Hidden Waters:

CZMP Issue 2:029 Blog:

Below is a synopsis of emails forwarded by OCGS regarding CZMP Issue 2:029 in reverse order (most recent email first) followed by additional information about this issue. This blog will be updated as correspondence about this issue continues.

2016 / August 30
Councilwoman Almond followed the recommendations of the Baltimore County Planning Board and has kept existing zoning in place for all of Hidden Waters. Zoning on this entire property remains at DR1 density (1 house per acre). Sadly, this means that it is almost certain that a PUD (Planned Unit Development) application will follow shortly.

Zoning on the Shapiro Property, CZMP Issue 2-010, remains unchanged at DR2 density (2 houses per acre) as well.

Our thanks to everyone who has supported the OCGS positions on these issues. & Our special thanks to those who have contacted Councilwoman Almond and to those who have posted yard signs on our behalf. Signs will all be picked up on Wednesday, August 31st by mid-afternoon if they have not already been removed.

Please check our website often (URL info below) for updates on these and other neighborhood issues. Our Fall newsletter will be sent by US Post to OCGS members by the end of September. These will also be posted on our website, so check in often if you are interested in what’s going on in our neighborhood.


August 4, 2016
This email has been shared with residents of the Old Court-Greenspring area, and with friends and neighbors who have shared email addresses with us. Please join us in sending a note, a letter, and/or an email to Baltimore County District 2 Councilwoman Vicki Almond in the next two weeks in support of  our position on CZMP Issue 2-029 outlined below even if you have done so previously.

This is our last chance to influence the Baltimore County Council's August 30th vote on this important CZMP (Comprehensive Zoning Map Process) issue that affects us all.

OCGS Position:

CZMP Issue 2-029 - Hidden Waters.

Downzone CZMP Issue 2-029 (Hidden Waters) to RC 8. Our reasons are outlined below.

Hidden Waters is the huge farm located on the north side of Old Court Road between  Stevenson Crossing and the Eden Roc development. The property is currently zoned DR-1. It is comprised of 148 acres. 109 acres have been placed into the Maryland Environmental Trust. Twelve acres are owned by the University of Maryland System Foundation and include the residence of its Chancellor. All but the University of Maryland property is  the subject of this CZMP issue.

Buzzuto Homes has requested DR-3.5 zoning on the 136 farm acres of this property so that 85 residential units could be built on the unprotected 25 acres. (Bozzuto has informally indicated that they want to build townhouses.)

The Old Court-Greenspring Improvement Association, Inc. (OCGS) has countered by asking for RC8 (Environmental Enhancement) zoning which would limit residential units and which would require a more environmentally and community sensitive development. We think this is the best hope for an acceptable use of this property.

The Baltimore County District 2 Planner and the Baltimore County Planning Board have recommended that the property remain as DR-1, but the Baltimore County Council makes the final decision.

Please ask Councilwoman Vicki Almond to downzone CZMP Issue 2-029, Hidden Waters, to RC8, and to deny the developer's request for DR3.5 zoning.

District 2 County Councilwoman address:
Councilwoman Vicki Almond
Old Courthouse
400 Washington Ave.
Towson, MD 21204


For additional information about this issue, and information on CZMP Issue 2-010 which will also affect our community, please check out the following OCGS web pages:


Mical Wilmoth Carton, VP - and -
Larry Carton, Secretary
Old Court-Greenspring Improvement Assn., Inc.


July 19, 2016
All "Save Hidden Waters" signs previously stolen have been replaced with updated signs which include our domain name:

We now have a FaceBook page as well:

If you have a FB page too, please "like" our page to show your support for our effort to get this property rezoned as RC8.

If you see anyone removing one of the new signs, please get a license number if you can do so safely, and let us know so we can file a police report. In addition, if you have camera coverage of locations where signs are stolen, we would appreciate any information you can provide. & Please notify us so we can replace your sign quickly.

If you would like to have a sign posted on your property in support of our effort to see that Hidden Waters is not intensely developed, please forward your address by email and a sign will be planted on your yard.

