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BCC/Keswick Land Sale Media Hits

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On this page, you will find links to various media "hits" on the subject of the proposed BCC/Keswick land sale and the Roland Park reaction to it. This includes published "letters to the editor" sent to local newspapers. The items are listed chronologically. Scroll down for newer articles/letters.

 

Media Hits

  • A link to a June 17, 2008 Baltimore Sun article about the proposed sale, by clicking here.
  • A link to a June 17, 2008 Baltimore Business Journal article about the sale, by clicking here.
  • A link to a June 17, 2008 Baltimore Examiner article about the sale, by clicking here.
  • A link to a June 19, 2008 Baltimore Messenger article may be found here.
  • A link to a June 22, 2008 Baltimore Sun op-ed by Ann Klassen, explaining why the land should be left as green space. Read it here.
  • A link to a June 25, 2008 Baltimore Messenger news article, by clicking here.
  • A link to a June 25, 2008 Baltimore Messenger op-ed by Kathy Hudson, by clicking here.
  • A link to a June 30, 2008 Baltimore Sun article on community opposition to the BCC sale, by clicking here.
  • A link to a July 1, 2008 Baltimore Sun article on the first protest outside the BCC, by clicking here.
  • A link to a July 2, 2008 Baltimore Sun article on the July 1 RP special community meeting, by clicking here.
  • A link to a July 2, 2008 WMAR-TV article on the July 1 RP special community meeting, by clicking here. (Multimedia: http://www.abc2news.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoId= 10778wmar.dayport.com&navCatId=14)
  • A link to a July 2, 2008 WJZ-TV article on the July 1 RP special community meeting, by clicking here. (Multimedia here: http://wjz.com/local/roland.park.2.761753.html)
  • A link to a July 2, 2008 WYPR 88.1 fm article on the July 1 RP special community meeting, by clicking here. (Multimedia here: http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/ wypr/local-wypr-726637.mp3.)
  • A July 2 Adam Bednar Baltimore Messenger article is here, this one on RP's three previous offers on the BCC land.
  • A second Bednar Messenger article can be read here, this one about fund raising in Roland Park for community projects.
  • Keswick's CEO Bowerman may change BCC development design (July 3). Read it in the Baltimore Business Journal here.
  • On 4 July 2008, the Sun's columnist Jean Marbella had this to say about the BCC/Keswick land deal.
  • A Baltimore Sun July 6 editorial demands that we all just get along, "keep talking" and compromise. You may read it here.
  • A Baltimore Sun "letter to the editor" of July 6 supports the preservationists' position; it is here.
  • Another July 6 "letter to the editor" in the Sun says that Roland Park should buy the land; that letter is here. (In fact, Roland Park has on three occasions tried to buy the land — Ed.)
  • The July 2008 edition of The Urbanite contains an interesting article by Mike Dominelli about how little protection against development is in fact provided by historic National Register designation (which Roland Park has). It is worth a read and is found here.
  • An excellent piece by Michael Olesker may be found here in the July 7 edition of the Baltimore Examiner.
  • More straight-down-the-line reporting from the July 7 Baltimore Messenger on the BCC/Keswick development can be read here.
  • In a less than intellectually taut opinion piece in the July 7 Gazette newspapers (Montgomery Co., P.G. Co., etc.), Barry Rascovar belittles preservationists opposed to the development of the BCC land. What is most interesting about this piece is just how many words is takes Mr. Rascovar to get across his basic — and base — point, let's pave it over to poke the rich folks in the eye.
  • A link to a July 7, 2008 WMAR-TV article about the continuing dispute; read by clicking here. (Multimedia here: http://www.abc2news.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoId= 10897wmar.dayport.com.)
  • The July 9 Sun "letters to the editor" section carries four responses to the newspaper's July 6 editorial, three opposing the would-be development and one, by Keswick board president Dorothy Boyce, in favor. The letters may be read here (note that the letters are all part of one web page and the spacing is such that at first glance they appear to run one into the other).
