Opponents of a planned affordable housing apartment building in historically Black East Towson have won a victory in the Baltimore County Board of Appeals.
Residents have been battling the proposed Red Maple Place, saying it would threaten their neighborhood. Republican County Councilman David Marks, who represents Towson, said the Board of Appeals blocked the development over concerns the building would not be compatible with the community. Marks said the developer, Homes for America, should look for another site.
“I just think there is so much animosity, so much contention with the current site,” Marks said. “But that’s really up to the developer. The developer has the legal right to appeal it.”
And it will.
In a statement, Dana Johnson, the president of Homes for America, a non-profit organization, said they will vigorously appeal the decision in Baltimore County Circuit Court.
“Red Maple Place will provide desperately needed affordable housing in Towson and we remain steadfast in our commitment to deliver this opportunity to those who need it most,” Johnson wrote. “While we have not yet received the written order by the Baltimore County Board of Appeals, if what we have heard is accurate, Homes for America is deeply disappointed by their conclusion to overrule the approval of the Administrative Law Judge.”
In May, an administrative law judge ruled Red Maple Place could go forward. It would be a 56-unit complex at the intersection of Joppa Road and Fairmount Avenue on the edge of East Towson.
Some of the residents of East Towson, including Nancy Goldring, are descendants of slaves who once labored at Hampton Plantation in Baltimore County. In an interview with WYPR last fall, Goldring described Red Maple as a big, brick beast that will dominate the neighborhood.
At a hearing in January, Goldring said that the project was irresponsible.
“I totally do not understand the need to destroy one community to bring another one into being,” she said.
Read full article: East Towson Residents Win Legal Round Over Affordable Housing Project | WYPR