Controversial apartment building approved in Roland Park area

Controversial apartment building approved in Roland Park

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - The Baltimore City Council has given final approval to a proposed 148-unit apartment building in Roland Park, despite opposition from a group of residents.

The project, entitled "Overlook at Roland Park," would be constructed behind the Belvedere Towers at the corner of Falls Road and West Northern Parkway.

Monday's approval by the council came without any debate. All council members voted for the project with the exception of Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, who abstained.

Opponents of the project staged a protest Monday morning near the proposed project as some complained the apartment building would create gridlock.

Hap Cooper, president of the Roland Park Civic League, said: "The traffic at that intersection will get worse. It's already a failed intersection, it's got an 'F' rating and it's at 114 percent of capacity, according to their traffic study."

"Once this building's in, it goes to 120 percent of capacity, and there are already 40 car back-ups now, so you wait three light cycles to get through. It's awful."

Opponents have also complained there were not enough public meetings for citizens to voice their concerns.

But City Councilman Issac "Yitzy" Schleifer, who represents the district where the apartment building is planned, disagrees.

He said: "I think there's been an extensive amount of meetings on this issue and that the community associations supporting this bill are supporting it because they feel that they got a great deal from the developer."

Schleifer also took issue with complaints from some opponents that he was influenced to approve the project because the developer, Jonathan Ehrenfeld, donated to his campaign.

"I have over 800 campaign supporters, most of it's grassroots, and so, there are plenty of people on both sides of the aisle here who are for and against the project, and I've raised plenty of money from people who are opposing this project."

"Campaign donations do not drive any decision I make, and it never has and it never will," he added.

Opponents say they will now try to convince Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh to veto the Roland Park apartment building complex.

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