Some residents living near Lake Roland Park are speaking out against a proposal to construct restaurants, offices and apartment complexes at the edge of the park, while others are advocating for the development project.
A group, known as Save Lake Roland, is working diligently to prevent what they are calling “irresponsible” development along Falls Road in Bare Hills. The park features a dog park, biking and hiking trails that are frequently visited by the locals and out-of-state tourists.
Members have expressed their desire to have a special meeting of the Ruxton Riderwood Lake Roland Area Improvement Association on Wednesday night to express concerns over traffic, density and impact on the environment.
“This development sounds large, tall and awfully close to the lake,” said David Cromwell, a physician and Ruxton resident. Lake Roland Park is “a beautiful sanctuary so close to all of us who live in this neighborhood. The thought of having a large, mixed-use development adjacent to and visible from the park doesn’t sound like a good idea.”
Cromwell and other local residents say they shocked that the associations’ board has chosen to back the development project, dubbed the Village of Lake Roland. The proposed development consists of a four-story parking garage, six-story apartment building and a nearly 50,000-square-foot shopping mall. Community members will gather at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton at 7 p.m. Wednesday. They hope to hold a vote on the project.
Leaders of the association are calling the action premature, since Vanguard Retail Property Development, a Baltimore-based development firm overseeing the proposed project, has yet to proceed through the county’s development review process.
“Until that time, there is no development proposal to support or to oppose,” Clark Parriott, the group’s president, said in a letter dated June 30. Parriott is urging members to attend the meeting on Wednesday and “cast your votes consistent with the position of the board on each issue raised by the small faction of members who have requested this meeting.”
The developer drew up a restrictive covenant agreement and the board signed it in August 2016. The agreement supports rezoning and puts restrictions on the height of buildings, as well as their uses.
In March 2016, Vanguard bought a six-acre parcel of land for $4.25 million. The parcel is located just north of the city and houses offices and stores. The Hollins Organic Products would also become a thing of the past, if the development project were allowed to move forward.
Vanguard submitted a request for rezoning, which was approved by the Baltimore County Council in August 2016.
Ann Beegle, a Vanguard Spokeswoman, said the firm had been working with park representatives, surrounding businesses and the community association for over two years and “we believe we have collectively come up with the best plan for the property.”