Roland Park Roads & Maintenance
The Roland Park Roads and Maintenance Corporation was incorporated in 1909. It received ownership of common property from the Roland Park Company. It enforces covenants, collects maintenance fees mandated in each property’s deed and owns the network of footpaths, maintaining those and other common areas such as medians and traffic islands.
Services presently provided by the Roads and Maintenance Corporation include:
- Path system maintenance — paving, sweeping, trimming, edging, leaf and trash removal and limited repairs and landscaping along four miles of paths. A map of the paths can be found here.
- Park and island maintenance — mowing, trimming, leaf and trash removal, along with limited landscaping.
- Lane maintenance — limited to occasional tree removal in rights-of-way and winter snow removal when in excess of 4 inches. The city will undertake lane paving under Ordinance No. 483.
- Maintenance of city property — The corporation maintains Falls Road Terrace median, the unpaved eastern terminus of Upland Road (Upland Path), and Centennial Park (the median between the lanes of University Parkway). This entails mowing, edging and debris removal.
- Debris removal — For residents who pay 8 x basic, or “full” fee to R&M, R&M will haul of 2 cubic yards (3’x3’x6’) of organic debris per property per month. Property owners can schedule this through the Roland Park website.
- Dumpsters — R&M sponsors city dumpsters for bulk trash when they are available. Location of dumpster will be available to subscribers to the e-newsletter. When applicable, details may be found at this web site’s community calendar.
- Coordination of city maintenance services — The R&M vice-president for maintenance coordinates with city agencies the maintaining of street trees, medians and snow removal. The corporation will lobby on behalf of residents who have been unsuccessful in obtaining city maintenance services.
- Covenant enforcement — The review of applications for exterior changes to properties is handled by the Board of Roads & Maintenance, which comprises volunteers from each Plat whose own properties are under covenant. Legal action to enforce the covenants is taken as needed. Guidelines for changes to properties can be found online.
- Sidewalk maintenance – The city will undertake sidewalk repairs under Ordinance No. 319. We once provided snow removal from the sidewalks by mule-drawn plow. Individual property owners are now responsible for snow removal under city ordinance.
Roads and Maintenance is unable to function on just the basic fee. For several decades it has relied heavily on voluntary fees. In 1985 we began asking for a total of eight times the basic fee and approximately $100,000 is given voluntarily each year. The annual total of basic fees collected each year is only $26,000, but with the voluntary supplemental income our total annual revenues reach approximately $130,000. Slightly more than two thirds of the budget goes to pay the contractor for landscaping work. The remainder of the budget covers the shared expenses of maintaining the office with the Civic League and Community Foundation and miscellaneous variable costs such as plowing the lanes during heavy snows or legal costs. There is a small reserve fund which allows the corporation to function at the beginning of the year and to deal with emergencies and lawsuits. Every effort is made to spend the maintenance funds prudently. By purchasing services in bulk we are often able to provide them at significant savings. The prompt payment of the full fee by all residents is encouraged. Two billings are mailed per year.
Roads and Maintenance now has two divisions: the Maintenance Committee and the Architectural Review Board. The Maintenance Committee contracts needed services and oversees them. Meetings are as needed; much of the communication among Committee members is electronic. The Architectural Review Board meets monthly, usually on the 4th Tuesday, at the home of one of its members to review applications for exterior changes to properties. These meetings are closed, but its president serves on the Civic League Board to give a public report and to answer questions. The Civic League approves each new Board member, whose own property must be under covenant. Roads and Maintenance shares a phone and office with the Civic League (410) 464-2525. All residents are encouraged to participate in the Corporation’s effort to maintain and improve Roland Park.
A Guide to the Covenants in Roland Park
- Roland Park is divided into 6 Plats.
- A map of the Plats is available on the Roland Park website, rolandpark.org/, under the “Community Resources” tab, “maps & paths”.
- The various Plats were developed at different times, during which ideas about covenants evolved.
- The original deeds for all properties contained covenants.
- Plat 1 properties are all under covenants which run in perpetuity.
- Plats 2 – 6 were all originally under covenant, but these covenants expired at various times.
- Several covenant drives to have property owners sign more modern covenants have taken place since the 1950’s in Plats 2 – 6. These newer covenants do not expire.
- The new covenants have been recorded in the Land Records of Baltimore City.
- Because these are separate from the original deeds, they are not as easy to locate in a cursory title search.
- Most, but not all properties in Roland Park are under covenant.
- Having the Land Records online (https://mdlandrec.net/main/) makes it possible to research the covenant status of properties from a computer instead of going to the Circuit Court to find them.
- The Roland Park office at 410-464-2525 or firstname.lastname@example.org/ is the best source to determine whether or not a property is under covenant.
- The Architectural Review Board of Roland Park Roads and Maintenance meets monthly to review applications for exterior changes to properties, required for all properties under covenant.
- Kathleen Truelove (RMPresident@rolandpark.org/) is the current president of this group and is happy to speak with real estate agents about the covenants in Roland Park.
- All homes in Roland Park have fees mandated in the original deeds from the Roland Park Company to the original owners which are owed annually to Roland Park Roads and Maintenance Corp. These fees vary according to property location and size. The Roland Park office can provide the annual fee amount. This fee is independent of covenant status of the property.