Historic Lutherville community members have urged Baltimore County Councilman Todd Huff to withdraw legislation that they between College Manor and its neighbors over the assisted living facility’s plans to rezone the property.
College Manor representatives and Lutherville Community Association board members were reportedly coming close to an agreement on a covenant on the property until Huff introduced bill 48-12.
The bill, as drafted, caters specifically to and allows for additional development, while preserving at least 5 acres of open space. The bill also grants College Manor’s desire to build a structure, which holds 80 beds, while enabling renovation of the existing structure to accommodate 12 luxury living apartments on 4 acres of its 11.56 acre property.
Thirteen Lutherville Community Association members spoke out against the bill Tuesday at a County Council work session. The community association has gone on record favoring the covenant over legislation because laws can be overturned in the future, whereas a covenant would be a binding contact that could be used in court.
“The bill poisons the negotiations,” Jeffrey Dier, a community association board member, said. "How can we even have a negotiations about this when we have … a hammer hanging over our heads?”
Two individuals spoke in favor of the bill: College Manor co-owner Bunny Renaud and property lawyer Rob Hoffman. Renaud echoed her comments from a letter to the editor that was submitted to Patch Monday. Read the letter .
between College Manor and the community association, which has scheduled an emergency meeting tonight to discuss the matter.
“I want to put this thing to bed,” Huff said. “I hope to get a phone call tomorrow to find out what resolution that we’ve come up with. Once everything is said and done, this [bill] will become a moot point and go away.”
Huff said the bill was based from language used to draft the covenant, although speakers called the bill premature and vaguely written.
“For example, it doesn’t say there can only be one building,” said Brian West, who lives across the street from along Seminary Avenue. “There could be a building built west and east both connected to the existing building.
“It doesn’t say that the height of any new buildings will not exceed the existing building,” he continued. “It says ‘not higher than,’ but if you measure from the bottom of that building up, and you remember that Seminary Avenue runs up a hill, that height will result in a building standing much taller than the existing building.”
The remaining point of contention, before the bill was introduced, squared on the length of time that College Manor would be bound to not pursue further development.
The bill is scheduled for a vote on Aug. 6. The final plans for the Comprehensive Zoning Map Process will be voted on Aug. 28.