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Timonium Community Leader Continues Fight for Mays Chapel Park

The Greater Timonium Community Council president is appealing to the Department of Natural Resources for help.

Greater Timonium Community Council president Eric Rockel is taking the to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. 

Rockel appealled to DNR community resilience administrator Carrie Lhotsky in a letter, to not lift an open space designation on 10 of the 20 acres of land at Mays Chapel Park. 

Ten acres—currently used as sports fields—are owned by the schools system. The other 10 acres, at the southern end of the property, are restricted open space. 

“Before they can move forward with any construction on that parcel, they need to get the state of Maryland to release the open space restriction that’s currently on the southern most 10 acres,” Rockel said. “It’s major in a sense it’s a step that has to go through, that there is a process they have to do.”

Projections for the new school show a 16-acre area between the building and sports fields. 

A Department of Natural Resources representative could not be reached for comment. 

“I’m pretty confident that there will be some discussion moving forward. I’m hoping that a lot of individuals up in the Mays Chapel area will do the same thing so officials will consider all points of view,” Rockel said.  

The school board gave approval to using Mays Chapel Park as the site of a new 700-seat elementary school in March. 

An exerpt from Rockel's letter to the Department of Natural Resources: 

I serve as the president of an umbrella organization of approximately fifty community associations in the Greater Timonium area of Baltimore County.  A number of our affiliated members reside in the Mays Chapel community, which is largely comprised of townhomes and condominiums where public open space is at a premium. There is a ten acre parcel, near the intersection of Roundwood Road and Padonia Road, that is encumbered by a program open space restriction, and recently the Baltimore County Public Schools have indicated that this parcel will be terminated as an open space parcel and used as a school site. I am enclosing a copy of the deed for the parcel, showing the POS restriction within the deed language.

The purpose of this letter is twofold. First, I want to express our objection to removing this parcel from the Program Open Space inventory. Due to the housing density within the immediate area, this parcel is intensively used as open space for walking, communing with nature and other recreational purposes. There are no other parcels of a comparable size that would serve as open space for this immediate area.

Secondly, I am interested in researching the background documentation that led to the inclusion of this parcel in the Program Open Space inventory. I am hoping that you can advise me of what documentation is available, e.g. application from the local government, review comments from State agencies, etc., and how I might obtain a copy of this documentation.

You Tell Us: Is it too little too late? Or does Mays Chapel Park have a fighting chance? Post a comment below. 

Ravensfan June 18, 2012 at 03:51 PM
This community does not want or need the school. We have made this very clear. If the demographics supported it, then it would make sense. That is not the case. So when Diane says "We" need the school, who is she referring to? It is not our community. We do, however, need the ONLY land left in the community. Traffic is already out of control and dangerous on Padonia Rd. This would be made exponentially worse with vehicles dropping off and picking up children.
Nancy June 18, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Nancy The Mays Chapel North area has few, if any children; however, zip code 21093 may well have 2500 children. They do not live in Mays Chapel North, and the Mays Chapel Village residents go to Pine Valley School -- estimated to be less than 10 over capacity within 10 years. The "school area" is less than 10 acres; the deeded park (and maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation) is a public park and is used by the citizens -- like every other park in Baltimore County. Diane, the residents of Mays Chapel North fought in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam; they successfully campaigned for and won Civil Rights and Women's Rights; they integrated schools; they developed electronic, computer, space, and other technology used by all citizens. Now, Diane, you're saying they have no rights and they have no privileges. "Begging the Question" is an old Logic argument and uses such things as "when did you stop beating your wife". Let's use real logic, compassion, and common sense.
Nancy June 18, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Nancy There are 20 acres in the area being discussed. Over 10 acres are deeded as a park and are maintained the Baltimore County Department of Parks and Recreation. The school area was "IF AND WHEN" the residents of Mays Chapel North, itself, needed a school and is less than 10 acres. The new school will require about 17 (or more) acres and will take away the PUBLIC park. Please remember this.
Robert Sarnovsky December 21, 2012 at 03:08 AM
If you read the deed to that property, it actually states specifically at one point not many years ago that the site was no longer needed as a school site and that the property was to be used from that point as recreational open space for the community. There is a better site available but they won't consider it because on the surface it doesn't sound like it would work, but Oregon Ridge Park has over 200 acres and it could easily give up that 16 acre parcel that is needed right along Shawan Road near Falls Rd. It already has better access roads in place, that area of the park is not used, even for trails, the county owns it and if it can designate 10 acres to use at the Mays Chapel site, why not donate a small part of Oregon Ridge park? And this site is only about 3 miles from the Mays Chapel site. Mays Chapel park is used extensively by the residents that live there, and if it's lost, they won't have anything to substitute. Oregon Ridge is used by mostly people that commute to the site, there aren't many residents within walking distance of that park, so that community won't be losing anything.
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