Stop work order targets sewer line in Towson

County officials issued a stop work order on a sewer line at the future site of an upscale Towson development after discovering earlier this week that work was being done without a required grading permit.

The sewer runs from the construction site of The Quarters, a $170 million condominium and apartment complex at the intersection of Dulaney Valley Road and Fairmount Avenue.


A nearby resident alerted county officials after observing that a number of trees had been cut down Tuesday. After determining that a grading permit had not yet been issued, the county told the subcontractors to stop cutting down trees, said Tom Vidmar, the deputy director of the county's Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management.

A meeting between county officials and the contractor handling utilities at the site is scheduled for today, Vidmar said, adding that he expects permits will be issued at that meeting and that work will be allowed to resume. He did not know whether the trees had been taken down in accordance with development plans.


After construction on the sewer line is complete, the developer will be responsible for planting new trees to replace those that were felled, Vidmar said.

Amy Lacey, a resident of the neighboring Stoneridge community, said that she and many of her neighbors are apprehensive about the 900-unit development, which replaces the 256-unit Dulaney Valley Apartments complex.

"I want to make sure that they're crossing their t's and dotting their i's," she said.

The developer, New Jersey-based Lane Northeast, is installing the sewer as a service to the community, said regional development manager Frank Griffin.

The first phase of construction will be finished late next year or early 2009, he said.

Julie Scharper


Police identify woman in wreck


State police yesterday identified a Towson woman who died shortly after her sport utility vehicle struck a concrete barrier on the Baltimore Beltway.

Margaret Costello, 46, of first block of Bellows Court, was driving east on the inner loop of the Baltimore Beltway between Dulaney Valley and Providence roads about 8 p.m. Wednesday when she lost control of a 2001 Toyota Highlander, state police said.

The vehicle struck another vehicle and hit a barrier next to the fast lane, county police said.

Costello was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Medical Center, where she later died, state police said.

It was unclear what caused the accident, police said.

Nick Shields



Those who help minorities honored

A principal, a student and a volunteer are being honored for contributions to improve minority student achievement, county school officials announced yesterday.

Woodlawn Middle School Principal Brian Scriven, Woodlawn High student Sherika McPherson, and Johnnycake Elementary volunteer Adalius Thomas (a former Baltimore Ravens player) will be recognized tonight during the eighth annual Achievement Initiative for Maryland's Minority Students Excellence Awards at Martin's West in Windsor Mill.

Scriven will receive an Educator Excellence Award for efforts to raise student achievement and increase community involvement at Woodlawn Middle. He has streamlined the school's schedule to allow for intensive study periods at the end of each school day, implemented college preparation strategies and established the Principal's Cabinet, a student advisory group.

McPherson has been selected as the Baltimore County recipient of a Student Excellence Scholarship. A student from each school district receives this $1,000 scholarship, which recognizes achievement and leadership in promoting diversity. McPherson is vice president of the school's multicultural club and a member of the National Honor Society.


Thomas will receive a Community Excellence Award for supporting Johnnycake Elementary. Through his foundation, Thomas provides incentives, such as tickets to Ravens games, for students who meet homework, classwork and behavioral goals. He is a mentor and, with the Baltimore County Fire Department, he developed a program to provide mentors for students.

Gina Davis

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