When developers can't build mandated open space into their developments, they can seek a waiver from the county for a fee. When The Flats@703 was approved, that fee would have cost its developer about $5,000 for the entire project, according to Marks.
The new law, which the County Council passed in December 2015, increased the open space fee to $2,000 per unit. Because the Flats@703 were approved before that resolution passed, the development won't pay the full $2,000 per-unit fee. It will pay roughly $150,000. under an agreement brokered by Marks.
On April 26, it paid the county $90,300.
The Greater Towson Council of Community Associations had protested The Flats@703, according to Marks. Marks said the group agreed to drop its protest, and in return Federal Realty Investment Trust will donate roughly $60,000 to the groups.
The county will spend 80 percent of its $90,300 share to expand Towson Manor Park, Marks said, while the other 20 percent will go to the nonprofit NeighborSpace, which "works with community partners to protect and improve land for parks, gardens, trails and natural areas," in Baltimore County, according to its website.