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Outlet mall is an example of county's haphazard development process

When I read the article about an outlet mall to be built in White Marsh I had to check the date to make sure it was 2014 and not 1980 ("Proposed White Marsh outlet mall gets OK," Oct. 23).

On a huge site with an excellent location, Baltimore County's 800,000 citizens, many of them well-educated and relatively affluent, will soon be able to point with pride to their new, um, outlet mall.

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I can't wait to take out-of-town guests on a 20-mile ride to show off a place where they can buy second-rate castoffs from Calvin Klein, Coach and Kate Spade.

Howard, Prince George's and Montgomery counties plan and build with the knowledge that they are no longer suburban promised lands. They are already redeveloping what Baltimore County still wants to build. They recognize that such developments have no place in older, urbanized counties. In Baltimore County, however, the thinking is that if we build it, everyone will love to drive to it.

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This is not the fault of the planning department. County planners know what good development is; they just aren't allowed to plan for it.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore County Administrative Officer Frederick J. Homan ask little of developers, except perhaps for campaign contributions.

In another example, the coming Red Line offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create attractive, prosperous, safe places of national renown along the route. Yet Baltimore County leadership, being what it is, will probably forego a resident-based comprehensive planning effort; instead, each project will be a developer-driven planned unit development, all of which will add up to an incoherent, unappealing non-place — think Red Run Boulevard in Owings Mills — that only a county executive and administrative officer could love.

Daniel Rosen, Baltimore

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