UPDATE: Baltimore County agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed in federal court. A judge in Baltimore’s U.S. District Court judge found that the county violated a federal law that protects religious institutions from discrimination in zoning when the Board of Appeals ruled against the project.
Background: The pastor of Hunt Valley Baptist church said that the site of proposed mega church “is the most beautiful 17 acres in Hunt Valley.” VPC and the area residents agree and want to keep the land rural and beautiful-and the water clean. The current zoning is RC4. The regulations are established to provide for the protection of the water supplies of metropolitan Baltimore and neighboring jurisdictions by preventing contamination through unsuitable types or levels of development in their watersheds.
The VPC, together with area residents, appealed the decision to allow a “Big Box” church that will be over 30,000 square feet (3 times larger than the Orthodox Church on Shawan Road). The proposed plan includes classrooms, a gym, two large parking lots and a 105 foot spire! The church wants to be visible from I-83!
The impact of this proposed large scale institutional complex on community are many:
- Loss of scenic open space/farmland
- Increased congestion on a two-lane MD designated scenic byway (Shawan Road)
- Environmental impacts including run off into Oregon branch, a class 3 trout stream that borders the property and drains into Loch Raven Reservoir. (Oregon Branch is classified as “poor” and water quality may be impaired)
- A large capacity septic system
- This proposed development violates an existing perpetual conservation easement that the previous owner conveyed to the County that permanently restricts development on this property.
You can help with the costs incurred for this special project by:
- Sending a contribution to the VPC to help cover legal expenses and expert witnesses (to make an online donation, click here), or mail check to: VPC, PO Box 5402, Towson, MD 21285
- VPC at 410-337-6877 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Sending a contribution to the VPC to help cover legal expenses and expert witnesses (to make an online donation, click here), or mail check to: VPC, PO Box 5402, Towson, MDÂ 21285
- Call Liz Buxton, VPC Executive Director at 410-337-6877 or email@example.com for more information.