Family donates additional parcel for Towson park

The Baltimore County Council has accepted the donation of a house and property on Maryland Avenue in Towson, that could become a part of the planned Radebaugh Neighborhood Park.

The house was donated by Radebaugh Florist and Greenhouses of Towson, a family-owned business that recently sold 2.36 acres to the county to be turned into a park that will carry the family's name. The donated house and one-fifth acre property is at 11 Maryland Ave., and backs up to the future park property.

County officials are not planning the park at the moment, but instead are focused on demolishing unused greenhouses on the 2.36-acre parcel, said Ellen Kobler, a spokeswoman for Baltimore County. When demolition is complete, officials will begin working with the community to plan the park.

"It is to be determined whether the donated house will be demolished or kept," Kobler said.

County Councilman David Marks, who represents Towson, said he has heard from constituents that they would prefer that the land become a "green" access point to the park, rather than a parking lot.

Before reaching a deal with the county to purchase the land, the Radebaughs received offers from developers interested in the property, which is located in the Aigburth Manor neighborhood near Towson University. The price Baltimore County paid for the 2.36 acre parcel alone, $1.1 million, was similar to what developers had offered for both the house and the 2.36 acre plot. Therefore, when the county asked Radebaugh to donate the house, the business agreed, according to co-owner Steve Radebaugh.

"It was the fair thing to do," said Radebaugh, a third-generation member of the family.

By donating the house, the family business will recieve a tax break, Radebaugh said. According to state records, the property and house are valued at $257,900.

Although now vacant, the house has been occupied by Radebaugh employees, who needed to be nearby in case the nursery business's gardening systems failed, Radebaugh said. An alarm in the home would go off to alert the occupant, who could then quickly address the problem before plants were affected.

Paul Hartman, vice president of the Aigburth Manor Association, said the community hopes the house and property can become something that provide addtional green space to the park.

"I think, pretty much universally, people don't want a road or a parking lot there, right in the block of residential homes," Hartman said. "The park is supposed to be a walk-to neighborhood park. You don't want people driving from Cockeysville."

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