Baltimore County Councilman Todd Huff is staying mum on zoning requests that could impact up to 1,000 acres of space in his district—and his constituents aren't happy.
“He apparently doesn’t care about all the work that has been done historically over the last 30 years,” said Doug Carroll, a Greenspring Valley resident. “The whole system needs to change.”
Carroll was on of several speakers at a panel hosted by North County Preservation on Wednesday night at the Baltimore County Agriculture Resource Center.
The County Council will vote to approve or reject all 71 zoning change requests in the Lutherville-Timonium, Cockeysville, Hunt Valley and North County areas on Aug. 28.
“I’m making my decisions on the 28th,” Huff said of his plans to keep his opinions close to his chest until the deadline for the county’s Comprehensive Zoning Map Process.
Huff was invited to share his views at the panel, but the 3rd district Republican councilman declined the invitation.
“I got the invitation a week and a half ago and I’ve had this fundraiser for over a month and a half,” Huff said Wednesday evening. “It’s at Towson University ... for the Towson University Athletics Department. My family’s business has always been big supporters of theirs.”
North County Preservation president Mike Pierce said the purpose of the panel discussion was to inform North County neighbors of the zoning issues relevant to their communities and the impacts a yes or no vote could have.
Speakers included environmental activists from a wide array of Baltimore County land preservation and conservation organizations.
Panelist Sharon Bailey, board president of the Prettyboy Watershed Alliance, addressed Huff’s absence as a primary concern.
“This [CZMP] is especially challenging because we have someone on the County Council who ... we don’t know how this councilman is going to vote,” Bailey said.
She harkened back to Huff’s predecessor then-Councilman Brian McIntyre who in 2004, submitted a down zoning request to protect 12,00 acres of open space in North County.
“[North County] relied on zoning for conservation in the 1970s,” added James W. Constable, an attorney and president of The Manor Conservancy.
Huff however was critical of the speculation he assumed was being levied against him at the panel discussion.
“I’m not discussing any of my issues. I haven’t discussed any of my issues with anybody [and I won’t] until after the vote,” Huff said. “Whatever they’re saying up there is not factual. They have no idea what direction I’m going on any of my issues.”
A number of audience members who choose to speak questioned Huff’s relationship with developers.
Huff has worked closely with community leaders and developers several times over the last two years to broker solutions for land use issues, including development at Pot Spring and Old Bosley to as recently as the situation with College Manor.
"It seems to be an issue that has come up more and more in this zoning cycle," Constable said. "It sets some very bad zoning precedents."