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Baltimore County Council Approves North Point Govt. Center Sale

Council members on Monday night voted 7-0 to approve the sale of three parcels of county-owned land in Dundalk, Towson and Randallstown.

North Point Government Center. Patch file photo
North Point Government Center. Patch file photo
The Baltimore County Council on Monday night approved contracts of sale on three county-owned parcels of land, opening the door for private development at the sites in Dundalk, Towson and Randallstown.

Council members voted 7-0 to approve the contracts, two of which had been passionately opposed by residents in Towson and Dundalk.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz last December announced his attention to sell the three properties and to close Eastwood Elementary School, a small, successful neighborhood school operating at capacity.

Kamenetz plans to spend at least $5 million renovating the 50-year old school to accommodate North Point Precinct 12. In October, when he announced the selected bidders for the three properties, he said the Eastwood project was in the design stage and he expects the precinct to move in 12 to 18 months.

Over the weekend, members of Dundalk United, a community organization created early this year to fight the closure of the school and sale of the government center property, wrote an eleventh-hour letter to council members, asking them to delay the vote based on the deed of the government center. They say the 1981 document contains a covenant that prohibits the sale of the land or any portion of it without written consent from the Maryland Board of Public Works.

The vote occurred as scheduled. Thomas J. Peddicord Jr., legislative counsel and secretary to the council, did not return a phone call Monday requesting comment on the group's claim that a sale would violate that covenant.

Once the contracts are formalized, the developers face a long planned unit development (PUD) process to build their proposed projects.

Len Weinberg, a partner in Vanguard Commercial Development LLC, the bidder selected for the Dundalk property, has said throughout the contentious bidding period that he looks forward to working with the community on the design of the replacement recreation center that is a bid requirement.

His bid calls for buying just over half the center's 28 acres, leaving the outdoor recreation space in the hands of the county.

He also plans numerous upgrades to the existing athletic fields and will add an outdoor amphitheater to the grounds.

Many community input meetings will be scheduled as a part of the PUD process, according to Weinberg and county officials, which means there will be many opportunities for residents to weigh in on what they want on the site, particularly in regard to the replacement recreation center.

DHAMMER December 03, 2013 at 07:35 AM
Really makes you wonder why we need a County Council when we have O'Malley clones on it.
Ashley Virginia December 03, 2013 at 08:53 AM
Agreed! I think we need to clean house and start fresh
Tommy Gunn December 03, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Let me guess, we start fresh with Ashley's choice of Republican candidates?
Ashley Virginia December 03, 2013 at 01:01 PM
I'm not a republican. I'm saying we need people who will listen to us and do as we ask and not tell us something to our face and then turn around and do something else
cary quintana December 03, 2013 at 01:08 PM
Ashley, that is very much dependent on your point of view. In mine, I see that they did listen to the rational side of things, listened to others who share a positive vision of the future of our community and voted appropriately. Just because they did not vote is the way you wished them to does not mean that they are wrong.
Ashley Virginia December 03, 2013 at 01:11 PM
It isn't just about this. I grew up in Dundalk. Watched as we got promised things and then got screwed over.
Ashley Virginia December 03, 2013 at 01:31 PM
And it isn't just the counsel that needs to be cleaned out either.
Buzz Beeler December 03, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Cary, come on what positive future? Do you think for one minute that development will be paying living wage jobs. Those jobs left a long time ago. Do some research. Do you realize where this community stands in the grand scheme of things. Do you know who is behind this deal? I will clear up some questions in my upcoming look at this deal of deals.
cary quintana December 04, 2013 at 07:34 AM
Buzz, aren't you supposed to be part of the Optimists club? Can you possibly be a little more pessimistic? Do I think that development will pay living wages? To the construction teams, to the professionals who have to maintain it, to the store owners, managers, and a percentage of the employees? Yes, I do. Is every job in existence designed to be a "living wage" job? When I was in HS and I was throwing pizza dough, was that a "living wage?" No.. nor is it designed to be. Do realize where we are in the grand scheme? Well I think we have very different views in the "grand scheme" but as far as our community. I know where it stands, I simply believe that if people come together and actively work on improving things I see great things for Dundalk. It's not going to happen tomorrow or even next month.. but I am looking 5, 10, 30 years down the road.
Jj Whfdgh April 15, 2014 at 09:33 PM
Look the best thing for this town is a toronado, knock it all down and build NEW cleaner places . THIS TOWN SUCKS SELLING AND MOVING OUT!!!!!!

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