A proposed affordable apartment building in East Towson is drawing skepticism from residents and environmental activists raising concerns about issues including traffic and watershed impacts.
The proposed 56-unit development on the 2.5-acre parcel between 413 E. Pennsylvania Ave. and Joppa Road, dubbed Red Maple Place, is in the early stages of the county development process. Homes For America, an Annapolis-based nonprofit housing developer, is spearheading construction and will manage the property once it is complete.
But neighbors of the property in East Towson and Harris Hill condominiums have concerns about traffic and stormwater management.
Adelaide Bentley, president of the East Towson Community Association, thinks the property is too small, and that the neighborhood is too crammed, to handle one more large apartment building. She listed buildings built in recent decades in what was once a small neighborhood of modest single-family homes — Virginia Towers, Tabco Towers, and further up the street projects like Circle East.
“Truthfully, I don’t think we need any more apartment buildings … How many places do they think they can put in East Towson? Why don’t they try someplace else?” Bentley said.
“It’s the last piece of green space that we have in the community,” said Karen Walker, who lives on Pennsylvania Avenue next door to the planned development.
Walker, an East Towson native who grew up in the tight-knit, historically African American community, said she has no problem with the fact that the units will be affordable — it is about the traffic. “We’re so crowded right now,” she said.
“Being a good addition to the neighborhood and conformance to all applicable laws, standards, and regulations is very important to us,” said Diane Clyde, vice president of development for Homes for America, pointing to the nonprofit’s track record of building 81 communities.
“We are very proud of our communities and the excellent housing we provide for our residents and the communities in which we are located. We look forward to the completion of Red Maple Place and providing high quality housing in Towson.”
Read full article: Affordable housing development proposed for East Towson – Baltimore Sun