Condo News

April 9, 2014


The appeal of the condos was held at the Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis. Representatives for each side spoke for 20 minutes. Mr. Schmidt, representative for Galloway Creek LLC stated that the concept site plan was used by the Community. Mr. Holzer assured the Court that the Red Line Map for the Plan was used and that the Community comments were based upon the document submitted by Mr. Schmidt for the case extract and then confirmed the components of the PUD that are proposed outside of the BMB area. The case also shows that if the 36 condo units are placed on the designated 2.9 acres, as Galloway Creek LLC is now claiming, that the resulting 12.41 dwelling units per acre exceeds the restriction of 4 units per acre in the Limited Development area. As an aside issue, this exceeds the designated 5.5 units per acre as designated by the BMB underlying zoning.


It should also be known that the 2.9 acre site is an overstatement of the size of the site by Galloway Creek LLC. Their Plan Document reported total acreage of that parcel on the west side of Burke Road as being 2.6448 acres and Baltimore County reported that that parcel included .79 acres of RC 5 zoned property at the time of submission of the proposal. This leaves 1.8548 acres of BMB zoned property. By placing 36 units on the BMB section of the property, the result is 19.4091 units per acre which exceeds the maximum 16 units per acre for a PUD.



June 15, 2013


BQCA has filed an appeal of Judge Alexander's opinion. His decision basically stated that all different levels of residential zoning are compatible which is obviously wrong. Different levels of residential zoning designate different types of housing, different densities, and different setbacks which is the reason behind the different residential zoning categories. The opinion also failed to recognize the specific section of the Eastern Baltimore County Revitalization Plan that was cited by the minority opinion of the Appeals Board. He also chose not to rule on the Variations of Standards which are separately appealed.  



May 22, 2013


Judge Alexander announced his decision to affirm the decision of the Appeals Board regarding the reversal of the denial of Galloway Creek PUD.


  February  14, 2013


The Appeal Hearing for the appeal of the Baltimore County Board of Appeal's decision was held on January 30, 2013 in Baltimore County Circuit Court in Towson.  The proceeding was conducted by the Honorable Judge Alexander. The legal arguments to address errors made by the Appeals Board were presented by BQCA's attorney Carroll Holzer. Galloway Creek LLC was represented by Lawrence Schmidt.  


February 2012

Counsel for the Galloway Creek Condo Project has recently filed an appeal of the decision to deny the PUD proposal, claiming legal errors and misinterpretations of the law made by the administrative law judge.  One of the issues highlighted was the location of the PUD on the 14 acre side designated by Resolution 82-07.  Peoples Counsel, the community opposition's attorney and zoning experts all felt that a PUD is placed on the entire site not just a portion of the site as claimed by the counsel for the developers.  


Condo counsel also cited the position of the Office of Planning as an alternative to the clear direction and requirement of the Baltimore County Master Plan and the Community Area Plan.  Community counsel felt that the Office of Planning erred in their review of the proposal to assure compliance with those plans.  


Representatives from the BQCA highlighted sections of the County Code delineating the rural residential area to support their opposition to the Condo proposal versus other citizens who favored over-development without any supportive legal explanation. Counsel for the developers is now maintaining that the site was never a rural residential area, even though the marina operating at the site was issued an earlier "Special Exception".  


The appeal also claims that the administrative law judge gave no credence to the opinion of the Office of Planning; however, during the hearing, the judge accepted every "Variation of Standards" that they recommended which the BQCA opposed.  The BQCA membership has to renew their efforts and support in order to continue to oppose the developers so that their arguments are challenge and a precedent is not established for further over-development of the waterfront.


February 2011

The BQCA Condo Project Committee and the Association attorney, Carroll Holzer have been meeting with the owner, developer and attorney representing the Galloway Creek Condo Project as part of settlement negotiations prior to the scheduled March 14-17th hearings before the Zoning Commissioner.  Content has focused on identifying alternatives to the proposed condo building. 


August 2010


The Consent Order and the Stipulations have been under discussion since July 1, 2010 in preparation for a hearing with the Hearing Officer.  The Case will be be expanded to combine the Appeal that was never heard by the Appeals Board with the presentation that was given to the Planning Board in September of 2008.  The discussion of the negotiation with the attorneys for the developer preempted the presentation of the height restrictions on the condo project.   



Previously

Attorney Carroll Holzer spoke at our earlier meeting on the background and status of the Galloway Creek Condo Development in the rural part of our community.  He also highlighted efforts to keep single-family residences on the rural side of the Urban Rural Demarcation Line (URDL) in Bowleys Quarters.  This project was submitted to the County under the Planned Unit Development (PUD) law.



A brief history of our case:

o  The Galloway developer presented a plan for the Condo PUD to the County and Planning Board that was "rubber stamped". 

o  BQCA took the Planning Board approval to the County Board of Appeals stating that the project was not in compliance with applicable laws.  Our case was very clearly documented.

o  The County Board of Appeals rejected the approval of the Planning Board and ruled that the Planning Board did not explain why they did not reject the developer's plan based on BQCA legal issues.  This should have been the end of the case.

o  The developer then got Councilman Bartenfelder to introduce a bill to remand the case back to the Planning Board.  This bill was withdrawn due to the organized pressure of CAN.

o   County Executive Smith then got the county attorney to request that the case be sent back to the Planning Board.  We opposed this.  The Miller's Island Plan was sent back on a similar appeal and we expect this to happen in our case as well. 


