Project Description

The Stemmer House (2627 Caves Road, Owings Mills, MD) was built c. 1761 and is one of Maryland’s outstanding Georgian houses. VPC is working with the community to protect this Baltimore County Historic Landmark and its environmental setting.

The new owner has filed a development plan to subdivide the beautiful 24+ acres of gardens into 5 lots (the historic house remains on a 3+ acre lot plus 4 new lots). VPC is opposing this inappropriate development that will negatively impact the Caves Valley National Register District. This proposed development will increase storm water run-off and sediment in the North Branch of the Jones Falls. The Development Plan Hearings for Stemmer House concluded on March 24, 2016. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) denied the development plan because the developer did not submit RC5 performance standard materials to the planning office and the planning office did not provide the judge with any findings on those materials (as required). The developer filed a motion for reconsideration and the ALJ granted an order allowing the developer to submit the required materials to the Planning Office and reconvene the hearing. The plan was approved and the Board of Appeals affirmed the approval.

VPC filed a petition for judicial review with the Circuit Court for Baltimore Count, which held that the plan must be disapproved based on an earlier proposed development plan in the same location having been disapproved. The developer appealed to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, which directed circuit court to vacate the Board of Appeals decision and remand the case to the Baltimore County office of Administrative Hearings.

What You Can Do:

  1. Contact the Baltimore County Administrative Law Judgewho has final approval authority on development plans submitted for consideration. Tell him not to approve this planbecause a prior development plan with houses in this same location was denied in 2004 due to adverse impacts to the Caves Valley National Register District and storm water management/environmental issues. Send an email to Judge John E. Beverungen at jbeverungen@baltimorecountymd.gov.
  2. Make a tax-deductible contribution to VPCto help offset expenses related to this special project. VPC has retained an attorney and lined up numerous expert witnesses to testify at the hearing. Please send a check to VPC, PO Box 5402, Towson, MD 21285 and add Stemmer House in the memo line. Online contributions can also be

Background: VPC opposed a similar development proposal in 2004-05 where this property and an adjoining property were slated for development and the zoning commissioner denied the development based on adverse impacts to the Caves Valley Historic District and environmental issues regarding stormwater management and steep slopes. VPC and the neighbors have those same concerns for this current proposal as three of the four houses now proposed were denied in the prior decision.

Thank you for your interest in protecting the Caves Valley Historic District and for your generous support of VPC.