All signs will be removed after the CZMP decision is rendered on August 30, 2016 at the scheduled Baltimore County Council meeting.


July 13, 2016
"Save Hidden Waters" signs have been removed overnight as follows:
**Eastbound from Hambleton Count to Falls Road along Old Court
Road with two exceptions

**The corner of Sugarcone Road and Greenspring Avenue.

**Previously signs were removed from the corner of Glencliffe and
Old Court Road.

This is theft! All signs were posted on private property with permission.

If anyone has camera coverage of the locations where the signs were stolen, or if anyone saw any of the signs being removed, we would appreciate any information you can provide.

If we go to the expense of reposting these signs, please keep a lookout for anyone who might be removing them. This is theft!

A collage of some of the signs posted the week of June 16th is shown below.



June 21, 2016
The Baltimore County Council met this evening at Sudbrook Middle School to hear testimony related to District 2 Comprehensive Zoning Map Process (CZMP) issues. County Council members heard speakers on 18 of the 36 District 2 CZMP issues now before them. Many, many speakers on a number of issues. Four OCGS Directors (Valerie Binder, Phyllis Friedman, Mical Wilmoth Carton and Larry Carton) spoke on our request to rezone Hidden Waters to RC8, as did Neville Jacobs from PGCC. We also spoke in support of PGCC's request to downzone the Shapiro property.

We had about 40 people in the audience in support of our early speakers, and a few neighbors even stayed to the end. The meeting lasted from 6:20 pm to 9:40 pm. There were even a few moments of levity, including a skittering mouse at the very end of the evening.


June 7, 2016
Old Court-Greenspring community residents, along with neighbors from Helmsley, Greengate, PGCC, Rockland and Sudbrook shared information with Councilwoman Almond related to our request that the entire property known as Hidden Waters be rezoned to RC8 (Environmental Enhancement) which is a zone directed at preserving property from development both inside and outside the URDL.

The following prepared Facts & Justifications were shared with Councilwoman Almond along with two maps, one showing the property as it now exists and one showing the property with a proposed development overlay.

It was shared that the property is included in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties (BA-2296):
{Information just obtained from the Maryland Historical Trust is that this property was included in their inventory in 1985. — mwc}

In the year 2000, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, then our Council representative, suggested downzoning Hidden Waters, but there was no appropriate zone for this at the time. RC8 was not added to Baltimore County as an option until the mid- to late-2000’s. Both the Greenspring - East Pikesville Community Action Plan (CAP) 2000 and its 2010 update discuss the property and area surrounding it extensively, stressing the need to preserve it as it now exists.

As noted in our "Facts & Justification" sheet, RC8 is designed for properties both inside and outside the URDL.

Jacob and Annita France purchased the property in 1916, and they built their mansion in 1936 after the landscape had matured. After Annita France’ s death in 1981, and by terms of her will, Hidden Waters, including the manor home and 165 acres, was bequeathed to the Jacob and Annita France Foundation Inc. Mrs. France wrote, in her will "It is my desire and it was the desire of my late husband, that upon our deaths our homeplace should not be sold for real estate development, but that it should be maintained in approximately its present state and be used for charitable, educational, cultural or recreational purposes. I have given devised and bequeathed said property to the Jacob and Annita France Foundation, Inc. as the directors of the Foundation are familiar with my wishes and desires with respect to the disposition and the use of said property, . . . ."

If RC8 is not placed on this property, we will be embroiled in fights regarding possible developments on the property for many years going forward. As a community, we would rather expend our energies on improving our schools and our neighborhood as we have done over the past 20 or so years.

Traffic is always an issue, and it is especially so now. Additional development along Old Court Road will greatly impact the difficulties we experience now.

If zoning should be increased on this property, it opens the door to increased development on all properties along Old Court Road, which is not something that the community wants or needs.

It was noted that there is an RC8 property located in Catonsville, inside the URDL, that is very much like Hidden Waters environmentally.

