Towson U., neighbors reach tentative accord

The Baltimore Sun

Rodgers Forge residents and Towson University administrators said yesterday that they have reached a tentative compromise on the location of a new $45 million athletic arena on the campus and expect to sign an agreement today.

Representatives of the community and college had been at odds over the original site, which was within a few hundred yards of several backyards. Neighbors had pushed to have the proposed 5,000-seat arena built on the other side of Unitas Stadium, but university officials insisted that the facility had to be next to the current athletic center, which is to become practice courts and classrooms.

Both parties said they expect to endorse a memorandum of understanding detailing a new location on the west side of the athletic center and farther from the neighborhood.

In addition to details about the arena, the memorandum "will include any future development plans in the university's athletic precinct adjacent to their property lines," said Marina Cooper, a university spokeswoman.

Residents said they were pleased with the university's commitment to more open communication with neighbors. The Rodgers Forge Community Association board was expected to review the agreement last night.

"We got them to move the arena to the opposite side of the building," said Patrick Foretich, who organized much of the opposition. "We are happy."

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