Smart Growth, Transit Advocates, Environmental, Business and Community Groups Call on Baltimore County to Allow Transit-Oriented Development at Lutherville Light Rail Station 

LUTHERVILLE, MD (March 2, 2023) – At an event this morning at the Baltimore Chamber of Commerce, a diverse group of smart growth, transit advocates, environmental, community and business leaders called on Baltimore County to change the zoning at Lutherville Station to allow for more housing options and to move forward with a Transit-Oriented Development designation from the State of Maryland.

The group, made up of diverse interests and voices in support of economic development, improved transit and housing options, walkable communities, and environmental restoration for the Lutherville area, noted the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform a vacated box store into a thriving, connected, TOD community.

“Better land use planning at the Lutherville Light Rail Station is critically important to growing transit ridership, spurring economic development, and creating a great mixed-use destination for Baltimore County,” said Central Maryland Transportation Alliance President and CEO Brian O’Malley. 

“Today, we are joining with other advocacy and community organizations to call on Baltimore County government to lead by allowing transit-oriented development (TOD) near its Lutherville Light Rail station, to prioritize capital funding that supports TOD, and to replace the restrictive zoning that prevents it. The time is ripe for Baltimore County to promote TODs in its soon to be adopted 2030 Master Plan and to enact new zoning regulations for the transformation of aging properties, like Lutherville Station, into thriving TODs.”

The groups joining together today include:

1.      The Baltimore Chamber of Commerce

2.      The Central Maryland Transportation Alliance (CMTA)

3.      Friends of Roland Run (FORR)

4.      Strong Towns Baltimore

“The Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce supports transit-oriented development at Lutherville Station,” said Baltimore County Chamber President and CEO Brent Howard. “The current property has sat vacant and idle for years, while the proposed transit-oriented development will produce a thriving, walkable community, jobs, new retail, dining options, and housing. Now is the time to capitalize on this revitalization opportunity for Baltimore County and the State of Maryland.”

“Strong Towns Baltimore sees a transit-oriented development (TOD) at the Lutherville light rail station as being the absolute best use for the property adjacent to it. A dense, walking-oriented, mixed-use development will make very efficient use of the county’s existing infrastructure investments, contribute the much-needed taxes necessary for the upkeep of that infrastructure, and signify a shift away from automobile-centric land use and exclusionary zoning,” said Michael Scepaniak, co-president of Strong Towns Baltimore.  “It has the potential to provide an affordable alternative to the near-ubiquity of single family homes currently found in the community. Decades ago, the Baltimore region made a major transit investment with the existing light rail line. By allowing for a TOD, Baltimore County will finally be properly leveraging and improving the productivity of that investment. A well-executed TOD will strengthen support for the light rail, which in turn will strengthen support for mass transit across the Baltimore region. Beyond transit, a redevelopment has the potential for creating a vital link in connecting the Northern Central Railroad Trail to the Jones Falls Trail, which will allow for another alternative to driving. This is a fantastic opportunity that the county must seize.”

Allen Hicks, President of Friends of Roland Run (FORR), whose home sits adjacent to the stream, noted the significant environmental improvements possible through the transit-oriented development at the site. 

“We have seen flooding along the Roland Run get worse each year and smart, environmentally conscious development is one way to help address that flooding on our community’s streets and roadways. A more sustainable development at Lutherville Station would mean improved stormwater management and funding for stream restoration,” said Hicks. “There are many in our community who support the development team and their efforts to work with the community to build a project that is responsive to the community’s concerns.”