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Rezoning Approved For New Carney CVS

The decision will allow developer J.C. BAR to build a CVS/pharmacy on the southwest corner of Harford and Joppa Roads.

Zoning changes approved Tuesday night appear to pave the way for on the corner of Harford and Joppa Roads.

The decision, unanimously approved by the Baltimore County Council, allows the retailer to build a new store on the southwest corner of Harford and Joppa Roads—an intersection graded failing by the state.

Fifth District Councilman David Marks characterized the decision whether or not to allow the zoning change as the most difficult he had to make during the quadrennial Comprehensive Zoning Map Process.

Ultimately though, Marks decided to recommend the change with a number of stipulations.

In a document explaining the various changes in zoning enacted throughout Carney, Marks wrote that ultimately the came down to two scenarios.

"There were two options: to deny the rezoning request, or to rezone with conditions," he wrote.

In the first, he wrote, the rezoning request would be denied and the developer would sell the property for residential development. Current zoning would allow for 21 townhouses to be built on the property along with an 11-foot tall retaining wall. The intersection of Harford and Joppa Roads would be improved but at a higher cost and likely not for another 6 years. 

The second, he wrote, was that the zoning change was approved and built. Under that scenario, the intersection could be upgraded by 2014 or 2015, he wrote.

"Looking at these two options, the easiest, most popular choice would be to deny the rezoning, but that would be a short-term, feel-good decision. It was not the wisest choice," Marks wrote, adding that it was time to fix the intersection.

As part of the decision to support the rezoning request Marks said he required the developer to consult with the Carney Improvement Association on landscaping and signage, and maintain 2 acres of the property as open space. The developer will also contribute between $880,000 and $1 million dollars toward the cost of the intersection improvement project.

Carney Improvement Association president Meg O'Hare said Marks worked with the community to make an "unwanted commercial development the best it could be."

O'Hare credited Marks with working with association board members to put together a formal agreement with the site developer J.C. BAR and the property owners.

"It's a situation where, when life gives you lemons ... you make lemonade," O'Hare said.

Marks, who campaigned on fixing the intersection of Harford and Joppa Roads, seized the opportunity to do so during the rezoning process, O'Hare said.

"I personally think David Marks did a good job for Carney and for his whole district. He listens to the people who are his constituents," she said. "He may not be able to do what the community thinks is the ultimate good but he tries to do good because he was a community leader and he doesn't forget where he came from."

During the rezoning process, Marks also reduced the zoning on 79 acres of property in the Carney area including a parcel of land that he said had been targeted for development by 7-Eleven near the corner of Joppa and Magledt Roads.

You can find a .pdf where David Marks explains zoning changes in the Carney area attached to this article. A map illustrating the location of zoning issues in the Fifth District is also attached.

"I think I made the best possible decision," Marks said. "When you look at the overall record, in the Carney area I downzoned 79 acres and upzoned 2. That's pretty good."

Nick M August 30, 2012 at 08:03 PM
How ever anyone puts it, the CVS is a bad idea for the area. It is totally not needed. I'd Rather see houses build on that lot even if they were going to cut ever single tree down. It is residental (or I mean WAS residental) Lets keep it that way. Why turn everything into commercial lots. David Marks may have done and does a lot for the citizens of BC but that doesn't sway the fact that I and many other local residents are very unhappy with the outcome. Mr Marks are you going to actively work with the owners and/or managers of the current CVS properties to find a suitable leasee for those locations. Vacancies are a blite on a neighborhood. I am really curious to see how things play out over the near future when this CVS is built and the intersection is upgraded. I have a feeling it is going to be a disaster but I hope I am wrong. Mr Marks thanks for your work but your decision was the wrong one. I guess you can't make everyone happy.
Nick M August 30, 2012 at 08:05 PM
That so called traffic calming devise at the library has been taken out a couple times already.
CarneyGirl August 31, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I too am sad to see that property turned into another unncessary CVS store. I would have rather it be left alone or created into a little park area. After sitting everyday at the trafflic light there on Joppa I see homes with cars parked right there thru the trees on that property? Do people live there? Are their homes going to be torn down? Or is the CVS going to butt right up to their houses? Just curious because from Joppa it doesn't look like even a large property space! I greatly appreciate Councilman Marks work and diligence. He is very active and I know he has to make very hard decisions and will never make everyone happy. I can recognize that fact. I love that the property at Joppa and Magledt has been rezoned for residental and not commercial 7-11 retail space! He also reduced the number of homes that can be built on the site. I too will be curious and am skeptical of the promised improvements to be made at the failing Joppa/Harford road intersection. I don't see how putting a traffic light at the library will change much for the intersection. In fact, it will probably make for an even longer time sitting waiting for the light to change! The whole intersection needs to be revamped. Too many blind spots and too much retail space creating havoc. A bank, shopping center with two entrances, a bar, gas station, a florist, Yia Yia bakery, Wendy's, Walgreens, and now a new CVS! Come on - the area is too small for all that congestion! headache coming on.
Frank Caret September 01, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Nah, Ruth Baisden is bipartisan. Both Democrats and Republicans can't stand this angry woman. Good luck getting anything from the politicians you've alienated, now in the county as well as the State.
Str8 Parlayin' January 15, 2014 at 09:10 PM
The CVS in the Carney shopping center and the CVS a 1/8 mile south on Harford road, across from The Bowman restaurant, will be shut down once this new CVS is built. The major reason this CVS was approved is because the intersection at Harford and Joppa is annually graded as one of the worst in the county. CVS is paying between $830,000 - $1 Million toward the reconstruction of this intersection as part of the agreement for the rezoning of the plot of land. That money makes up about 20% of the total cost of the reconstruction of the intersection. Also, the intersection reconstruction is now being fast tracked for 2015-2016 as apposed to 2018. Also, the alternative to the CVS was a 21 home townhouse development. This plan did not need County Council approval because the land was already zoned residential. If the townhouse development were built then no money would have been contributed toward the intersection reconstruction. All this information can be found by going to this link. http://o2.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/patch/92c69fd5660a775187ca4d7af00c6aef . This is a link to a document, written by 5th district councilman David Marks, concerning zoning in the 5th district.

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