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.
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