By Kacie Haines
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
Two residents went before the Baltimore County Council on Tuesday to complain about a proposed development project that would bring more than 300 new homes near the Sparrows Point Country Club in Dundalk.
The residents said they were concerned that the project proposed by CRD Golf, LLC, would hurt the environment, bring more congestion to local streets, and lead to overcrowding at nearby schools.
The proposed development “will knock down a whole field of oak trees that are in the way of these new villas,” said William Lambdin, a long-time county resident. “I haven’t seen the forest conservation plan, but there are a number of quality trees they are taking and it’s an enormous number.”
County resident Willard McJilton said traffic will increase in his neighborhood once the proposal and other projects are eventually built in the area.
With new houses come families with multiple children, he said, adding that this will cause overcrowding in the local schools.
McJilton said the project would eventually bring total enrollment at Edgemere Elementary School at 119 percent of capacity. Sparrows Point Middle School and Sparrows Point High School would see enrollment at 110 and 119 percent of capacity, respectively, he said.
CRD Golf, LLC, has filed an application asking the council to review its proposal to build 66 single-family homes, 53 villas, and 193 townhomes on a 76.4-acre partial that the company plans to purchase from the Sparrows Point Country Club.
The development would be located on Wise Avenue and Grays Road in Dundalk and would be part of a Planned Unit Development (PUD), a special zoning designation that gives the council more discretion in ensuring that a project brings either a higher quality development or some public benefit.
Sparrows Point Country Club, which has seen a decline in membership over the past few years, does not have the funding it needs to make improvements and repairs to its 271-acre property. The country club hopes that its membership will increase in the future if CRD is able to build the new homes adjacent to its golf course.
Under the proposal, Sparrows Point will reduce the number of holes on its golf course from 27 to 18 before selling this section of its property to CRD. The developer would also include an 18-acre park near the property’s existing pond and build walkways that would connect the residential homes to the park.
Councilman Todd K. Crandell, a Republican who represents the 7th Council District, said the so-called Country Club Estates housing development would benefit residents in the area.
“We have finally got to a point where we have the opportunity, in my belief, to create a one-of-a-kind gem in Baltimore County, one that we would ask through the approval of this council,” Crandell said during Tuesday’s meeting.
He added: “A traffic study will be done, an environmental group is already been on-site and school capacity – that’s an issue that every single member of this council is dealing with as we are trying to build and renovate new schools.”
Other council members supported the PUD.
“I’m looking at these community benefits, it’s an impressive community benefit package,” said Councilman David Marks, a Republican from the 5th Council District.
The council will vote on March 19 on a resolution to start the review process for the PUD.