Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Open Space AND Density

Administrative judge Beverungen put the gauntlet down in Towson, overriding an old county council "resolution" that exempted dormitory style dwelling units from open space requirements.

The County has a complicated set of rules who has to set aside what kind of "open space" where and when and what kind of "waiver fees" will get you around the open space requirement.

As President of NeighborSpace, an urban Baltimore County land trust, I have zoomed in on those rules for open space for some time and found them lacking clarity, logic and consistency. In effect, there is too much flexibility for the public to trust the process.

The County Planning Department had been charged with a review and recommendations for the open space design manual as well as the fee structure, a promising draft is in my hands. With the judge's ruling for 101 York Road, a lively discussion is guaranteed. No matter what the specific interests, everyone has to realize that only a few things add value to development in the same direct and convincing way as open space does. Towson is woefully underserved, the debate is welcome and necessary.

101 York student housing project in Towson dealt setback

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