Community Gathering for Overlook PUD – June 19th 7:30 AM

COMMUNITY GATHERING TOMORROW MORNING June 19th 0730 Northern Pkwy and Falls Road.

Following is an urgent message from Hap Cooper, President of the Roland Park Civic League

Dear Roland Park Neighbors,Good Evening–I hope everyone is enjoying Father’s Day! Join us tomorrow morning at a mega-neighborhood gathering at NP & Falls to send an URGENT message to the Mayor!

Those of you who drive through the congested intersection at Northern Parkway and Falls Road probably know that the City Council will pass a bill tomorrow afternoon permitting the development of a 148-unit out-sized apartment highrise at that F-rated intersection–which is at 114% of capacity on the way to 120%.

For those of you concerned with potential overcrowding in the Roland Park Elementary/Middle School–children in this new development would be sent to RPEMS.

Only a small percentage of neighbors were consulted about the project and the adjacent communities of Roland Park and Mt Washington were not contacted at all. So join us by 7:30a tomorrow morning at Northern Parkway and Falls to send a message to the City that neighborhoods matter. Process matters.
The Mayor will have the bill on her desk as early as tomorrow evening, as it’s been fast-tracked and rubber-stamped through City Hall. We must convince her that a large majority of the surrounding neighborhoods oppose the bill until we can assess the impact of the development on our communities.

If it’s the right project for that intersection now, it will still be right in a month or two when we all understand how we’ll be affected. SEE YOU TOMORROW.

Urgent Call to Action – Rezoning for Overlook at Roland Park

Dear Roland Park Neighbors,
All hands on deck. We need your help in the next four days. ASAP please!

A major high-rise housing development is set to be approved by the City Council on Monday, June 19th. The development is called Overlook at Roland Park, and often referred to as Belvedere 2. A freshman City Councilman, Yitzy Schleifer, has worked closely with the developer to fast track this project through City Hall. It will be located at one of the busiest and most dangerous intersections of the City, Falls Road and Northern Parkway.

Mt. Washington and Roland Park, the two largest neighborhoods adjacent to the property, were not included in the process, only the two small neighborhoods above the proposed development (North Roland Park and Poplar Hill). In the past week, the Mt. Washington Improvement Association and the Roland Park Civic League both voted against the development, primarily because of the lack of knowledge. The majority of residents in North Roland Park and Poplar Hill have signed petitions opposing the project. We must stop the rezoning process, called a PUD, until all affected communities have time to study the project. If the project is as good as the developer says it is, then it will be just as good in 60 days after we have all had a chance to understand what the project actually is.

If you want more details about the project, go to the website Also, please see the attached press release from the Roland Park Civic League.
Here is what we need you to tell our elected officials-
1. Tell them your name and that you are a city resident
2. Ask them to put the PUD legislation on hold (Officially Bill 17-0049)
3. Tell them that the affected neighborhoods need time to learn more.
4. A sample email might include Dear Mayor Pugh, I am a resident of North Baltimore and I am asking that you slow down the PUD zoning for the Overlook at Roland Park so that the communities affected have a chance to learn about the project. Adding a large high rise housing unit at one of the busiest and most dangerous intersections in the city deserves a careful look. Please give us the chance to learn more. Sincerely, _________

Here is who we need you to tell-
1. Call, email, fax and/or tweet Mayor Catherine Pugh: 410-396-4900 or 410-396-3835,  @mayorpugh50,  Fax #410-396-3798
2. Call, email, fax and/or tweet Council President Jack Young:, 410-396-4804 @prezjackyoung Fax #410-539-0647
3. Call, email, fax and/or tweet Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer: 410-396-4819 @councilmanYitzy Fax#410-396-6800
4. Sign the online petition at

It will take all of us to get this done, please step up and share with others!

Letter from RPCL to Sharon Green Middleton Opposing the PUD for Overlook at Belvedere

At the monthly meeting of Roland Park Civic League Board for this past Thursday, June 8, various stakeholders spoke about the proposed Overlook development near the intersection of Falls Road and Northern Parkway.

A representative from Blue Ocean Realty, the developer proposing the 132 unit, six-story tower spoke at the meeting, as did Hunter Cochrane, organizer of opposing the development. After a general discussion on the topic with comments and questions from residents of Roland Park and Mt. Washington, the board voted to take a position opposing the development.

