Is David Marks in the pocket of developers? I say NO!

David Marks criticized because development attorney Gildea on committee with many other businesses giving fundraiser. Marks said "NO" to Gildea client in CZMP-NO 7-Eleven at Joppa and Magledt Roads.

Has David Marks always done what the community wanted?  No.  But on balance most of his decisions have been good for my community and the other communities he represents.  Has he made some mistakes?  Yes, but I am hoping he is learning from them. 

Carney is currently represented by 3 Councilpersons--District 5 Councilman David Marks, District 6 Councilwoman Cathy Bevins and District 3 Councilman Todd Huff.

The Comprehensive Zoning Map Process (CZMP) can bring out the worst in County Councilpersons.  You can really get to see politics in action.  Especially the politics of developers and Baltimore County Council representatives. 

For example, in my community of Carney one of those really damaging decsion was made during CZMP 2012  by County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins.  It seems to me that Councilwoman Bevins did not make a good decision and did not afford the older community on East Avenue the common sense protection, a buffer of green space between them and a large commercial business, that new communities enjoy because of legislated protections.

Councilwoman Bevins rezoned to business zoning the buffer of green land that had been protected for 25 years between the residents living on East Avenue and the Mile One Heritage auto conglomerate.  A few years ago, the community associations had taken the case to court and successfully protected the buffer.  In fact, Arnold Jablon, now back working for Baltimore County government as Director of Permits, Approvals and Inspections, then worked for Venable law firm representing Mile One Heritage.  Councilwoman Bevins negated the court victory by her decision.  Wonder if we will see fundraiser and/or donations from Mile One to Councilwoman Bevins?  Maybe not, but  they will be there directly or indirectly e.g., from a political potentate like Jim Smith who was a major campaign contributor to Bevins in her first election.

Now back to the primary reason for this blog.

From the beginning the big issue for Carney was the proposed CVS with JC Barr as the developer.  The community of Carney knew it was an uphill battle.  The attorneys for the developers contacted the Carney Improvement Association at the beginning of the process and asked to meet with the community.  We met with the CVS proponents and the community did not want a CVS to be built at Harford and Joppa Roads primarily because the intersection is a failing intersection.

Councilman Marks was open with the Carney community regarding his CZMP decisions in Carney.  Councilman Marks said he would not change the zoning to allow the CVS to be built if there was no money to improve the intersection. 

In summer 2012, I got a call from Councilman Marks to tell me that CVS would contribute $880,000 of the $1.3 million needed by Baltimore County Government to move forward on improvements to the intersection at Harford and Joppa Roads.

Councilman Marks came to my home to meet with community members and leaders to explain his rationale for allowing the rezoning the property at the SW corner of Joppa and Harford Roads.  He stayed for 2 hours to discuss and answer questions. 

I called the SHA project director for the Harford and Joppa Road intersection improvements and had an extensive discussion with her regarding the proposed project including whether the improvements would actually improve the failing intersection.  She told me that the improvements would not cure all problems, but would move the intersection rating to a C/D from and E/F SHA rating.  (Baltimore County still has the intersection as passing because they use an outdated scoring method from 1968 to enable development to continue to build within the traffic shed!)

In addition, prior to announcing his decision to rezone the property commercial, Councilman Marks required the owners and developers to enter into a notarized covenant with the Carney Improvement Association to make the CVS a better addition to the community.  The developers agreed to monumental signs (these are the low signs) only near the entrance and exit.  They agreed to leave the rest of the parcel of land undeveloped which preserves some green space at the corner of Joppa and Harford Roads.  They also agreed to move (if necessary because of SHA project ) and maintain the Carney sign

However, the reason that I know that Councilman Marks is not in the pocket of the firm that represents developers of Smith, Gildea, Schmidt is because David Marks did not permit a 7-Eleven to be built at Joppa and Magledt Roads, a gateway to the Carney community. 

Very late in the summer of 2012, Councilman Marks was told that the commercial business proposed for corner of Joppa and Magledt Roads was a 7-Eleven.  (At the time I did not know that the attorney was Gildea.)  I only knew who the owner of the property was.  It is most distressing is the "sneaky" way that developer an attorney, Gildea, withheld the proposal until almost at the end of the zoning process, in late summer when people are most likely not to be paying attention. 

Councilman Marks called me and told me that he was not going to approve building a 7-Eleven at Joppa and Magledt Roads.  He did the right thing for the community.  I am sure neither the property owner or the development attorney was happy with this CZMP decison.

If it were not for David Marks' forthrightness and community sense, we could have ended up with a 7-Eleven store at a gateway to our Carney community.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

CarneyGirl September 17, 2012 at 08:20 PM
As I have wrote before on various articles related to both properties, I too, agree that Councilman Marks is doing his very best to represent the Carney community. I believe he cares. Great article!
Parkvillehoney September 17, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Thank you Meg for a great response and article.
Steve September 19, 2012 at 04:36 PM
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." ~Shakespeare
brucesckmickley September 21, 2012 at 08:18 PM
what's the big deal about Marks' funraiser?How do you think candidates for public office get elected?It requires a considerable amount of personal time and money to get elected to any public office.with all the advertising,postage,and printed material just to get a reasonable amount of publicity.Some people contribute their time and effort because they believe in the cndidate running for office,without consideration what they will get if their candidate wins.Others, like developers, contribute ,hopefully,for some consideration if the candidate is elected.That doesn't mean the candidate is in their pocket..To what extent did the developers who gave money to Marks during his first two years reap any benefit from his voting record..Did Sears check his voting record to see to what extent any developer benefited from their contributions in the past 2 years? The real test of any incumbent is when he votes,does he/she do so in the public interest?As I view the incumbent,compared with his do nothing prior fifth district councilman,he is entitled to a second term,and need not be concerned with his prior record or from whom the funraising money originates..
Gary Staab March 09, 2013 at 04:48 PM
Does anyone know the fate of the Shoe repair shop on the corner of that proposed CVS project? Any information would be greatly appreciated.


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