Baltimore County delays decision on proposed equine council for Ag Center

Baltimore County's recreation board voted Wednesday to postpone making a decision on whether to approve an equine advisory council for the county's agricultural center — a proposal that has generated controversy in north county.

The voice vote means that a decision will be put off until after a new county executive takes office following the November election.

The proposed council — called the Maryland Equine Resource Council — has been the latest frustration for supporters of the Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park, commonly called simply the “Ag Center.”

Longtime supporters of the Ag Center have said that the county government has made a series of changes to the center without consulting the community, including building a small indoor equine arena, bringing in an equine therapy program for veterans and turning farm fields into pasture for the horses.

The proposed Maryland Equine Resources Council would support those and other equestrian uses at the Ag Center.

Members of the Ag Center's existing advisory council questioned the need for a second council and whether the new council was a step toward the county turning the Ag Center into an equestrian-focused facility.

Robbie Leonard, a member of the county Board of Recreation and Parks, said it makes sense to wait until after the election. He made the motion to table the decision.

“This is a great opportunity for a fresh start,” Leonard said.

pwood@baltsun.com

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