Meeting adjourned 11:30 am

Facts & Justification for RC8 Request:
RC8 Facts & Justification

Map of area as it now exists
OCGS_no overlay

Map with development overlay
map of hidden water with development


May 6, 2016

Old Court-Greenspring Improvement Association, Inc. (OCGS) officers and strategists have been able to identify a Baltimore County Zoning classification that we think is ideal for Hidden Waters - RC8, and we have posted a request to Councilwoman Almond on behalf of OCGS asking that she consider placing this zoning classification on the entire Hidden Waters property now under consideration before the CZMP.

We ask that you print a copy of the letter {attached to our email of May 6}, add your name, address, and signature to the second page, and mail a copy to Councilwoman Almond (by US Post) with any comments you might want to add in support of this request. A PDF copy of the RC8 zoning designation is available upon request if you would like to see for yourself what a great fit this zoning classification is for this property.

RC8_Request Mailed To Councilwoman Almond
RC8 Facts & Justification
Map of Hidden Waters with development overlay


May 4, 2016
. . . .

Forty-two friends and nearby neighbors were in attendance to meet with Tom Baum, and Chris Block of Bozzuto Homes; David Gildea, attorney; and David Thaller, builder.

Bozzuto Homes made the following representations which basically amounted to a rehash of our prior meeting and did not add anything new.:

The "so-called" concept plan presented was nothing more than a vague drawing with vague houses. Even then they were careful to point out that we should not rely on what they were presenting. Bozzuto said they are working with William Devereaux, architect, on this project.

They anticipate a 50 unit development at this time. Mostly attached dwelling units, but with the possibility of some single houses. No specific information was included about the character of any houses to be built (number of stories, style of houses, etc.).

In response to the question as to why they requested DR 3.5 when they were only showing 50 houses on the 25 acres, they responded that they requested DR3.5 zoning on this property to allow for attached dwelling units which would not be allowed in a DR1 or DR2 zone.

They described the community they proposed in "glowing" terms. They would construct a gated community with attached homes in the style of Rockland. A "modern version" of Rockland, and an intergenerational community, with "Villa style" attached units including a master bedroom on the first floor. (It was pointed out later that Rockland was built to DR 1 specifications with a great deal of open space along Old Court Road to preserve the scenic view.) Units will be marketed to "over 55 empty nesters" looking for a "lock and leave" lifestyle, but the development would not be age-restricted. There would be some common areas and the only amenity they proposed at this time was herb gardens and community open space. They were not planning a community meeting room at this time.

The development would enter off Old Court Road, and it was not planned to tie into the "stub" of Eden Roc Way.

Their gate would be sited well off Old Court Road to avoid stacking issues as residents enter or leave the property.

Community comments included concern that DR3.5 zoning will set a precedent for the larger undeveloped properties within our community. Bozzuto Homes stated they would request a PUD for development on this property after the CZMP process is completed. If the property remains DR 1, they would still seek to do the same development under the PUD but this would keep the property from setting a precedent for other properties in the area.

In response to a question, Tom Baum confirmed that Bozzuto Homes has a contingent contract on the property.

The property has access to both public water and public sewer. No pumping station will be needed for sewer.

Existing traffic issues were a source of comment as well. It was pointed out that traffic is an issue with any project. There will be traffic studies, and the State and County agencies involved will be brought in to minimize traffic issues as much as possible. Improved synchronization of traffic lights was mentioned, among other things.

A number of attendees mentioned the fact that Willard Hackerman told many of those in attendance, during his lifetime, that this property would never be developed. Tom Baum pointed out that this property was not put into the Maryland Environmental Trust by Mr. Hackerman, and it was not mentioned in his will. There was a request, when County Executive Kevin Kamenetz was our Councilman, to rezone this property RC5. The community did not support this request because of tax consequences to Mr. Hackerman at the time and reliance on Mr. Hackerman's representations about keeping the property as open space.

To sum up, there is a great deal of skepticism that the Bozzuto plan is compatible with our existing neighborhood, and the project as proposed is not something that current residents would like to see built at this time.


April 11, 2016
. . . here is a summary of some hair-raising events. [which occurred at the Planning Board Work Session held April 7, 2016] . . .

