Over the past two years, our office has worked to improve communities throughout the Fifth District, from Towson to Perry Hall. Some of these projects are big, such as the additions at Stoneleigh and Hampton Elementary School or air conditioning at Seven Oaks Elementary School. Other projects are small, but will have a measurable impact on our neighborhoods-- road improvements in Towson Manor Village and Loch Raven Village, for example, or new acreage at Honeygo Run Park in Perry Hall. I would like to thank the County Executive and our state legislators for their help with a number of these initiatives.
My main focus in 2012 was preserving open space in our neighborhoods. 2012 was a rezoning year, and I used it as an opportunity to try to protect green space. Acting on my recommendations, the County Council downzoned more than 417 acres, the most ambitious plan in two decades in this part of Baltimore County, and the most land ever downzoned in Towson, Carney, and Cromwell Valley. The Fifth District now has more land zoned as open space than any other district in Baltimore County.
It is impossible to predict exactly what 2013 may offer the Fifth District, but we do know there will be some important milestones.
In Towson, the newly-renovated Stoneleigh Elementary School will open in August. More than $38 million has been invested in Towson's schools, but we need to work to make sure that all of our schools have adequate classroom space. Redevelopment will accelerate in the Towson core, which means we need to address important needs such as security, maintenance, and traffic. There will be a resolution of the Towson fire station issue and also changes to the magnet policy, which particularly impacts Cromwell Valley Elementary School. I will continue to work with BGE to make sure electrical service becomes more reliable, particularly in places like western Towson, Campus Hills, and Hillendale Park.
In Loch Raven and Parkville, one of my biggest priorities will be the impact of the Hess settlement on the Yakona Road neighborhood. Some road improvements will occur along the Joppa Road corridor, and we will hopefully have a new Baltimore NeighborSpace acquisition near the Harford/Joppa Road intersection, guaranteeing open space for the Carney community.
In Perry Hall, one of my main priorities will be the beautification of the commercial area at Belair, Ebenezer, and Joppa Roads. Thanks to legislation passed by the County Council in 2011, this is now a revitalization district which offers special incentives to business owners. The resurfacing of Chapel Road will be finished, and hopefully so will the trail along Indian Rock Park. I expect progress on projects like the Perry Hall dog park and the renovation of the Perry Hall Mansion. 2013 is also the 50th anniversary for two local landmarks: the Perry Hall library and Perry Hall High School.
In closing, I want to wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year. It is an honor to represent the citizens of the Fifth District.