By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun
6:34 PM EDT, September 23, 2013
The operator of a Parkville-area skating rink has agreed not to host club-themed events, reaching a deal with Baltimore County officials following complaints about crowds of rowdy teens disturbing the neighborhood after leaving the rink late at night.
Lawyers for the county and Skateland Putty Hill announced the agreement at an administrative hearing Monday. Skateland will be allowed to hold events with "Mommy and Me" and Zumba themes, as well as children's birthday parties and gatherings for schools, churches and recreation councils. The rink may host those events Monday through Thursday and they must end by 9 p.m. The business will face fines and a revocation of its amusement-hall license if it violates the agreement.
An amusement-hall license allows businesses to hold events with live or recorded music. In August, the county refused to renew Skateland's license – which had expired in March. Over the summer, police received complaints about hundreds of teens walking south on Bel Air Road and disturbing the neighborhood. One weekend, a person in a crowd leaving the rink threw a brick through the window of a police car, authorities said at the time.
Assistant County Attorney Adam Rosenblatt said officials believe the arrangement announced Monday will reduce large crowds of people leaving the rink late at night. The rink operator's lawyer, Gerard F. Miles, said his client was pleased to reach an agreement, but declined to comment further.
"We're happy with the outcome," said Peggy Winchester of the South Perry Hall Improvement Association. "We just wanted to make sure that the community was not endangered."
"I don't think the kids are bad kids," said Jerry Rush, who owns a McDonald's near the rink. "I just think they're trying to get home. It's like at Camden Yards...But they have the facilities there to get the people out."
White Marsh Precinct commander Capt. Michael Balog said the main problem has been large crowds of pedestrians disrupting traffic and creating safety problems on Bel Air Road. he said he's hopeful the agreement will help the neighborhood.
"We don't have any problem on the inside [of the rink]," he said. "No more than any local bar in the area."
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