The Greater Towson Council of Community Associations, an umbrella organization that unites more than 30 communities in the greater Towson area, elected 35-year-old Bryan Fischer, of Knettishall, as its new president Dec. 15.
Fischer, who replaces outgoing president Mike Ertel, of West Towson, will serve a one-year term. In the unanimous vote for a slate of officers, Ertel was elected the organization’s co-vice president, along with John Rinehart, of Rodgers Forge.
GTCAA was founded in the 1970s to coordinate efforts between communities and Baltimore County officials, developers and other major parties in Towson. Its goals are now to provide community associations with education, assistance in response to development issues, and to present a united front on issues too complex or large to be handled effectively by an individual association, according to the group’s website.
Recently, it has involved itself in the Southland Hills Improvement Association’s effort to place the former Presbyterian Home of Maryland building — parts of which date to the 19th century — on the county’s list of historic landmarks. The Presbyterian Home announced in May that it is selling the property after nearly 90 years in operation as a nursing home, sparking the community’s efforts.
Fischer joined the group about four years ago. At the time, Knettishall, a small community surrounded by Loch Raven Village, was not a part of GTCCA and the Knettishall Community Association’s membership in the group over the years had been on and off, Fischer said. He added that he saw the value of being part of a larger organization with a louder voice within Towson and so became Knettishall’s delegate to the council.
Source: Greater Towson Council of Community Associations elects new president – Baltimore Sun
Towson residents were out in force Monday evening at two separate meetings to voice their opinions on a pair of redevelopment proposals that have sparked controversy and protest in recent months — a proposed Royal Farms gas station at the corner of Bosley Avenue and York Road and, two miles south, a proposed Starbucks coffee shop at York Road and Regester Avenue.
The Starbucks coffee shop, which is proposed to replace a former bank and office building, would have an entrance on York Road and an exit onto Regester. The sticking point for the community is a proposed drive-through for the location, which they said would cause increased traffic and threaten pedestrian safety, particularly that of students who pass the area on their way to class at nearby Dumbarton Middle School.
Baltimore County officials approved the project in April 2016, according to spokeswoman Lauren Watley, though officials have not yet received a building permit application for the address associated with the project.
The Royal Farms project has been contested by the community since it was proposed three years ago. Baltimore County is selling a 5.8-acre property at the corner of York and Bosley — which has housed a fire station and a public works facility — to developer Caves Valley Partners, which has proposed a retail development including a gas station for the property. Some residents have objected to the proposal, saying a gas station would increase traffic problems at the intersection, and potentially cause pollution.
Source: Towson residents speak minds about proposed Royal Farms, Starbucks – Baltimore Sun
Opponents of a planned gas station in Towson filled the Baltimore County Council chambers on Tuesday to speak out against the project, saying it won’t bring any benefits to the community.
Residents of the neighborhoods near the planned Towson Gateway – proposed by developer Caves Valley Partners for the corner of York Road and Bosley Avenue – said it will worsen traffic problems, bring environmental risks, and attract crime.
They also complained that county officials have not listened to their concerns.The project is planned for a piece of property that was long used for a county fire station. The county is selling the land to the developer.
“It’s disgusting and a parodied stereotype of the worst of politics,” said Towson resident Mark Lee.
People at the meeting waved signs, including ones that said “No Royal Farms Gas Station at Towson Gateway.” They echoed concerns raised Monday night at a separate meeting hosted by state lawmakers and the Towson Green Alliance.
Source: Towson residents speak out against planned Royal Farms – Baltimore Sun