White Marsh Town Center Task Force Unveils Groundbreaking Recommendations For Mall Area: Public Meeting Set For September 26
WHITE MARSH - The White Marsh Town Center Task Force is set to present its comprehensive recommendations for the future of the White Marsh Mall on September 26. The public is invited to attend the meeting, held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Community Christian Church, 8009 Corporate Drive.
"We would like to thank the community representatives and business stakeholders who have exhaustively looked at the possibilities for this area," said Pat Keller, former Baltimore County Director of Planning and president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association.
Established in December 2022, the task force has diligently worked over the past eight months to chart a viable course for the future of the White Marsh Mall area and its surrounding communities.
Following a rigorous process involving extensive public surveys and a comprehensive review of the zoning history, the Task Force released their recommendations in a report on August 30. The recommendations address a wide range of critical issues, including land use and design of public facilities, educational infrastructure, transportation, and environmental concerns.
Land Use and Design
One of the critical recommendations involves transforming the land use policies for the White Marsh Mall area. The area has been zoned for BM-CT use since 1980, a highly permissive classification lacking quality development guidelines. The Task Force proposes the adoption of a new overlay district that will focus on site and building design rather than usage.
Public Facilities and Services
The report recommends creating development standards for police, fire, and healthcare infrastructure. By requiring developers to invest in local infrastructure, the task force hopes to alleviate strain on local police and fire departments.
The report highlights that Baltimore County has fewer sworn officers per capita than the national average. The White Marsh Mall, served by Precinct 9, ranks second highest in the county for the number of service calls, indicating a heightened need for police presence.
The closest hospital to the mall area is MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, which has a 'B' rating and is ranked 5th among Maryland's 'B' rated hospitals. The hospital also faces significant challenges in emergency room wait times, an issue that has persisted post-COVID.
Education and School Utilization
The report highlights concerns over the high utilization rates of schools serving the White Marsh Mall area. All three area elementary schools, Fullerton, Joppa View, and Vincent Farm, are at or over 100% capacity.
The task force advises adopting recommendations from the county council's 2020 APFO report. The proposed changes would adjust the state-rated maximum capacity for school overcrowding to 100%.
According to the task force, urgent improvements are needed for specific road segments and intersections, especially White Marsh Blvd./Route 7. The task force urges the construction of the Campbell Blvd. bridge over CSX Railroad tracks and recommends contacting state delegates to pressure MDOT-SHA for state highway improvements.
As the area experiences residential growth, there is a pressing need for more parks and recreational spaces. The Task Force describes the White Marsh Mall area as a 'recreation desert' and suggests it should serve as a regional park that meets both passive and active recreational needs.
For more detailed information, the complete White Marsh Town Center Task Force report is available online.
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