  • Another Adam Bednar article for the Baltimore Messenger (7/9/08) is to be found here. The article describes a letter sent to BCC members by anonymous Parkies recently. (This activity was carried our independently of the Civic League.)
  • Another Kathy Hudson opinion piece may be found here in the July 9 Baltimore Messenger. It reiterates the importance of green space in urban settings.
  • The Sun's July 9 four letters to the editor, described above, prompted a number of anonymous electronic comments, so pro and some con. These may be seen here.
  • The July 10 edition of the Sun contains an excellent piece by RP resident Janet Felsten on a potential and excellent alternative location for the proposed new Keswick campus. Read it here.
  • In his July 10 blog, well-known Baltimore personality and former WYPR 88.1 fm show host Marc Steiner comes down against the BCC/Keswick deal. You can read the blog here.
  • Click here for Laura Vozzella's amusing Sun (July 11) column on Roland Park's "unkempt revolt." Funny quotes from Peter Grier.
  • Initially somewhat dismissive of the RP preservationist case, on July 12 the Sun changed tack markedly with a very thoughtful editorial, which is here. The new editorial — signed by the editorial page editor, Ann LoLordo, which is highly unusual — is nuanced and historical in its view. The Sun should be congratulated on this stance.
  • There is also another excellent letter to the editor in the July 12 Sun, right here.
  • Carl Hyman's July 13 Sun letter to the editor suggests that vacant space at Cross Keys be used for the would-be new Keswick campus; read it here.
  • Cyd Lacanienta's July 14 letter to the editor at the Sun decries the felling of trees necessary to develop the BCC land. It is here.
  • On the other hand Jane Swope's letter to the editor in the Sun, also July 14, seems to favor development because the land is not in the "core" of Roland Park. Read it here.
  • Jessica Fehr's July 15 Sun letter to the editor says that wealthy Parkies should let BCC do what it likes with the land and should instead concentrate on charity (here).
  • This Baltimore Business Journal article, July 15, outlines Keswick's plans for obtaining planned unit development (PUD) permission for the development of the BCC land. Read it here.
  • WBAL-TV's daytime — i.e., before the community's evening meeting — July 15 story on the BCC/Keswick saga is here. (Multimedia here: http://www.wbaltv.com/video/16892214/index.html.)
  • By clicking here, you will fine Gerald Neily's fascinating July 15 blog about the destruction of the BCC golf course west of Falls Road in the 1960s, along with Neily's ideas for connecting Cylburn Park (below Mt. Washington) to Roland Park by means of a small road connecting the two. This blog is well worth a read.
  • "Positions harden," says Adam Bednar's Baltimore Messenger article, July 16. Read the story here.
  • In a July 18 letter to the editor in the Baltimore Sun, John Kevin defends Roland Park's right to oppose zoning changes in the neighborhood, right here.
  • Frank DeFilippo's insightful July 21 WBAL-Radio commentary on the BCC/Keswick sale is here. DeFilippo points out that the sale would "remove a $4.9 million assessment from the city's property tax base" because Keswick is a non-profit and pays no taxes — this in return for 150 low-paid service jobs. City Council members, take note!
  • Adam Bednar's July 23 Messenger article on the city's removal of pro-preservation signs in Roland Park is here.
  • Kathy Hudson's July 23 Messenger opinion piece on why Keswick's new campus should be located somewhere other than the BCC green-space land is here.
  • While expressing mild sympathy for Roland Park preservationists in this July 24 Baltimore Examiner opinion, Dan Gainor concludes with the offbeat notion that RP should be responsible for finding an "acceptable alternative" site for Keswick. Read it here.
  • RP resident Tom Inglesby makes the point that efforts to preserve environmental attributes such as Chesapeake Bay should be matched by efforts to preserve urban green areas, such as the BCC land (Sun, letters to the editor, July 26). The letter is here.
  • Longtime RP resident and activist John Meredith Bond died on July 19. The former editor of Roland Park News was 90. Implacably opposed to the chipping away of historic Roland Park through edge development, he would, according to his daughter, have been the first carrying a sign protesting the would-be BCC/Keswick development. His Baltimore Messenger obituary is here.
