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baltimoresun.com

Towson becoming 'brick and mortar monument to developers' [Letter]

9:18 AM EDT, June 14, 2013

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I take exception to Councilman David Marks' article published in your paper May 15. He stated that the building boom in Towson would "transform this suburban county seat into one of the most dynamic cosmopolitan communities in Maryland." I feel it will transform this suburban county seat into one of the most congested impassable urban communities closely resembling the urban sprawl found elsewhere in Baltimore County along Reisterstown Road or Liberty Road.

Is that what the full-time residents of Towson want?

Our community is populated by three hospitals and two universities, all of which steadily consume space that was open.

When do we say enough?

Mr. Marks says, "the biggest need, however, is a transit system service that exclusively serves downtown Towson." I think the biggest need, however is open space. Kids don't play on "exclusively dedicated transit services," they play in woods, fields and playgrounds.

Towson was a residential community with commercial development as needed to provide the required services. We are becoming, or possibly have become, a commercial community, a destination shopping and dining location.

When Towson University was 8,000 students we were a residential community with a college. Now we are a college community with concerts, congestion, competitions, off campus housing and contemplating more housing and commercial to meet the ever accelerating influx of students.

Towson had open fields not that long ago. Now we have three hospitals with sirens, helicopters and virtually every square foot of ground paved for parking lots or built out.

So we really want or need more? If the proposed new development called 101 York becomes a reality, I hope it includes overnight accommodations for use while you wait to get through the intersection of Burke Avenue and York Road. The developer of 101 York has said of his development, "It will liven the southern entrance to downtown Towson." Perhaps his definition of "liven" is to make or render impassable.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has said in connection with the development of Towson, "We're transforming Towson into a true capital city." Do you have to build on every square foot to be a capital city?

Maybe a capital city should reflect the desires of and provide the commercial services for its citizenry rather than becoming a brick and mortar monument to the desires of its developers and politicians.

George L. Good

Towson