2) CZMP Issue 2:029 (Hidden Waters):
There was a brief review of the history of this property. One of the Planning Board members stated that it had been Willard Hackerman's intention to develop this property, despite the fact that no one who had any contact with Mr. Hackerman was ever given this information by him. There was mention made (apparently by Bozzuto reps to one of the Planning Board members) of the fact that a "stub" road (Eden Roc) could be used for ingress / egress / from any development placed on this property, thereby negating the need for an access road directly onto Old Court Road. (Think 80 +/- houses times 7 average daily trips going through the Eden Roc existing development.) There was also discussion about traffic on Old Court Road, about the 2 schools nearby (Beth Tfiloh and Park School), and the fact that the existing intersections cannot be improved any farther. The Community Action Plan (CAP) for this area was completely ignored. After discussion among the Planning Board members, including one who indicated a need for "empty nester" housing in this area, there was a Motion made, without 2nd, that only the 25 developable acres be up-zoned. Receiving no 2nd, this Motion failed. A Motion was then made, with 2nd, and passed upholding the Planning Office recommendation to retain the existing DR1 zoning on this property. At least 3 members of the Planning Board indicated support to up-zone this property.
. . .

Calendar going forward:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 beginning 7:00 pm Scheduled meeting with Bozzuto Homes representatives regarding CZMP Issue 2:029 (Hidden Waters)
. . .

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 beginning 6:00 pm at Sudbrook Middle School - Baltimore County Council Hearing re. District 2 CZMP issues.
. . .


March 15, 2016

A brief recap of the Planning Board meeting of March 8th concerning CZMP issues 2-010 (Shapiro property) and 2-029 (Hidden Waters).
. . .

For those who couldn't join us, or who didn't stay to the end, the Planning Board meeting lasted from 6pm to 9pm. There were 11 speakers in support of our two issues. The last of our speakers spoke at 8:50 pm. It was very impressive when I asked all those in favor of 2-010 and against 2-029 to stand. My wife estimated that somewhere around 40 people stood. Now that the Planning Board has taken public comments they will have public work sessions (where the public cannot speak) and will then enter their recommendations for all CZMP issues.

In June, the County Council will have public meetings where we must speak again, and we hope there will be plenty of people to speak, and to stand again. We will send email on the details as we get closer. Then a final decision by our Councilperson will be made public in September.
. . .

Regarding Hidden Waters: Bozzuto Group has requested another meeting with OCGS and other HOA’s on April 27th, and we will send out email with details and invite everyone who is interested to hear what they will say. Note: On Hidden Waters, Bozzuto can still apply for a PUD (Planned Unit Development) and can try again to up the zoning outside of the CZMP. Our Councilperson decides whether or not to accept the request, but a Hearing Examiner (AKA an ALJ) makes the final decision on whether the PUD gets approved. Our history with ALJ’s is poor. Statistics show the developer has the edge. We had to go to District Court to overrule the ALJ last time around.

Upcoming meetings:
Old Court-Greenspring Improvement Association Annual Meeting
7 pm, Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Meeting w/ Bozzuto Group
7 pm, Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Baltimore County Council Hearing
6 pm, Tuesday, June 21, 2016


January 11, 2016
Important information for OCGS members
. . .

The 2016 Comprehensive Zoning Map Process (CZMP) began this year. On Oct 15, 2015, a developer filed to up-zone the property called "Hidden Waters,” the France family farm on the north side of Old Court Rd which extends from the Stevenson Crossing development on the west to the Eden Roc development on the east. CZMP Issue 2-029 asks to rezone this property from DR-1 (one dwelling per acre) to DR3.5 (3 1/2 dwellings per acre). This request is for approximately 136 acres even though 109 acres have been deeded to the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) and are therefore non build-able in our opinion. The eastern-most 24 acres have not been placed in the MET. This 24+/- acres stretches from the University System of Maryland Foundation mansion to the Eden Roc development. If granted, this up-zoned density would allow the developer to build as many as 84 dwelling units on this 24 acre property. This development would be in addition to a 46 dwelling development plan already approved for the Shapiro property located directly across Old Court Road from Beth Tfiloh and the Stevenson Crossing development. If you think traffic is bad now, think 130 dwellings (Hidden Waters and Shapiro) times 10 vehicle trips per dwelling (traffic statistics).