  • Kathy Hudson urges Roland Parkers to do more to demonstrate stewardship of green space, Baltimore Messenger, August 6. It is here.
  • Sally Foster describes "fighting development while walking dog in Roland Park" in a "letter to the editor," Baltimore Messenger, August 6. Click here for Sally's letter.
  • Keswick CEO Libby Bowerman's op-ed from the August 9 Sun is here.
  • An August 13 Baltimore Business Journal article reporting Keswick's claims about the job-creation prospects for the assisted-living facility project. Click here.
  • Adam Bednar reports on the overwhelming Roland Park turnout at Mayor Sheila Dixon's August 12 "Neighborhood Conversation" event. The August 13 Baltimore Messenger article is here.
  • Civic League President Phil Spevak's response to Libby Bowerman's August 9 op-ed is here. Dr. Spevak's "letter to the editor" was printed in the August 16 Baltimore Sun. As Phil points out, claiming that a "planned unit development" (PUD) does not constitute rezoning, as Keswick does, is hair splitting and ultimately irrelevant. Phil also notes that the 200,000 square-foot footprint of the intended new Keswick development is about twice — twice! — the footprint of the buildings at the Rotunda shopping center.
  • From the home of Roland Park's antecedent, Central Park, this August 19 New York Times article by Ian Urbina claims that the would-be BCC land sale has "shatter[ed] a Baltimore neighborhood's serenity." One sentence really says it all: "Then came the blue and yellow ribbons. Tied around many of the perimeter’s oaks, they signaled which ones would be cut down." This must-read article is here.
  • Reacting to the Urbina article (above), the Daily Record's Robbie Whelan says that "residents of Roland Park...are likely to lose this battle, " and that "the city is likely to approve" the BCC sale. Wouldn't Roland Parkers, Whelan asks, "be better served talking about the needs of the community in the here and now, rather than [the] century-old history of their affluent, idyllic neighborhood?" Read the piece here, reproduced from the KeswickCommunity.org web site (8/20).
  • The Baltimore Examiner's Adam Meister comes down against the would-be Keswick development on the BCC land (8/20/08), going so far as to suggest that Roland Park consider threatening to secede from Baltimore if all else fails! The Meister blog is here.
  • As reported in this August 27 Baltimore Messenger article, RP Civic League President Phil Spevak dismisses the Keswick economic-impact analysis as a "side show." The analysis, prepared for Keswick by consultants Lipmann Frizzell & Mitchell, reported on the purported fiscal and employment benefits of the BCC land development. The Messenger article is here.
  • September 3's Kathy Hudson column in the Baltimore Messenger is here. It discusses Keswick's optimistic assessment of the likely traffic impact of the proposed 17-acre assisted-living development on the old BCC golf course.
  • Also in the September 3 Messenger is a "letter to the editor" by Martha Marani. Marani shows that allowing the Keswick development would be a tragic precedent with citywide implications. Read it here.
  • Anne Stuzin's September 5 "letter to the editor" in the Sun can be viewed here. It draws parallels between the would-be BCC development and the proposed building of a mega-church in Timonium.
  • Adam Bednar reports in the Baltimore Messenger (9/10) that the BCC/Keswick flap has substantially boosted RP Civic League revenues and membership. Click here to read the article.
  • The Messenger's Adam Bednar reports on the well attended Roland Park "roundtables" about the Keswick/BCC issue, while David Tufaro expresses confidence in RP's ability to raise the funds necessary to buy the BCC land (9/24). See it here.
  • Roland Park Civic "League officials claim that Keswick mailed invitations to people who don't live in Roland Park, in an effort to manufacture support for the [development] project," notes the Messenger's Adam Bednar of the October 14 Roland Park league meeting (10/8). Read Bednar's article here.
  • In the October 14 Baltimore Sun, according to Brent Jones, Keswick CEO Libby Bowerman expresses hope that Roland Parkers will come around to the idea of the 323-unit retirement community once she has had the chance to answer community questions at the October 14 RP Civic League meeting. Read it here.
