Members of the Baltimore County Council are officially urging the owners of the White Marsh Mall to ban unaccompanied teenagers on Friday and Saturday nights.
Council members voted unanimously — 7-0 — to pass a resolution Monday night calling on the mall to enact such a policy. The resolution is not binding, but represents the official position of the council.
Council members from the eastern side of the county have been trying to convince mall management to enact such a policy for teenagers since an August fight at the mall led to the arrests of seven minors and two 19-year-olds.
The resolution was co-sponsored by Councilwoman Cathy Bevins, a Middle River Democrat; Councilman David Marks, a Perry Hall Republican; and Councilman Todd Crandell, a Dundalk Republican.
“I have been receiving many complaints over the last few years about the mall and a lot of youth, teenagers at the mall and people feeling unsafe,” Bevins said. “And then we had the incident in August.”
The resolution encourages the mall to require customers younger than 18 to be accompanied by an adult aged 21 or older after 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
Those rules are the same ones in place for young people at Towson Town Center, which also is owned by Brookfield Property Partners.
The sponsors of the resolution said they hoped their action would put pressure on the mall and its owners to enact a policy.
Officials with Brookfield Property Partners didn’t respond Tuesday to a request for comment. Last week, a spokeswoman for the mall owner said that there were no plans to implement a parental guidance policy.
Council Chairman Julian Jones, a Woodstock Democrat, voted for the resolution but expressed some reservations. He said his “heart goes out to the kids” who hang out at the mall.
“I think this is something of a symptom, and the cause is that we don’t have enough things for our kids to do,” Jones said.
While there are sports and other organized activities, Jones said young people need safe spaces for when they “just want to hang out and meet and greet other kids.”