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Assisted-living facility zoning at issue in historic Lutherville

The longtime owners of an assisted-living complex would like to build a new facility on their property, one that will not require as much maintenance. The new facility would, however, require a zoning change.

They propose to build the new facility on a large piece of untouched land in the middle of the historic community which is a part of the old Maryland College for Women and the current home of the assisted-living facility. However, the current facility is in much need of updates and repairs. The owners have the space and finances to make these changes. This may seem like a straightforward proposal.

However, this construction project has become the subject of what may turn into a long and arduous zoning dispute. That is because residents of this particular small Maryland town are willing to dispute a zoning change to the historic district status, which does not allow new facilities to be built.

The residents say that obtaining historic district status was not easy, and that they would like the neighborhood to stay the way it is.

Area residents are very concerned about making a zoning exception for this construction project because of the permanent nature of such a change, and because of concerns over potential future development. The residents are particularly concerned about the development of the vacant property on the premises that is in the midst of their historic Victorian homes.

For now, many of the residents remain skeptical about rezoning. They do not want their quaint little town to become commercialized or developed. As in Annapolis, they will remain protective of the historicity of their neighborhood.

The owners of the complex have also been long-term residents of the small town. In fact, they can date their lineage back 100 years. From the owner's perspective, though they understand the community's concern about future expansion, as well as the desire to maintain the small town atmosphere, they are hoping to receive a protective covenant to build the new, updated facility.

Hopefully, a resolution can be achieved with respect to this real estate construction and zoning dispute that will appease both sides.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Lutherville residents upset about possible rezoning at assisted-living center," Jacques Kelly, July 27, 2012

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