  • BCC appealed to its members in an Oct. 3 letter to write to Baltimore City elected officials in favor of the Keswick development, says Adam Bednar in the Messenger (10/15), while railing against Roland Park for allegedly not allowing BCC and Keswick to tell their side of their story (this, despite BCC/Keswick presentations at the July 1 Civic League meeting and the upcoming October 14 meeting). In response, former RPCL President David Blumberg says the league was never asked to present its side of the story to country club members or to Keswick's board of trustees. Read it here.

At this point, it is probably worth a brief break to review the question of whether or not Keswick and BCC have had an opportunity to tell "their side of the story" to local area residents. As a matter of documented fact, BCC and Keswick commented at the RPCL's first community meeting (Jul. 1, 2008) on the proposed land sale and development. You may read the report on this meeting here. Likewise, as stated in its own on-line newsletter, Keswick was invited to speak at the Sep. 2 RPCL Land Use Committee meeting, an invitation it accepted. (Click here.) Keswick was also invited to present at the Oct. 14 RPCL community meeting, an opportunity Keswick made the most of by "mail[ing] an announcement in advance of this meeting to a list of Roland Park residents in the 21210 zip code. This small brochure presented a brief summary of project facts, included architectural renderings and a site map, and encouraged each recipient’s attendance," in the words of its own web site. (Click here.) Unable to tell their side of the story? RolandPark.org will let the reader decide.

  • It was "neighbors versus developers," says WMAR-TV's Delia Goncalves of the October 14 Roland Park Civic League special community meeting about the proposed Keswick purchase of 17 acres of land formerly part of the old Baltimore Country Club golf course. "Roland Park [residents] have not given up the fight. In fact, they're even more organized." The article is here (10/14).
  • "Residents rallied against a senior living facility," according to WBAL-TV's coverage of the Oct. 14 Roland Park meeting about Keswick's development plans for the BCC land. The "capacity crowd" makes plain that "most of Roland Park has made it clear they don’t want the senior living facility in their community." See the article here (10/14).
  • The Baltimore Sun's Brent Jones notes that "hundreds of Roland Park residents" were at the Oct. 14 meeting, continuing that only a "few were convinced by [Keswick's] arguments." Click here to read the Sun article (10/14).
  • WJZ's Kai Jackson, reporting the Oct. 14 event, gets straight to the point: "Outrage and opposition erupt as plans are laid out for a new senior facility in Roland Park." Said to be about the size of the Ravens' football stadium, the would-be Keswick facility is opposed hands down by the neighborhood, says Jackson, whose article is here (10/14). (Multimedia here: http://wjz.com/video/?id=45474@wjz.dayport.com.)
  • Keswick CEO Libby Bowerman "woefully and sorrowfully disappointed" by RP Oct. 14 meeting, reports Robbie Whelan for the Daily Record (here), noting that one Keswick supporter became so irate that he threw a microphone a Roland Park News Co-editor Anne Stuzin (10/15). (Cf. Whelan's August 20 piece, here.)
  • BCC Board President John Daue "issues a warning" to Roland Park, says Adam Bednar in the Baltimore Messenger (10/15): accept the retirement-community plan or we'll sell for a housing subdivision. Read Bednar's article here.
  • Writing for Baltimore Magazine, Evan Serpick's very detailed account of the Oct. 14 meeting is here (10/15). "After Roland Park residents were finished with it," says Serpick, "the Keswick plan...appeared to be dead in the water."
  • Debunking the contention that the Oct. 14 community meeting was stacked against BCC/Keswick, Kathy Hudson points out in the Baltimore Messenger that "Roland Parkers and others areawide" had been invited by Keswick. The piece is here (10/15).
  • The Oct. 14 meeting marked a turning point, in RPCL's President Phil Spevak's mind, according to Baltimore Magazine's Evan Serpick (10/16). BCC and Keswick "seemed to realize that their plan would not succeed." Read this Q&A with Phil Spevak here.
  • The Messenger's Adam Bednar reports on City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's e-mail to Roland Park residents, unequivocally refusing to introduce the PUD necessary for the fruition of the BCC/Keswick deal and stating her support for Councilwoman Middleton's preservationist position. The Bednar article is here and the Rawlings-Blake e-mail is here (10/16).
