors,

Those who have lived in the north county for a while will not be surprised to learn that the Sparks-Glencoe Community Planning Council has filed petitions for rezoning during the Comprehensive Zoning Map Process that takes place every four years. Thousands of acres of north county land have been downzoned by the county government over the last couple of decades in response to petitions filed by our organization and others in the north county. You probably enjoy the fruits of those efforts as you admire the long stretches of greenery that set northern Baltimore County apart from nearby areas that have seen intensive development.

We decide which land to include in our petitions by studying GIS maps compiled by North County Preservation, which are based on information from the State Department of Natural Resources and Baltimore County agencies. We read Baltimore County’s Master Plan and consider whether the current zoning upholds the goals of the Master Plan. For instance, the Master Plan states that growth and development must be managed sustainably in order to protect resources providing for the basic needs of all citizens, including local food production and high quality water supply. It states that there are places where development should not occur, such as agricultural properties, and places near drinking water supplies and other land with environmental resources. We use the GIS database to identify land containing these resources, and then consider whether the development allowed by the land’s current zoning would be detrimental to the resources.

Much of the land that Sparks-Glencoe has included in our petitions contains rivers and streams that ultimately empty into the Loch Raven Reservoir, a water supply system that is already under federal orders to reduce phosphorus. By reducing the density of future development near waterways flowing into the reservoir, the amount of phosphorus being added into the Reservoir will be reduced, as will other threats to water quality, such as sodium and chlorides.

Some of the land included in our zoning petitions is wooded. Trees serve many environmental purposes, including protecting water quality, cleaning the air, controlling flood damage, and providing wildlife habitat. Efforts to protect forests are enhanced by Resource Preservation zoning which we have suggested.

Baltimore County’s zoning methodology is to place large blocks of land in the same zoning category. This prevents incompatible uses from being close together. In some cases, the Resource Preservation zoning we have requested has no effect on a given piece of property, because that property has no more development potential. The land is still included in our petition in order to achieve zoning that is comprehensive.

We recognize that some landowners disagree with our opinion-- they are entitled to explain to the county that they want to keep the development rights afforded by their current zoning. Hopefully, landowners’ sense of stewardship will lead them to support Resource Preservation zoning to protect the resources on their land for their own enjoyment and for the well-being of the larger community. As Baltimore County’s Master Plan says, “Reducing and mitigating negative impacts on natural resources and the environment is crucial to the long-term success of any community. Clean air and water is essential for all living beings to survive and flourish.”

The Board of Directors of the Sparks-Glencoe Community Planning Council

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Maryland CREP Partnership Video

Maryland Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Partnership from Chesapeake Bay Program on Vimeo.

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Did You Know...

Maryland created the Smart Growth program to direct new growth away from rural areas and into more urban areas with existing infrastructure to support the growth.  A new study has found that the program did little to prevent suburban sprawl. 

Study Calls Maryland Smart Growth A Flop
By Lisa Rein, The Washington Post

An innovative policy to fight suburban sprawl catapulted Maryland into the national spotlight a decade ago and became then-Gov. Parris N. Glendening's principal legacy.   Read More>>

That our reservoir system was impaired? The beautiful Gunpowder Falls River system which winds it way from Prettyboy Reservoir to Loch Raven Reservoir tracking the NCR trail has phosphorous levels that are too high and must be reduced. The Maryland Department of Environment has declared the Prettyboy and Loch Raven Reservoirs are impaired by 50% and in violation of the Federal Clean Water Act.

When development occurs, there is more storm water runoff flowing from increased impervious surfaces such as rooftops, driveways, and roads.  This causes increased sedimentation in the Gunpowder and its tributaries.  The sedimentation carries phosphorus from development into the Gunpowder and ultimately into the Loch Raven Reservoir.  Phosphorus from residential development comes from three sources:       

lawn fertilizers
pet wastes
improperly maintained septic systems        

Protecting land in the watershed from additional development will reduce the growth of pollutants and help protect these vital water supplies.

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Sparks-Glencoe Community Planning Council

PO Box 937
Sparks, MD 21152