Representatives from the Old Court-Greenspring Improvement Association, Inc. (OCGS), the Pikesville-Greenspring Community Coalition, Inc. (PGCC), and other HOA's along Old Court Rd have already met with the Baltimore County District 2 Planner, twice with County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, and once with the representatives of the developer (Bozzuto Grp) to present our opposition to the proposed upgrade. OCGS has also requested support for our position from the MET, the University System of Maryland Foundation (owner of the mansion), and the France-Merrick Foundation.
. . .

OCGS is asking you to send a letter, or even a postcard, NOW to each of the following in opposition to the up-zoning request, CZMP Issue 2-029:

Baltimore County Planning Office:
Mr. William Skibinski
District 2 Planner
Baltimore County Dept. of Planning
Neighborhood Response Team
105 W Chesapeake Ave, Ste 101
Towson, Maryland 21204

Baltimore County Planning Board:
Baltimore County Dept of Planning
Mr. N. Scott Phillips, Planning Board Chairman
105 W Chesapeake Ave, Ste 101
Towson, Maryland 21204

Baltimore County Planning Board:
Baltimore County Dept of Planning
Mr. Jonathan M. Herbst, Executive At Large
105 W Chesapeake Ave, Ste 101
Towson, Maryland 21204

Baltimore County Planning Board:
Baltimore County Dept of Planning
Mr. Mark I Schlossberg, District 2
105 W Chesapeake Ave, Ste 101
Towson, Maryland 21204

Councilwoman Vicki Almond,
Baltimore County Council, District 2
Old Courthouse
400 Washington Ave
Towson, Maryland 21204

Recommended wording, though you may certainly re-write at will:

"I am (we are) part of the Old Court-Greenspring Improvement Association. Inc., and I am writing concerning CZMP issue 2-029. I am (we are) opposed to the requested DR3.5 upgrading of this property. I (we) ask that the property remain at DR1 zoning and thus compatible with the community and the Greenspring - East Pikesville Community Action Plan 2010 which is part of the Baltimore County Master Plan. Should the final CZMP decision leave the DR1 zoning in place, In (we) would be opposed to any Planned Unit Development (PUD) application being accepted for consideration to circumvent the current DR1 zoning on this property. "

Additional information is available on the OCGS website:


December 4, 2015
Heads Up Zoning Alert

As you are aware from our Fall newsletter, the 2016 Comprehensive Zoning Map Process (CZMP) began this October. In that newsletter I reported that the Pikesville-Greenspring Community Coalition, Inc. (PGCC) filed an application to downzone the Shapiro property across from Beth Tilfoh from its existing DR2 to DR1 zoning. We were not aware at that time that a developer (Bozzuto Group) filed an application to up-zone 136 acres of the property called “Hidden Waters.” This email is to inform you of that filing and to keep you up to date on events in advance of our Spring 2016 newsletter.

Although 109 acres of “Hidden Waters” were placed in the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) and cannot be built upon, and some property still belongs to the University of Maryland Foundation, 25 acres (the fields from the University of Maryland mansion to the Eden Roc development) are not protected from development. They are currently zoned DR1, as is the balance of this property.

Officers and members of PGCC, OCGS, and several other homeowner associations along Old Court Rd (OCRd) have already met with the District 2 Planner, Baltimore County District 2 Councilwoman Vicki Almond, and representatives from the developer to present our opposition to up-zoning of the property. The developer informed us, at a meeting on Dec. 2nd, that their plan is to build 50 “Villa Style” (semidetached row houses, aka townhouses) in a gated community priced around $750K, and their plan is to market them to age 55+. We are, of course, opposed to this type and density of development in our area.


Recap of Bozzuto Meeting December 2, 2015
CAP 2010 and Hidden Waters
Meetings re. CZMP 2-029
CZMP 2-029 Statement of community opposition
Map of Area
Bozzuto justification 2-029, Oct. 2015
CZMP 2-029 Zoning request
Brief summary of Issue