  • Robert J. Morton was impressed by the Civic League's case at the Oct. 14 meeting and by "how unconvincing the presenters from Keswick and the country club were." His Oct. 22 Baltimore Sun "letter to the editor" is here (10/23).
  • In the third of Evan Serpick's series about the BCC/Keswick matter, the Baltimore Magazine writer interviews Keswick CEO Libby Bowerman (10/28). In the interview, Ms. Bowerman contends that she is not convinced that RP residents really want a park on the BCC land, and that RP should suggest "modifications" to the Keswick plan to make it acceptable to the neighborhood. Confronted by Serpick's reminding her of Councilwoman Green's e-mails — 515 against the project versus 19 for it — Ms. Bowerman maintains that there are "probably equally as many people who have expressed...support of the project, as [for] the Civic League." She concedes that it is "unfortunate" that these people have not sent "500 e-mails to any councilwoman or councilman." Read this fascinating interview here.
  • In her Nov. 13 Baltimore Messenger column, Kathy Hudson calls upon Mayor Sheila Dixon to weigh in one way or the other on the proposed development of the BCC land by Keswick Multi-Care. "How many more time does Roland Park have to say 'no'?" asks Hudson. Read it here (11/13).
  • In this Nov. 24 Baltimore Sun "letter to the editor," Robert I. Cottom objects that the Keswick development "would drive a commercial wedge into the community's historic, residential character." Cottom accuses Keswick supporters of sidestepping manifest local opposition by "dangling the lure of added tax revenue before budget-strapped city leaders." Read Cottom's letter here.
  • In a Nov. 25 Baltimore Messenger Adam Bednar article about municipal zoning, RP Civic League President Phil Spevak says he "wants the city to do a better job of notifying neighborhoods when changes to zoning are being requested or considered" (11/25). It's here.
  • In a Dec. 5 article about Mayor Dixon's written response to the BCC/Keswick development proposal, the Messenger's Adam Bednar writes, "The mayor's stance effectively ends any hope Keswick has of building the facility as proposed." However, it is too early to declare victory, says CL President Phil Spevak, expressing some bafflement at the mayor's call for further dialog. "The process has gone on for five months and we see little value to further discussion given the overwhelming community opposition and the extensive review process that has already occurred," he said. Read the details here (12/5).
  • At its Dec. 4 monthly meeting, the RP Civic League heard a presentation from Tyler Gearhart, board chairman of "CHAP," more formally known as the Baltimore Commission for Historical & Architectural Preservation. CHAP status for Roland Park would protect current open spaces and subject all proposed exterior changes to buildings to CHAP scrutiny, thereby ensuring the retention of the neighborhood's historic character. Adam Bednar of the Messenger was at the meeting and gives the details here (12/9).
  • Just hours after a meeting between club representatives and the RP Civic League, on Dec. 9 the BCC tore down its historic tennis club building, writes Baltimore Messenger Editor Larry Perl (12/9). “The building ha[d] historical significance,” RPCL President Phil Spevak said. The demolition comes hot on the heels of Mayor Dixon's November admonition that the club and RP continue dialog into March 2009. The article is here.
  • Noting that the Roland Park Civic League "has masterfully rallied the neighborhood" against the BCC/Keswick development plan, this Dec. 15 Baltimore Sun editorial calls on Keswick to "begin design work on a new facility that is smaller and greener." Read the editorial here (12/15).
  • On Dec. 23, the Baltimore Sun ran a collection of four letters from area residents in response to the newspaper's Dec. 15 editorial (above). All four writers — Heather MacGregor, Peter Grief, Joan Dolina and Amy Lutzky — opposed the proposed Keswick development. The letters may be viewed here (1/11/09).
  • In contrast, on Jan. 2, 2009, Keswick CEO Libby Bowerman contended in the Sun that its "proposal is a unique and compelling opportunity" for itself, the city and, less plausibly in the view of many, Roland Park. Ms. Bowerman's "letter to the editor" is here (1/11).
