By Annette Arceneaux
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
The Baltimore County Council is considering a resolution that would initiate the formal review of a proposal to build condominiums on the site of the 150-year-old Bosley Mansion in West Towson.
The resolution received support from most of the six residents who testified on the measure during the council’s work session on Tuesday.
The residents said the proposal by Bosley Estates LLC to build 45 residential condominiums on the 4.5-acre property located at 400 Georgia Ave. is the best solution for the community and the preservation of the mansion, which has been part of the Southland Hills neighborhood since its construction in the 19th century.
Supporters said the developers of the property, Marty Azola and Delbert Adams, are well regarded in the historic preservation community and are working closely with the community to ensure that the neighborhood’s concerns are met.
They said the property has already begun to deteriorate in the year since the Presbyterian Home of Maryland closed the assisted living and nursing home complex it operated on the property for 90 years – a situation that will only get worse if the developers are not permitted to move forward.
“I really think that this is the best opportunity that we’re going to have to get something that is of value to the community, something that will add to the community,” said Jim Tomney, a resident of Southland Hills who testified before the council.
Two residents spoke against the proposal, saying it would create more traffic on local roads, take away from the already limited on-street parking in the neighborhood and ruin the views people have from their homes. They also argued that the condominium project would reduce the amount of open space in the area.
Therese McAllister, who lives close to the development site, said the Southland Hills Neighborhood Association supports the project.
She disputed claims that the project would clog roads or reduce on-street parking. She said the development will include parking spaces for residents. She also said that shrubbery around the property will help block the views of the three-story complex.
Councilman David Marks, a Towson Republican who introduced the resolution, said he was concerned that if the proposal did not move forward, the mansion would end up rotting away.
The resolution calls for the council to formally review the project as part of what is called a Planned Unit Development, or PUD. As part of the PUD process, developers must show that their projects provide some benefit to the community. In exchange, the county eases some of the zoning restrictions that apply to the property.
According to the Bosley Estates application, the project will benefit the community because it will include the preservation of the original Bosley Mansion and its expansive front lawn. The plan also calls for landscaping along the property’s periphery to screen the project from existing residents on Florida and Dixie roads.
Council members are scheduled to vote at the County Council meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.