On March 19th, the Baltimore County Planning Board held a public hearing on Establishing Local Open Space Waiver Fees. In Baltimore County, as is customary in most jurisdictions in the United States, developers are required to provide open space within their development. In dense urban areas, particularly areas being redeveloped, it is often not possible to provide such space. Baltimore County allows developers to pay an Open Space Waiver Fee instead. These fees are intended to be used to purchase land nearby that can be used as open space. For various reasons most projects in Towson are exempt from paying fees or pay an insignificant amount. The report provided to the Planning Board by the Baltimore County Department of Planning includes recommendations that do nothing to fix this problem and provides no way to change Towson’s position as the most under-served area of Baltimore County with regards to open space.
GTCCA strongly disagrees with the Department of Planning report and urges the Planning Board, and ultimately the County Council, to take action to institute fair and equitable open space fees in Towson. Read the testimony here.