Baltimore County Planning Board Takes No Position On Towson Open Space Fees

An April 3 Baltimore Sun article reported that the Baltimore County Planning Board did not take a position on whether to change a longstanding exception to developers paying open space fees in the Towson area.  The Board’s lack of a position means that it will be up to the County Council to make a decision on whether to alter the existing fee structure. The article explained that in the rest of the County, a developer must either dedicate a certain amount of acreage to green space or else pay a waiver fee.  However, there is an exception for certain town center areas, such as Towson. From the article:

In Towson, however, some proposed developments will pay little or no open space waiver fees due to exceptions that were carved out 15 years ago for developments in town center districts, including student housing projects. The 1-million-square-foot Towson Row mixed-use development on York Road, for example, is slated to pay $55,000 in open space fees. …

During the Planning Board’s two-hour meeting Thursday, county Planning Director Andrea Van Arsdale defended her department’s report and said Towson already has several parks and open spaces. She said some projects Towson residents have been clamoring for are in the works, including two turf sports fields at local high schools and a reworking of the underutilized concrete Patriot Plaza in front of the county courthouse.

The County Council asked for the Planning Board’s advice on the open space fee issue two years ago, but members of the board could not reach a consensus Thursday.