Thank you to many of you for contacting me regarding the proposed redevelopment at Lutherville Station. This statement presents the realities of the proposal.
I want to assure you that there is nothing that has been approved regarding the proposed Light Rail expansion or development at Lutherville Station. Decisions regarding the Light Rail are made by MD Department of Transportation which is a State Agency (not the County). I am in opposition to expanding the Light Rail coverage above the Beltway. Since this is a State decision, I have no authority. However, I have aggressively expressed my opposition with the appropriate State leaders. The decision regarding the proposed Lutherville Station development is my responsibility.
I am aware that there are some upset with me that I am facilitating discussions between the developer, who owns Lutherville Station, and the leadership of various groups living in Lutherville – Timonium regarding the future of this property. The developer wants to build roughly 400 apartments with 2 office buildings at Lutherville Station. In my experience with this issue, hearing from many of you, the number of apartment units is unacceptable to most citizens of the area.
I am concerned that simply saying no to the project without any further discussion may result in the developer to seek approval of this proposed development by other means – such as legislation on the State level or local legislation that strips me of my zoning authority at this parcel. This is not idle speculation. This may very well be the LAST opportunity for the citizens of Lutherville to have a meaningful role in the Lutherville Station Redevelopment.. This is why I feel strongly that community groups and the developer must continue to work together on a consensus.
Large parts of the buildings currently on the site have sat vacant for over a decade and it’s not a matter of if, but when it will be redeveloped. I am encouraging discussions between the various parties with the hope that what is built at Lutherville Station will be an asset to the community.
Again, under current law, the developer needs me to either introduce a PUD or rezone the property. No one else can do it, and I will not do it in the absence of meaningful community input and agreement.
However, as I said, my current authority could be negated or reduced by action of the State Legislature should no progress take place regarding the development of this property. The new Administration in Annapolis is very interested in expanding Light Rail service and Transit Oriented Developments in the greater Baltimore area.
Now is the time that the Lutherville community can have a meaningful role in the development of Lutherville Station. This is why I believe these discussions should continue to help insure that whatever is built there will be an asset to the community.