President’s Message – September 2013

Our Annual Dinner is set this year for Monday, October 28, 2013.  For many years our community has gathered every fall to break bread together and discuss the state of our community.  So, please come share a good meal with beer, wine, soft drinks included for the ridiculous price of $10/person.  The evening concludes with a brief business meeting at which we elect officers and directors, and everyone leaves well-fed and content to return home under our tranquil, rural, star-lit sky.  But what if there were no officers or directors to elect?

The Falls Road Community Association has been the guardian of the Falls Road community for more than 65 years.  Against the unrelenting pressure of developers and their political spawn to destroy our beautiful land, the FRCA has been a counter-balancing force of preservation.  Just last year the FRCA played an essential role in the campaign that persuaded our County Council Member Vicki Almond to downzone the 232 acre Chestnut Ridge Country Club property from RC 5 for maximum development (up to 115 houses) to RC 7 for Resource Preservation (9 houses).  Our community was thus spared the devastating effect on our traffic, wells, and streams of additional 50-100 homes on Falls Road.

But the FRCA cannot continue without volunteers.  Only a handful of folks still attend Board meetings, and a few of them have served more than 20 years, and the average length of service exceeds 10 years.  But time marches on, and your Board members have aged.  Retirement and grand-children consume more time, and it becomes harder every month to muster the energy to do what must be done.  So, sometimes “IT” does not get done

Residents urge Councilwoman Almond for RC7 status for the Chestnut Ridge Country Club

Presidents’s Message: Residents Contact Councilwoman Almond in support of RC7 zoning for the Chestnut Ridge Country Club property

With a stroke of her pen, on August 28, 2012 our County Council representative and President  Vicki Almond can preserve more land in District 2 than Dutch Ruppersberger, Jim Smith and Kevin Kamenetz combined multiplied by 1000. The 232 acres that were Chestnut Ridge Country Club abound in streams, ponds, springs and wetlands. By zoning that land RC7, which is plainly the proper classification, Ms Almond can preserve most of that subwatershed, spare our roads 40-60 houses of traffic, spare our water table 40-60 wells to compete with ours, give Dipping Pond Run a chance to survive, and possibly save the Falls Road community. With that same act, Ms Almond would become our first Council representative to place the well-being of her constituents above loyalty to the politicians in Towson and their developer financiers. Below are samples of the 500+ messages from constituents to Ms. Almond via

Harold Burns, President

Contact Councilwoman Almond

Please contact Councilwoman Vicki Almond to express your support for rezoning the former Chestnut Ridge Country Club Property to RC-7 to reduce the building density, reduce the impact on existing wells in the area, reduce traffic congestion, and preserve the character of the community.


Councilwoman Vicki Almond

Old Court House

400 Washington Ave.

Towson, MD, 21204

Letters from the community

07/11/12 – Dear Councilperson Almond,

The prospective development of the property formerly owned by the Chestnut Ridge Country Club (CRCC) raises great concerns for those of us who live in the Falls Road corridor. We believe the property zoning is RC-7 because we have had issues with our well, along with several of our neighbors. Depletion of the water table with any more development will hurt the entire Falls Road corridor. Our entire neighborhood (Springhill Farm) is against further development in this area. It is almost impossible to drive down Falls Road in the morning and the traffic at Falls and Padonia/Broadway is always backed up. Sincerely, Rusty & Michelle


06/27/12 – Councilman Almond,

We have been living at this address for about eight years. Our water flow has diminished greatly in those years. I blame the lower flow of water on the amount of recent development in the Falls Road area. Pretty soon at this rate, we will be out of water for our homes!!!! I am requesting a down zoning to RC-7. Sincerely, Susan K.

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Appellate Court Rules For Community – County Council Changes Law to Allow Double Density

What were they thinking? What about zoning regulations in RC4 and RC5? Do they not matter any more?

The Muellers asked for and got permission from Baltimore County to sink a 2.d well for irrigation and build a two-story, detached garage with storage, but in fact built a 2.d home with a bathroom and utilities on the l,t floor, 2 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, and full kitchen on the 2,,d; all served by their new well and an unpermitted septic system. Then they petitioned the County to bless the defacto subdivision of their single lot as an “in-law” apartment. The neighbors and FRCA opposed the Petition, and the County Zoning Officer said No! The Muellers appealed to the County Board of Appeals , but the Board denied their Petition, finding:

The current precedent is to allow “in-law” living quarters as an addition to an existing dwelling, where there is the medical necessity ofan elderly relative. Under this precedent, this matter does not meet the requirements to allow “in-law” living quarters in the existing accessory structure. The Board is concerned that by allowing the current living arrangement in the existing accessory building, the density of the property is increased beyond what is allowable in RC 4 and RC 5 zones.

The Muellers then appealed to the County Circuit Court which said, SURE. So, the FRCA appealed to the Court of Special Appeals, and last month the appellate Court reversed the Circuit Court and reinstated the ruling of the County Board of Appeals, finding:

The Board’s statement that the “current precedent is to allow ‘in-law’ living quarters as an addition to an existing dwelling, where there is the medical necessity of an elderly relative,” is amply supported by the evidence.

In addition, the Board noted that:

There was no testimony presented why [the Mueller's' son] cannot reside in the main dwelling, other than he frequently entertains fellow students and friends and some stay overnight. To reclassify the accessory structure as an “in-law apartment” is a misnomer.

This is another way of saying that allowing a healthy, college-age son to live in a separate residence on the same lot is not the sort of “comfort, convenience or
necessity” contemplated by the County Council when it enacted the definition of accessory use. We defer to the Board’s interpretation of the BCZR.

So, the Community wins, right? Wrong!

On July 6 more than a month before the Appellate Court released its Opinion, the County Council introduced Bill [now Bill 49-11 ] which grants every owner of a single standing house in the entire County the right to get a permit to have a second dwelling on their single lot so long as they certify that both dwellings will be occupied by ANY member of an immediate family.

Thus, every large house in our community can now add a second residence on the property to allow junior to move home without having to share a messy kitchen with him.