More than a year after a developer submitted a plan to revitalize a downtown Perry Hall shopping center, Baltimore County Councilman David Marks said the project has become gummed up in county bureaucracy.
Final approval of the plan to redevelop the building at 8833 Belair Road has been bogged down in environmental reviews, Marks said in a statement this week.
The plan—first introduced to the public in November 2012—was to demolish the existing structure and rebuild a new shopping center.
Property owner John Mazarakis was to erect a two-story brick building with 12,410 square feet of retail space, new landscaping and an entrance sign to downtown Perry Hall, according to the statement from Marks.
"Unfortunately, this project lagged for months in the sediment control and grading approval process, where good developments go to die," Marks said. "I don’t know how the current property, which is slowly collapsing under the elements, is good for the environment or for the Perry Hall community."
Marks, who created a commercial revitalization zone in Perry Hall that would offer county assistance to those making improvements in specific areas, said the stalling of the demolition project was a major roadblock in improving downtown Perry Hall.
"I recognize that environmental regulations are important and serve a valuable purpose, but it appears that this project fell into a bureaucratic rabbit hole," Marks said.
President of the Perry Hall Improvement Association Dennis Robinson said he appreciated the councilman's efforts.
"I thank Councilman Marks for doing whatever he can to expedite its redevelopment,” Robinson said in a prepared statement.
Marks said he has worked to improve to improve downtown Perry Hall since his election, creating the Perry Hall commercial revitalization district and forming a committee to beautify the area that will plant new landscaping this spring.
Said Marks: "Residents of Perry Hall should know I am doing everything I can to have this unsafe, unsightly structure bulldozed."