County Councilman David Marks is calling on Baltimore County to replace the trees it took down last year on the site of a former fire station in Towson.
Under the proposal, drafted by the Green Towson Alliance, a green-space advocacy group, and passed on to the county by Marks, the county would plant 112 trees around downtown Towson.
The trees would replace the 30 that the county removed on the site at the corner of York Road and Bosley Avenue on April 1, 2017.
“The trees were removed contrary to a County Council resolution,” Marks said. “I think this is a good way of bringing closure.”
Beth Miller, a Green Towson Alliance member, said planting trees around downtown would bring many benefits: They would cool the streets, clean the air and absorb stormwater.
“And then, they just look nice,” Miller said. “They’re just beautiful.”
County spokeswoman Ellen Kobler told the Towson Times last year that the trees at the old Towson Station were torn down to clean up the site in preparation of a sale to developer Caves Valley Partners. The land transferred to Caves Valley on June 28 this year.
Caves Valley is currently moving through the development approval process to build a retail space, most recently holding a community input meeting on June 28. The developer plans to anchor the space with a fast-food restaurant or a drive-through bank.
Taking down the trees, Marks said, violated a December 2016 County Council resolution stipulating that “existing mature trees that surround the site are protected.”
The incident also angered some residents, who protested at the site, calling the incident “Tree-Gate.” Another protest was held this April on the one-year anniversary of the incident.