From Councilman David Marks:
Marks, Bevins Seek to Expand Successful Social Host Pilot Program
Initiative Targets Renter Behavior in Areas Near Universities
Baltimore County Councilmembers David Marks and Cathy Bevins will introduce legislation at the January 17th Council meeting that expands the social host pilot program, a year-old initiative that targets renter behavior in areas near universities and with high concentrations of student renters.
The original legislation, passed by the County Council in January of 2016, provides penalties for both landlords and renters engaged in disruptive behavior. The pilot program targets neighborhoods in eastern Towson, as well as close to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
The new bill expands the program to include northern Towson including the Penthouse condominiums, Riderwood Hills, and Towson Park; Rodgers Forge; and Loch Raven Village and Knettishall.
“Based upon everything I have heard at the University Relations Committee and in my meetings with community leaders, the social host initiative is helping to deter bad behavior and improve relations between students and established neighbors,” Councilman Marks commented. “I believe there is support for expanding the pilot program.”
“Although Councilman Marks and I represent different districts, we both share communities located near the Towson campus,” added Councilwoman Bevins. “I believe expanding the current legislation to the Loch Raven Village and Knettishall communities will strengthen the quality of life for these residents.”
The program includes safeguards that ensure the due process of anyone reported for a disturbance. Police officers use their best judgment when writing a citation, for example, and no criminal penalties are applied. The goal is not to unfairly penalize renters, but to continually improve the well-being of all residents.