On Mr. Holzer's advice, BQCA has provided a settlement offer that states that BQCA would not oppose development of the Galloway site if only single family homes are included in the development.  There were also other terms that would have made the development compatible with the community.  This compromise plan, if accepted by the developer, would provide a resolution to the dispute while remaining compliant with our Community Action Plan.  It would also benefit both parties by providing an expedient settlement.  The developer did not feel that the proposed plan would be fiscally viable and therefore rejected the offer in the Spring of 2010.



Actual Photograph of Galloway Creek before Condo Development



Rendering of Galloway Creek after Condo Development


                                                          

ORIGINAL SYNOPSIS OF GALLOWAY CREEK CONDO DEVELOPMENT UTILIZING PUDS: 


Developers, taking advantage of recent changes in local development laws, are able to request a PUD (Planned Urban Development) hearing before the County Council "without" community input.  Based on this presentation, the project is approved or disapproved by the County Council.  Once approved, the community is only  able to comment on the development.  Worse, once a project has been approved, the developer can the go back requesting revisions and amendments, again "without any public input".  He can also amend the PUD and annex adjacent properties at a later time.  This can result in an endless process of changes without any community input.




Size rendering of Condos relative to adjacent homes


Several large property owners have requested zoning changes to their properties to take advantage of this unrestricted development opportunity.  Large tracts of land along Bay Drive, along Chester Road off Susquehanna, and along Carroll Island Road have requested rezoning.  Many existing marinas are currently zoned for condo development, particularly the 4 marinas located down Edwards Lane, as well as Maryland Marina, Porters Seneca Marina and Long Beach Marina.  Beacon Light Marina is requesting rezoning as well.  The developer that built the condos at Hopewell Point has teamed with Galloway Marina to be the first on the peninsula with the condo development.  However, we can anticipate many more to follow if this development plan becomes successful.  That could add up to 900 new units and 3000 more people, concentrated in high rise, low cost condos on the waterfront in Bowleys Quarters.

BQCA feels strongly that this development will add to the existing traffic congestion and ruin the waterfront skyline.  In addition, condo development has historically lowered the value of the homes in the area. We are OPPOSED to this development as it only benefits the developers.

 

DECEMBER, 2007

BQCA Position Paper on the Galloway Creek Condominium PUD         

o   BQCA supports development in accordance with the existing Community Development Plan and the         Baltimore County Master Plan.  Development on the peninsula is and should continue to be limited to         detached single family dwellings.

o   BQCA does not support development of condominiums, additional townhouses or multifamily units outside of the rural urban demarcation line, or beyond Red Rose Farm Road, as stated in the community plan.  BQCA opposes this PUD development as it will set a very detrimental precedent for all future development on the peninsula.

o   BQCA  residents solicited 300 signatures to stop the proposed development of 36 condominiums; Councilman Bartenfelder stated that number was sufficient to indicate that community as a whole is opposed to the development.

o   BQCA is opposed to any proposed development of buildings adjacent to or within residential buildings that do not conform to the height, size and setback requirements of the neighborhood.  The proposed condominiums exceed the height, size and setback requirements within the critical zone.

 o  BQCA is opposed to any development which does not conform to Baltimore County Regulations; specifically, any new construction should comply with the 4A03 Growth and Plan for Bowleys Quarters; the condominiums do NOT comply.

o   BQCA is opposed to any new construction which does strictly comply with critical area development regulations: the proposed condominiums do NOT comply.

o   The proposed condominiums will create an enormous break in the visual appearance of the waterfront community. The condominiums will have an adverse visual affect on adjacent holders and all waterfront property holders within visual range; as well as have an adverse affect on local property values.

o   The roads servicing the proposed development are substandard and cannot support additional development without significant upgrade.  The existing roads cannot handle the existing population, and backups exceeding ½ mile have become daily occurrences.

o   The schools and general infrastructure of the area cannot support the added population.

After the installation of grinder pumps on most of the peninsula, the local water continues to fail public health and safety standards.  Development of high density population centers near or in the critical zone such as the proposed condominium will serve to increase runoff and pollution.  BQCA is opposed to high density waterfront development.


Proposed Project (from Baltimore County application package)

The Galloway Creek PUD development has proposed building a 4 story multi-family condominium containing 36 residential units on the east side of Burke Road.  The location is at the west and east side of Burke Road at the northeast corner of Bowleys Road.  Land management categorization is currently resource preservation and rural residential with BMB, RC 20 and RC5 zoning.  Total acreage is 15.2587 acres.  Two elevators are to be available to serve the residents of the bulding.  Parking, lobby and residential storage is to be provided under the building.  Additional at-grade parking is to be provided along the northern property line.  Walking paths, entrance pergola, seating area and amenity open space are also proposed.  Two of the existing piers are to be removed.  The existing longer pier is to be reconstructed and include a total of 36 slips, reduced from the current 188 slips.  Condominium unit owners will have an option to pay for and use a slip or offer it to a third party, under rules set by the condominium council.

     If you are concerned about this development, now is the time to take action.  
       Please join our Community Association and help us help the community.

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