Baltimore County Department of Planning will hold a public hearing on March 31, 2016 at 6 P.M. at Dundalk High School located at 1901 Delvale Ave, Baltimore, MD 21222 seeking comment from Fort Howard residents on property zoning and rezoning designations issues being considered during this quadrennial cycle of the Comprehensive Zoning Map Process.
The two famous Fort Howard community parks, Historic Fort Howard Park and Fort Howard Veterans Park will be rezoned “NC,” for “Neighborhood Commons,” by the authority of legislation Bill 7-12 Zoning Regulations – Neighborhood Commons Overlay District introduced by Councilmans Marks and Quirk and approved 2012.
Property designated NC “Neighborhood Commons,” “blocks even one house per acre.”
Currently the Fort Howard Veterans Park is zoned DR5.5.
According to the Baltimore County Citizen’s Guide to Zoning this translates into 5.5 houses per acre on the roughly 4 acre parcel for a total of 22 dwellings by right, should Baltimore County decide in the future it is surplus property and sell it.
ASTONISHINGLY, Fort Howard Park, historically land-marked by Baltimore County Council in 1980 by Bill 157-80, is also designated DR5.5 now and notably includes the once Shultz Farm known today as the “dike area,”; the dike area is also part of Fort Howard Park albeit closed to the public.
At the Fort Howard Park’s current DR5.5 zoning designation, should it be sold, hundreds of dwelling potentially could be erected in its place.
In a letter from Councilman Crandell’s office it states,
“The thought of any of our remaining public land disappearing to development caused us to take the lead on using an “NC” (Neighborhood Commons) zoning designation in order to protect roughly 960 acres across the district.”
“At the end of all this, the goal is to protect and preserve over 900 acres of public open space type land. The final decision will be made in October and voted on by the rest of the Council. At that point, the county zoning maps will change and where you may now see DR, or RC or even BL zoning on parkland, it will change to NC. The NC designation prevents the sale or transfer of the property by this or any future County Executive.”
Fort Howard Park along with Fort Howard Veterans Park zoning designation is being properly changed to “NC,” neighborhood commons this CZMP cycle.
Additionally, Councilman Todd Crandell has placed the Fort Howard Veteran Medical Center property into the CZMP at its current designation DR5.5.
Although appearing counter-intuitive, Mr. Crandell explained during the FHCA November 2015 meeting placing the property into the CZMP permits Fort Howard community public comment, as stakeholders, on the site’s future at several Baltimore County hearing opportunities during the 2016 process.
In addition to the March 31, 2016 Department of Planning Hearing at Dundalk high School, from April 5th to May 5th 2016 the Planning Board will hold work sessions, then the Baltimore County Council will hold public hearings in June 2016 followed by the councils review and ratification of the proposed zoning designations from July 1st to September 15th 2016.
Fort Howard Community Association will shortly be announcing the date of the next community meeting in March 2016. Residents are most strongly encouraged to attend this particular meeting.
The agenda will be solely focused on the CZMP and in particular the communities’ vision of its future.
The FHCA meeting date and time is posted on the Fort Howard Post Office bulletin board.
Call 410-477-2040 if have any questions or comments of the upcoming FHCA meeting.
Thank you for your help fulfilling the Association’s mission“to preserve, enhance, and maintain the rural, historic, small town, Chesapeake Bay character and qualities of Fort Howard.”
“It’s our community, let’s take care of it.”