Apartments could be rezoned
The Colony at Kenilworth Apartments could see a facelift in coming years that could incorporate businesses onto the residential property.
Every four years, Baltimore County goes through the Comprehensive Zoning Map Process, a year-long procedure in which zoning requests can be submitted and the Baltimore County Council can decide whether to retain current zoning, or enact a different zone.
This year Aimco, the owners of the Colony, submitted a request to upzone the property, meaning an increase to the zoning density, which allows for more units per acre and permits businesses to build in the area.
The Colony wants to increase the density from 16 units per acre to about 40 units per acre, Baltimore County Councilman David Kosak said.
This would change the classification of the current residential space to a commercial property.
If the Colony gets rezoned, students will still be able to reside there.
“There are residential communities surrounding that area,” Kosak said. “You’re adding more people and you’re making it a much more dense and populated area. Kenilworth is a zone that can’t handle much more adding to it.”
The Riderwood Hills Association, that represents the Colony, proposed this upzoning after Councilman David Marks raised the issue of the large number of police citations.
“If you look at the apartment complexes in the Towson area that one [the Colony] has the most citations,” he said. “I didn’t recommend a specific rezoning I just initiated a dialogue.”
Colony resident sophomore Arianna Brown said that if businesses were to intermingle with the residential area, she would move out immediately.
“One of the things I love about the Colony is that every home has its own entrance and it’s very homey,” she said. “You have your own designated door and at night it’s so quiet and also it’s quiet during the day.”
The owners of the Colony want to develop it to make it newer and nicer, but the community is concerned with exactly what will be done if the rezoning request is accepted, Kosak said.
“Once the zoning is changed, you can build whatever you want there,” he said. “And we want to make sure the community has a say in what is being done.”
Aimco wants to have a Planned Urban Development [PUD], which is a specific type of property with a mixture of residential and non-residential buildings. The community must benefit from a PUD in some way, Kosak said.
“They can get the changes they need made, but it doesn’t permit them to do whatever they want to do in the zone,” he said. “Basically we want to make sure it’s a project that benefits everyone.”
While many worry about an increase in population, traffic, and security, residents are also concerned that other residential communities may want to follow suit to keep up with the competition, Kosak said.
The additional businesses, however, will not detract from downtown Towson’s revitalization, but add to the attraction.
“It certainly builds into the idea that Towson is a place where people want to come down into and live,” Kosak said.
Brown said she thinks the expansion is unnecessary, and the convenience isn’t much of a benefit when losing a quiet and safe community.
“We’re already in a city place,” she said. “There’s nothing that I need that’s too far away as it is.”