By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun
4:58 PM EDT, June 18, 2012
The Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America has won approval from state officials to buy 19 acres in Harford County to expand the Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation through an unusual method known as a land patent.
After conducting a public hearing this spring, the state's Commissioner of Land Patents Edward Papenfuse ruled that the land had never been deeded to a private owner and that the scouts had the right to purchase it. His decision marks the first time since 2002 that a private entity has received approval to secure a land patent from the state, after proving that no one else owns the land it wants.
State officials say the scouts' application was one of the largest examples of "vacant land" brought to their attention in the past three decades. The land sits amid the scouts' 1,700-acre campground and will be maintained as part of it. The state has set a purchase price of $36,811.09.
The state's Board of Public Works is scheduled to consider the sale agreement at its meeting Wednesday.
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