Baltimore County Now
Erosion has Caused Safety Concerns
Baltimore County Department of Public Works closed a portion of Oakleigh Road today from Cromwell Bridge Road to Rushley Road. Oakleigh Road was made one-way in July 2013, and has had extensive erosion problems and was recently flagged by Public Works engineers as a potential safety issue.
Engineers now plan to review options during the closure, which they expect will have minimal impact on neighborhood egress and ingress.
Offices, Housing, Hotel, Whole Foods Market and a Green Plaza
Downtown Towson soon will see one million square feet of offices, luxury and student housing, a hotel, restaurants, shops, a Whole Foods Market and an open, green plaza rising on five acres in the Baltimore County seat.
Site preparation is underway for Towson Row, a $350 million mixed-use project by Towson-based developer Caves Valley Partners that will anchor the southern gateway to downtown Towson.
“Towson Row will transform the Towson skyline and become a focal point for residents, workers and visitors,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “You can clearly see Towson Row’s footprint as you walk through downtown Towson. It’s exciting to see so much site activity as this significant private investment moves forward.”
“Towson Row will reaffirm Towson as a preeminent destination in Maryland, now and well into the future,” said Arthur Adler, partner of Caves Valley Partners. “We are completely reimagining the shopping, working, dining, entertainment, and green streetscape experience for Towson residents and visitors.”
The one million square foot, $350 million Towson Row will include 220,000 square feet of office space, a 170-room hotel, student housing with 900 beds, 370 luxury apartments and over 100,000 square feet of shops and restaurants anchored by a 45,000 square foot Whole Foods Market. Over 1,500 garage parking spaces will serve tenants and customers. Towson Row is being built on five acres bordered by York Road, Towsontown Boulevard, Washington Avenue and Chesapeake Avenue in downtown Towson.
“With projects such as Towson Row, downtown Towson is living up to its potential as a vibrant place to live, work and visit,” said Baltimore County Councilman David Marks.
About Downtown Towson
Towson Row is part of $1 billion in recent private investment in downtown Towson, including a new 15-screen Cinemark Theatres and restaurants at Towson Square, 2,700 new downtown apartments and townhomes, and the Towson City Center office tower with Towson University programs and headquarters for MileOne Automotive and Remedi Senior Care.
More than 55,000 people live in greater Towson, with over 48,000 people working at companies including GBMC, General Dynamics, Goucher College, MileOne, Sheppard Pratt, Stanley Black and Decker, Towson University, University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center and Whiting Turner.
Watershed Includes Perry Hall, Towson, Carney Areas
Baltimore County’s Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) is encouraging participation from communities within urban areas of the Lower Gunpowder Falls watershed at an upcoming public meeting on October 14. The urban portions of the Lower Gunpowder Falls watershed include parts of Perry Hall, Carney, and Towson neighborhoods.
This is the second and final public meeting regarding the creation of the Lower Gunpowder Falls Small Watershed Action Plan (SWAP). The meeting offers a chance for interested people and organizations to learn about the project methods, results, and how to get involved. Once finalized, a committee will take responsibility for implementing the recommendations of the SWAP report.
The community meeting will take place at the lower level meeting room of the Loch Raven Branch Library (1046 Taylor Avenue in Towson) on Wednesday, October 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
For more information on Baltimore County’s Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs), please call Wesley Schmidt at 410-887-5683 or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/environment/watersheds/swap.html.
Importance of Public Participation
EPS representatives stress the importance of public participation in taking actions to improve stream and river health through the SWAP. “Our team has created a thorough assessment of our watershed’s current status, as well as a comprehensive look at the potential restoration projects that may help improve water quality in the area,” said Director of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, Vince Gardina. “This meeting is the best opportunity to discuss the results of this assessment prior to the closing of the public comment period this fall, and for people to find out how to get involved in implementing the plan to improve our shared environment.”
Background on Small Watershed Action Plans in Maryland
In the late 1990s, national stormwater permits required major counties in Maryland to reduce pollution from roads and neighborhoods that drain to local streams. Counties created monitoring programs and prepared watershed plans to identify projects and programs that could reduce pollution from these non-point sources. Many projects were completed and reductions tallied in annual reports.
Despite significant progress, additional reductions are needed to have clean waterways that meet water quality standards. To reach these additional reductions, Baltimore County is developing Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs) to focus on communities as a smaller group and to identify specific solutions that are tailored to local areas. They are implemented by Baltimore County in conjunction with citizen groups to help create and maintain healthy watersheds.
The Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability is responsible for the protection of the environment and the improvement of the quality of life for the citizens of Baltimore County. This is accomplished through programs that manage and enhance natural and man-made resources, and that provide environmental guidelines to our constituents.