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Special construction design review proposed for commercial area of Rodgers Forge, Anneslie

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Special construction design review proposed for commercial area of Rodgers Forge, Anneslie

Reacting in part to community opposition to a drive-through window at a planned Starbucks near Rodgers Forge and Anneslie, a Baltimore County Council member is proposing that all new construction in a commercial area of York Road in south Towson face additional scrutiny by a county panel of architects and engineers.

David Marks introduced a resolution Jan. 3 to create a special district for the commercial area along York Road, between Dumbarton Road and Windwood Road, in which all proposed new construction would be subject to review by Baltimore County’s Design Review Panel, a board of nine architectural and engineering experts appointed by the County Executive whose mission is to encourage design excellence in building projects within designated areas of the county. The panel acts in a consulting capacity to the county’s Administrative Law Judge and county agencies, who ultimately approve or reject projects.

The review process would not apply to the alteration of existing buildings in the corridor as long as the footprint of the building is not changed, Marks said. The resolution is prospective, applying to future construction, and not projects in the corridor that county officials have already approved, including a planned Starbucks at the corner of York Road and Regester Avenue that has encountered resistance from residents of Rodgers Forge, Anneslie and Stoneleigh.

The coffee shop, which is slated to replace a former bank and office building, would have an entrance on York Road and an exit onto Regester Avenue, and would include a drive-through.