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Almond: White Marsh Prospered, Owings Mills Did Not

Council Chairwoman explains reasoning behind controversial changes to Ken Oliver's transit oriented development bill.

Council Chairwoman Vicki Almond Monday night said her amendments to a bill affecting the Metro Centre at Owings Mills and other nearby projects was meant to ensure the area prospered economically.

The amendments, which irritated Councilman Ken Oliver, protected the proposed redevelopment of the Owings Mills Mall and the Foundry Row project proposed for the Solo Cup property.

Oliver's bill, in it's original form, would have delayed or derailed those projects, Almond said.

Oliver accused Almond and Councilwoman Cathy Bevins of being by former County Executive Jim Smith and the Towson law firm Smith, Gildea and Schmidt, which represents Foundry Row developer Greenberg Gibbons.

Almond, in her statement after the vote, compared Owings Mills to the White Marsh area, which she said has prospered while Owings Mills has not.

Below is Almond's complete statement:

"On behalf of this council I would just like to say that transit oriented development legislation is groundbreaking for us. It's been very, very difficult to get a handle on it.

"In this TOD bill, there are 14 exemptions for Mr. Brown and nothing is going to hurt the Metro site and the TOD. There's been federal, state and county money and personal money put into this project. It will happen.

"The amendments were for the purpose of allowing future development around this TOD site and to make Owings Mills, which is partly mine and Councilman Oliver's the best that it can possibly be. This is our last chance to get it right.

"White Marsh went ahead and grew and prospered and Owings Mills did not. Now we have a chance to let that happen. I hope this council can come together to see that all these developments happen and prosper."

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Bart July 07, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Hunt Valley Town Center - now there's a hopping place! That has made such a turnaround; they're still building new stores. We went there last weekend and it was great. A band was playing, there was dancing in the street, all the restaurants were packed, WITH wait times. And all WITH the light rail. Imagine that!
Steve July 07, 2012 at 11:13 PM
I was there at the same time. You couldn't get a parking spot anywhere near the movies. We had to park past Dick's.
You July 08, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Bryan! You need to work on your written work. Its like reading a new law proposed by (Jack and denied by Jill but supported by Jacks brother which Jill also supports only because she supports Jack's dad). Being a jerk I know and I understand the story is confusing to define to us "laymens"; but break it down buddy. Still a fan of ya!
You July 08, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Can someone give the non-baised 411 on this? Sounds very intriguing.
kl July 11, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Please no public transportation in White Marsh ! Bad enough when they load in on mta buses for games downtown, YUCK !

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