Local developer Michael Euler Sr.'s proposal to build an RV park and campground on an undeveloped portion of the Aumar Village shopping center in Fallston met with stiff resistance from members of the surrounding community, so he is starting from scratch.
Euler went before the Fallston Community Council Tuesday during the council's regular meeting at the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company to hear the community's thoughts on his new plan to build a facility for youth sports and other activities.
"I would think some commercial venture that's going to have a better result, that's going to be a sports venue for kids, and adults... I think that's a much better use of the property," he said.
The initial plan, which The Aegis reported on last November, called for building 56 sites for RVs and campers on 11.5 acres close to where Route 152 and Route 1 intersect.
Aumar Village already hosts a Texas Roadhouse restaurant, a CVS pharmacy, McDonald's and an APG Federal Credit Union branch.
Euler, who resides in Fallston, has been at the forefront of other residential and commercial developments around Fallston and Bel Air, such as the Blake's Legacy and Richardson's Legacy subdivisions in the Bel Air area.
The developer needed to obtain a special exception from Harford County's Board of Appeals to build the RV park, but he requested the hearing be put on hold while he sought community input for his new proposal.
"He was made aware that the community wasn't real happy with the thought of that project," Dave Williams, council chairman, said of the RV park.
Tuesday's session was an informal gathering of information – Euler will need to hold a formal Community Input Meeting, obtain a special exception from the Board of Appeals and get approval from the county's Development Advisory Commission before proceeding.
Some Fallston-area residents at Tuesday's meeting, such as Rob Weinhold, who was among the residents who opposed the RV park and met with Euler to express their opposition, support the idea of a youth facility.
"There's an incredible demand for many different sports and a dire lack of facilities," he said during Tuesday's meeting.
Weinhold said the project could be successful "with the right planning and the right business model and the right leadership."
Other residents expressed concerns about traffic on roads that are already heavily traveled, and the environmental impacts.
Different sections of the parcel in question are zoned agricultural, B3 business and residential.
Resident Stephanie Flasch and others suggested leaving the property for agricultural use.
"That could be a community response, to say, 'We are an agricultural community, the master plan says we are, why not just leave it ag?' " Flasch asked.
Euler said the property is too small and the soils are not suitable to make a profit from agriculture.
"It needs to be something besides what it is today, and something's going to happen," he said.
Andy Amasia, vice chairman of the council, asked Euler if he plans to build the RV park on any part of the property not used for a youth facility.
Euler pledged not to build an RV park anywhere on the land.
"If we move in this direction there will be no RVs, there will be no campers," he said.
Residents thanked Euler for taking the time to speak with them and get their input.
Brad Lear, who resides in Pleasant Hills, stressed, "this is an investment the man made."
Residents can give additional views to Euler through Williams, by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.