Baltimore County’s master plan, more than three years overdue, appears poised for final passage next week.

County officials say the plan addresses the possibility that the county will run out of open, developable land within 20 years.

“It’s a really important document to give us a guide,” Council Chairman Izzy Patoka said at the council’s meeting Tuesday night. He said he expects a final vote this coming Tuesday.

The proposed master plan uses data to target areas of the county that had previously been developed for a retrofit — such as replacing old buildings, like run down shopping centers — with new construction. Rebecca Flora, Maryland’s planning secretary, told the council the plan reflects the priorities of Gov. Wes Moore’s administration.

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“Things like rebuilding to meet the needs of residents, being data driven and heart-led, ensuring all those that want to live in Maryland can do so,” Flora said.

But some council members are promising amendments before next week’s vote. On his Facebook page, Republican Todd Crandell said he wants areas targeted for retrofitting in his district, the 7th, taken out of the plan, otherwise it would open the door to low-income subsidized housing.

“We have the second most housing vouchers in the county and allowing high-density low-income housing is a threat to our already overburdened infrastructure,” Crandell wrote.

Crandell is concerned the master plan would be used in tandem with another piece of legislation the County Council is considering that would pave the way for more mixed use development.

The master plan, which provides a roadmap for future development in the county, should have been approved in 2020.

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Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. did not deliver a proposed plan to the County Council until last year. Administration officials blamed that delay on several factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The County Council then took months to examine the master plan.

WYPR is a media partner of The Baltimore Banner.