–The following article was submitted by Fifth District Baltimore County Councilman David Marks-
The Lafarge Quarry includes over 400 acres along Earls Road, one of the largest undeveloped private properties in Middle River. In August of 2022, the Baltimore County Council voted to extend public water to this area.
Two months later, the Council supported a resolution allowing for the review of a Planned Unit Development to include large warehouses at the site, along with open space that could potentially be used for a new school.
I opposed both resolutions. Simply put, moving forward on development at this location was premature. There were too many questions. What traffic improvements have been finalized at this site? What are the real environmental conditions? Could the school system use the school site? All of these questions were unanswered when the County Council voted on both resolutions.
Since my election to the County Council, I have spent much of my time trying to find the answers. We convened a task force that included residents and business owners from the Earls Road corridor, as well as from major stakeholder organizations.
To their credit, the developers of the project have been helpful in meeting with us and exploring options such as road access to White Marsh Boulevard. But fundamentally, these questions should have been answered before the County Council ever acted.
As required by law, there was a Community Input Meeting on February 23rd, the largest-attended I have ever observed in my three decades of local involvement.
We need a fresh start. The right course of action is to develop a planning district thoughtfully and methodically, in conjunction with the new Master Plan and the new Comprehensive Zoning Map Process.
I support property rights. The owners of the Lafarge Quarry should have the ability to use this property, but I also respect the property rights of the residents and business owners who will be impacted by whatever happens at this site.