–by Coucilman David Marks-
In 2022, I opposed both the extension of public water and the start of a review process for a proposed industrial center at the LaFarge Quarry on Earls Road in Middle River. My colleagues on the Council nonetheless advanced both actions.
Now that I actually represent the LaFarge Quarry, I am taking steps to ensure that this proposal is thoughtfully reviewed if it is to proceed.
Please read below for a summary of the LaFarge Quarry project…..
During the 2020 rezoning process, Councilwoman Bevins supported RC 8 zoning at the LaFarge Quarry and initiated a community task force that recommended several different scenarios at the property.
In August 2022, the Council approved by a 5-to-2 vote the extension of public water along Earls Road (Again, I opposed).
In October 2022, the Council approved by a 4-to-3 margin a Planned Unit Development resolution at the LaFarge site (Again, I opposed).
Resolution 39-21 advances a development at LaFarge through the review process—but does not approve it, which is done by an Administrative Law Judge.
The resolution identifies more than 220 acres for open space that may be transferred to the county for public uses, including a vocational school. About 194 acres would be used for industrial purposes.
I opposed the resolution for four main reasons—it was being rushed, there were no transportation and infrastructure commitments from the developer, there was no conclusive study on soil conditions, and the school system did not evaluate the feasibility of the school site.
Since the election, we have done the following:
First, our office created a task force of residents and other stakeholders to evaluate the resolution and help guide the future direction of the development. Second, I passed a resolution urging BCPS to evaluate the school option by February.
The next week, the Board of Education acted on this request. Third, we have been working with Delegates Nawrocki and Szeliga to get findings from the Maryland Department of the Environment on environmental conditions.
There will be a Community Input Meeting on February 23 at 7 p.m. at the Gunpowder VFW Post 10067 and Auxiliary. I will have 90 days after that meeting to determine if the existing development plan proceeds or is modified in any way. Please attend to offer your opinion.