  • In her Jan. 2 column for the Baltimore Messenger, Kathy Hudson expresses the hope that the "Baltimore Country Club will move in an unexpected direction" and allow the RP Civic League president to address the club's membership. This raises an interesting point. The RPCL has to date never been allowed to address either the club's members or the Keswick board of directors as a group, though Keswick and BCC officials have addressed local residents at two RPCL events (Jul. 1 and Oct. 14, 2008) and had no fewer than seven meetings with RPCL officers. The BCC claims that "the Roland Park Civic League has declined to engage in any meaningful dialogue" (Daue Dec. 12, 2008 letter to Spevak, here), but this confuses dialogue with agreement. BCC and Keswick have had ample ample opportunity to convince residents of the benefits of their position. That they have failed can hardly be laid at the RPCL's door. Read Hudson's column here (1/11).
  • On Jan. 5, RPCL Plat Rep Christine McSherry countered in the Sun with an argument moving beyond Keswick per se: McSherry wondered "whether our city government will honor its moral and legal obligation to neighborhoods all over Baltimore by honoring the land's existing zoning designation," given that the neighborhood has proved itself vigorously opposed to the development. Click here to read (1/11).
  • On Jan. 8 in the Sun, Keswick consultant Alfred W. Barry III took issue with Chris McSherry's letter of Jan. 5, claiming that a PUD is not the same as a zoning change, and going on to state that Keswick might well be not as bad as other uses the BCC might sell the land for. (This was the same case Mr. Barry had made at the RPCL's Oct. 14 community meeting, for which see details here.) This argument misses that it is the proposed use change that is offensive to Roland Park, not the nomenclature. Mr. Barry's letter is here (1/11).
  • In a Jan. 12 Sun "letter to the editor," RP resident Allison Barlow lays out the three non-negotiables of the current BCC/Keswick v. Roland Park impasse: (a) the BCC needs money, (b) Keswick needs an expansion site, and (c) Roland Park needs to preserve its current zoning and land use for reasons of historical integrity. In order to satisfy all parties (and to address the non-negotiables in the order listed above), Barlow suggests, (a) RP must "assume leadership" in raising funds to buy the land, (b) RP must enlist the participation of the city Planning Department in finding a suitable alternative site for Keswick, and (c) the "BCC must be willing to sell the land to Roland Park" (a possibility it has to date flatly refused to entertain — Ed.). Barlow's admirably sensible letter is here (1/12).
  • In this Jan. 15 Sun "letter to the editor," Roland Park volunteer attorney John C. Murphy takes Keswick/BCC to task over the red herring that a PUD does not constitute rezoning. The point is that a PUD will permit a land use not currently permitted and that "is what this dispute is about, not zoning labels." The letter is here (1/15).
  • "Country club snubs Roland Park in new letter," says the Messenger's Adam Bednar in this Jan. 14 article, writing about BCC President John Daue's Dec. 12 letter to RPCL President Phil Spevak. Bednar's article notes Spevak's belief that "many could interpret [Daue's] words and subsequent actions as an attempt to intimidate the community." Heavy stuff. Reading not to be missed. It's right here.
  • RPCL Treasurer Jesse Halvorsen in a Jan. 19 Baltimore Sun "letter to the editor" argues that the Keswick economic-development argument for its proposed development of the BCC's former fairways "is specious and self-serving" — and cannot even begin to justify the damage that would be wrought on the surrounding historic and high-tax-paying neighborhood. See Mr. Halvorsen's letter here (1/19).
  • As the Messenger's Adam Bednar reports, state Delegate Samuel I. "Sandy" Rosenberg (D-41st) intends to follow through on his pledge from last summer to introduce state legislation to prevent the development of the 17.5-acre BCC tract. Del. Rosenberg has not released the details, but plans to introduce the legislation by today (2/5). Read it here.
  • In a Feb. 18, 2009 Baltimore Sun "letter to the editor," Michelle Pasternack wonders why Keswick cannot follow the lead of Towson University which, in response to neighborhood protest, recently agreed to move the location of a planned university arena. Pasternack's letter is here (2/18).
