The clash between residents of an historically African American neighborhood in East Towson and the developer of an affordable housing complex may be over.

Administrative Law Judge Maureen Murphy ruled Tuesday that Red Maple Place can be built. It will be a 56-unit complex at the intersection of Joppa Road and Fairmount Avenue on the edge of East Towson.

“I find that the developer has satisfied its burden of proof,” Murphy wrote in her conclusion. Administrative law judges settle zoning and land use issues in Baltimore County.

Opponents of Red Maple have 30 days to appeal the decision.

Dana Johnson, the president of Homes for America, a non-profit company that is developing Red Maple, said the goal is for people to move into the complex in the summer of 2022.

“It’s unfortunate that we’ve had some conflict over this with our neighbors, but we will be committed to being good neighbors during the construction process as well as once the building is complete,” Johnson said.

Some of the residents of East Towson, including Nancy Goldring, are descendants of slaves who once labored at Hampton Plantation in Baltimore County. In an interview with WYPR last fall, Goldring described Red Maple as a big brick beast that will dominate the neighborhood.

At a hearing before the judge in January, Goldring said that the project was irresponsible.

“I totally do not understand the need to destroy one community to bring another one into being,” she said.

Read more at WYPR

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