After three years of discussion, plans for Radebaugh Park, in Towson, will move forward as early as this spring.
The small park, named after the fourth-generation Radebaugh family florist that sold the land on which the park will be built, is planned for Towson’s Aigburth Manor.
Baltimore County spokeswoman Ellen Kobler said Friday while the total cost of the project is not yet known, construction is expected to begin in the summer.
“We anticipate putting the project out to bid this May and hope to begin construction in the summer,” Kobler said in a Feb. 16 email, adding that the park would be a “passive park,” a natural open space used for recreation without additional amenities such as sports fields.
The park’s creation has been in the works since 2015, when the Radebaugh family, which continues to use an unsold portion of the property for its business, sold the plot to the county with the provision that it would become a park.
County officials announced in June of that year that they would work to build a park on the 2.4-acre parcel, and after an environmental study of the land found no problems that would prevent its purchase, proceeded with the $1.1 million acquisition of the property in November 2016. The money for the purchase came from Program Open Space, a state land preservation program funded by real estate transfer taxes.
The plot, between Aigburth Road and Burke Avenue, has three abandoned greenhouses that held up early negotiations over the county’s purchase of the land.
Baltimore County officials balked at the cost of demolishing the greenhouses, which they estimated could cost as much as $500,000, but the Radebaughs, who said demolition could cost less than $144,000, were not responsible for the demolition under the purchase agreement.
The county eventually agreed to fund the demolition of greenhouses and their concrete foundations and the renovation of the site with a $175,000 state grant covering the cost of demolition.The county’s director of recreation and parks is working with the community on its design, she said.
Retired internist and Stoneleigh resident Carol Newill has worked with the county on behalf of the Green Towson Alliance, a Towson environmental group, to come up with a design that meets the community’s needs, she said.
“We’re going to look at the plans next week,” Newill said Friday. “Everyone is hopeful that the new plans will be more suitable.”
Last year, the environmental group worked with County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to come up with a plan that includes properly “sculpting” the land for stormwater management and walking trails, she said.
“One of the challenges with the site is that you not only have to remove the greenhouses but also big concrete footers that the greenhouses are placed on,” Newill said. “It’s a complicated space because you have to go underground. You can’t just shear the greenhouses off and expect to have grass growing.”
Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, a Republican who represents Towson, said he is pleased that plans for the park are moving forward.
“Radebaugh Neighborhood Park is one of three new parks under construction in Towson,” Marks said in a Feb. 15 email. “I would like to thank the community leaders who worked with our office to help make this possible.”
Aigburth Manor Association vice president Paul Hartman said the neighborhood association is looking forward to the park’s construction.
“We are excited to hear news that the plans for the park are moving forward,” Hartman said.
This story has been updated.