Councilman Marks Updates on Zoning and Pet Cemeteries

Post date: Jul 27, 2012 11:12:58 AM

I am writing to let the Ridgeleigh community know of three issues that directly concern the Ridgeleigh community.

The first two issues concern the Oakleigh Pet Cemetery located in the 8400 block of Oakleigh Road. Even before my election, I was aware of the deteriorating state of this cemetery. The property has been neglected for years, prompting thousands of dollars in fines from Baltimore County government. It is a neighborhood eyesore that detracts from the many positive things underway in the Ridgeleigh community.

Current zoning at this three-acre site is DR 5.5, which would allow a 15-unit development to be built there, irrespective of environmental constrants. Because of the uncertain future of this property, I will be asking my colleagues on the County Council to downzone the Oakleigh Pet Cemetery to DR 1, the lowest possible level of residential development. DR 1 would allow, at most, three houses to be built there if the land were to be sold for development.

I am also sponsoring legislation that would provide protections for anyone who purchased lots at the cemetery. At the August meeting of the Baltimore County Council, I will submit a bill that requires a pet cemetery owner to notify lot buyers if the cemetery is ever sold or used for a purpose other than a pet cemetery. The legislation also requires compensation for those who purchased lots. I am attaching the legislation.

Finally, I had raised a zoning issue that affects Ridgeleigh Park. The three-acre park is zoned DR 5.5. I was initially concerned what may happen if the land were ever sold for development. After numerous conversations with the administration, I believe this is highly unlikely; the land is an active park, and there are processes in place that would require consultation with the County Council if the property were to be excessed. Therefore, I will not recommend any rezoning of Ridgeleigh Park.

Please distribute the information above to your membership. Thanks very much for all the good work!

County Councilman David Marks

Historic Courthouse

400 Washington Avenue

Towson, MD 21204

(410) 887-3384