Crandell Addresses Possible Zoning Changes at Fort Howard

The following statement was released by Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell on the future of the Fort Howard and the zoning issues in that area-

First, let me be very clear. I have no intention of changing the zoning to allow for hundreds of homes to be built at Fort Howard. No plans have been presented to me that would change my decision. I have protected Fort Howard from over development for nine years now and will continue to do so.

The County Planning Board will hold a Public Hearing on the 33 issues in the 7th District Comprehensive Zoning Map Process, or CZMP on Thursday, Feb. 29 at Dundalk High School.

Every 4 years, the County Council goes through this intensive year-long, land-use defining process. With the assistance of the Planning Board and County Planning Department, each Council member makes the final decision on properties within their district, then the Council votes on them all in September.

One of our prominent issues is, of course, the Fort Howard VA property. This property has been a source of concern and distrust for nearly two decades now.

When I first took office in 2014, I rejected a huge development plan of the former lease holders. I told them, and the VA, to go back to the drawing board and create a plan that was Veteran focused, and supported by the community. I followed up by creating legislation which made it possible to develop 100% Veteran communities in Baltimore County.

But the VA and the former leaseholders failed to grasp the importance of community support, and a Veteran focused project was never produced. Instead, more discussions took place, and each approach included plans for high density development with limited community engagements, despite my and the community’s clear protests.

During the 2016 CZMP, I sharply downzoned the property to ensure none of their plans could be executed. During the 2020 CZMP, the current leaseholder requested the prior more dense zoning be reinstated. I declined to even entertain the idea and rejected the request with my vote and support of my colleagues on the Council.

Here we are again, in the 2024 CZMP, with another request by the developer to reinstate more dense zoning which I have denied in the past, so that a project nobody wants can be executed without their input.

Once again, I will reject this request, and continue to support the peninsula and protect Fort Howard, as I promised to do 9 years ago.


Benjamin Joseph

Benjamin Joesph has covered news in Eastern Baltimore County since 2006. He started as a reporter with the original East County Times in 2006. He started East Baltco News and later in 2022.