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County Council resolution supports Loch Raven Reservoir compromise

The Baltimore County Council is scheduled to introduce a resolution on Tuesday, Jan. 17, that urges Baltimore City to work with trail bike advocates to expand the trail system at Loch Raven Reservoir.

The resolution states that the council "is committed to developing cooperative efforts to expand the local trail network in and around Loch Raven Reservoir in a manner that reinforces the principles of water quality and environmental sustainability."

While acknowledging the reservoir as a source of water and critical wildlife habitat, the resolution — which is sponsored by 5th District Councilman David Marks, 3rd District Councilman Todd Huff, 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk and 2nd District Chairwoman Susan Almond — urges Baltimore City officials to work toward a compromise that allows for expanded recreational use of the property.

"From what I understand, the mountain bike advocates in the city may be close to a compromise, and I think we just wanted to send a signal that we were totally supportive of a partnership to expand the trail system at Loch Raven Reservoir," Marks said.

Recreational use around the reservoir has become a point of contention between elected officials in both Baltimore city and county, as well as some mountain bikers who have been ticketed by city rangers for riding on an unofficial trail network on the property.

In November, state Sen. Jim Brochin, who represents Towson, walked the grounds with Huff, Marks, City Council President Jack Young, City Councilman Carl Stokes, Baltimore City Department of Public Works officials and concerned citizens in an effort to create a dialogue between all parties.

While he did not have any details of the potential compromise in the works, Marks said the council "wanted to go on the record stating that this was something important to our constituents and kind of nudge the process along."

Kevin Rector contributed to this story.

NOTE: An earlier version of this story said the resolution would be voted upon on Jan. 17. It will actually be introduced Jan. 17, and a vote will take place at a later date.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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