As Towson booms with multimillion-dollar building projects and revitalization efforts in older areas, residents say something is missing: open space.
Amid the wave of retail, restaurants, housing and offices, residents say green space, parkland and fields in Towson are growing scarce — and they worry the county’s desire to make its seat a vibrant urban center is further de-emphasizing open space for families.
“You can’t just put up concrete everywhere,” said Mike Ertel, president of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations.
Most jurisdictions, including Baltimore County, require developers to include a certain amount of open space — parks, playgrounds, fields — within their projects. But Baltimore County allows developers to pay a waiver fee instead of providing that space. The county is required to spend the money on open space elsewhere.
You can’t just put up concrete everywhere. – Mike Ertel, president of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations
But in the heart of Towson, an area designated for growth, those fees are often minimal or nothing at all. As a result, residents say, the community lacks green spaces, and isn’t getting sufficient money to buy new parks or improve existing ones.