  • In this crucial Feb. 18 Messenger article, Adam Bednar describes three bills recently introduced in the Maryland legislature, each designed to impede the consummation of the Keswick/BCC land deal. Between them, the bills would (a) increase Keswick's taxes to a market $4 million figure, instead of its raked-off $500,000 proposal, (b) authorize Baltimore City to buy the land with Program Open Space funds, and (c) require an environmental impact study from all continuing-care facilities seeking to built on undeveloped land. This must-read article is here (2/19).
  • Adam Bednar in the March 4 Baltimore Messenger reports on Keswick's scaled back continuing-care-facility proposal, noting the fact that RPCL President Phil Spevak calls the short-notice plan release (less than three weeks before the mayor's March 15 deadline), a "deliberate attempt to shorten the time for a community review." "It’s unlikely," says Bednar, "that Keswick would be granted a PUD unless the civic league dropped its objection to the plans." The story is here (3/6).
  • Ever quick off the mark, the Messenger's Adam Bednar had within less than two hours of Keswick's withdrawal letter going to the mayor, Mar. 13, produced a story on the end of the BCC/Keswick deal. Speaking to Bednar, Keswick CEO Libby Bowerman confirmed that "neighborhood opposition and a lack of support by the Baltimore City Council were major factors," but disagreed that the economic downturn had anything to do with it. Read Bednar here (3/13).
  • "Plans for a new retirement and assisted living complex in Roland Park have been withdrawn," reported WBAL radio, Mar. 13. The article notes that Keswick will "not seek to build the project elsewhere in Baltimore City or Baltimore County," and adds that RPCL President Phil Spevak intends to repair a relationship with BCC by now strained. The article is here (3/13). (And the MP3 sound file is here: http://wbal.com/apps/news/articlefiles/23179-ROLANDPARKCIVICLEAGUE.mp3.)
  • The Baltimore Business Journal, Mar. 13, noted the withdrawal of Keswick's "controversial plan" to build a $195 million facility over the BCC land. The article is here (3/13).
  • Likewise, the Daily Record's Robbie Whelan reported the end of the project, Mar. 13, pointing to "the proposal’s perceived incongruence with the vision of Roland Park’s original planners, the Olmsted brothers." Whelan may be read here (3/13).
  • "During the past year, yard signs reading 'Keswick NO' and 'Save the Park in Roland Park' sprouted up on lawns" throughout Roland Park, wrote the Sun's Melissa Harris, Mar. 13. In the article, RPCL President Spevak describes his "army" of anti-development volunteers, adding that the "effort was much stronger than I think you could tell from the surface," as other RP residents worked behind the scenes (3/13).
  • The March 16, 2009 Baltimore Sun carried an editorial praising Roland Park for "determination, solidarity and political savvy" in defeating the BCC/Keswick development plan. The editorial acknowledges the role of Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton, too, and urges the BCC to drop its refusal of "repeated attempts by the community to buy the land." The Sun also suggests that RP get on the stick putting its money where its mouth is and not "waste too much time putting together a proposal that the country club can't refuse." Read it here (3/16).
  • It's time to take down those "Keswick No!" signs, opines Kathy Hudson in the Mar. 16 Baltimore Messenger. This blip aside, Keswick has been a good neighbor for 83 years and it is time to make up again. Read Hudson here (3/16).
  • In a March 18 letter to the Baltimore Sun, reader Stan Heuisler praises Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton and Civic League President Phil Spevak for their actions during the BCC/Keswick affair. The letter is here (3/18).
  • BCC mulls what to do with land, says the Messenger's Adam Bedner in this Mar. 18 article. With the Keswick deal off, the club must find another buyer. Meanwhile, David F. Tufaro, RPCL Land Use Committee chairman, says that the civic league and the RP Community Foundation will renew their efforts to buy the 17.5-acre parcel — thrice rebuffed previously. The story is here (3/21).

"Baltimore: No tree left behind!"

from an on-line response to Ann Klassen's Sun op-ed.

 
 

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