On Friday June 9,  Roland Park Civic League President formally expressed the opposition in a letter directed to City Council Member Sharon Green-Middleton, and copied to Mayor Catherine Pugh, City Council President Jack Young, State Delegate Peter Hammen, and City Councilmembers Mary Pat Clarke and Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer.

A copy of the letter is available here: RPCL Letter to City Councilmemner Sharon Green-Middleton et al Opposing Belvedere 2 PUD

Letter from RPCL to DOT regarding Cycle Track

The following letter regarding the Cycle Track has been sent to Mr. Frank Murphy, Acting Director of the Baltimore Department of Transportation.  The original formatted letter can be found at this link.


Mr. Frank Murphy, Acting Director
Baltimore Department of Transportation
417 E. Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

RE:  Roland Avenue Cycle Track                                                                      June 6, 2017

Dear Mr. Murphy,

From March 2016 until May 2017 the Roland Park Civic League’s Cycle Track Committee (“CTC”) studied the Roland Avenue cycle track between Northern Parkway and Cold Spring Lane—as did your own Department of Transportation.  The CTC held fourteen committee meetings, two public meetings, and solicited the input of an outside engineering consulting firm. At the conclusion of the process, the CTC submitted to the RPCL Board and the broader community  a comprehensive year-end report that included the following consensus statement: “Either restore curbside parking with a wider, safer bike lane and slower traffic, or partner with the community to create a complete street that works for everyone.” 

After discussion at the Civic League’s Annual Meeting last month, the membership in attendance voted 55-31 to adopt an alternate position statement to be communicated to your department as follows:

“[R]estore curb side parking immediately and completely on Roland Avenue and continue the work of the committee to achieve the other objectives (included in the year-end report).”

The RPCL Board requests that the DOT implement the above motion as soon as possible while continuing to work with the community to develop a safer “complete street” on Roland Avenue.  We appreciate the DOT’s on-going commitment to our community and to making our streets safer for everyone! We look forward to working with you to resolve this issue.


Robert H. Cooper III (Hap)

President, Roland Park Civic League

CC: Mayor Catherine Pugh, James Smith, Sharon Green Middleton, Mary Pat Clarke, Veronica McBeth, Graham Young, Nikia Mack, James Decker

Statement on Cycle Track

Dear Roland Park Civic League members and residents:

At the RPCL Annual Meeting on Wednesday May 24th 2017, the Civic League offered a position statement to be communicated to the City regarding the Cycle Track. This statement had been proposed by the Cycle Track Committee after a great deal of study (see below). A Civic League member made a motion from the floor to amend the adopted statement. Following discussion on that motion, members in attendance voted 55-31 to request that Baltimore City: “[r]estore curb side parking immediately and completely on Roland Avenue and continue the work of the committee to achieve the other objectives (included in the year-end report).”

The Roland Park Civic League (RPCL) convened a cycle track committee (CTC) last year to study the cycle track as deployed and report findings to the Board and broader membership. The CTC held fourteen committee meetings, two public meetings, and solicited the input of an outside engineering consulting firm. The CTC produced a year-end report that included the following consensus statement: “either restore curbside parking with a wider, safer bike lane and slower traffic, or partner with the community to create a complete street that works for everyone.” The vote at the Annual Meeting rejected this statement, and adopted the one in the first paragraph.

The RPCL Board will request that the City implement the motion in the first paragraph above while continuing to work with the community and the Baltimore City DOT toward developing a safer “complete street.”

The Roland Park Civic League Officers and Board

Plant a Tree on Earth Day!

In celebration of Earth Day, Baltimore City Department of Forestry will be offering free trees to Roland Park residents on Saturday April 22, 2017 from 9 am -1 pm or until supplies last.  They will be set up in front to Eddies Roland Park, 5113 Roland Avenue

The Department of Forestry will have selections of Viburnums, Sassafras, Swamp White Oak, Red Maple Carolina Silverbell, Yellowwood and Lindens.

These trees are free to residents to plant on their personal property.  These trees are not intended for the “Verge” or city property between the sidewalk and curb. Come early, quantities of each tree are limited!

– Look for a nice, sunny spot with room to grow.
– Don’t forget to deeply water your new tree weekly for the first year.
– Keep the new tree area free of weeds and trash.
– Protect from deer and rabbits.

The Roland Park Landscape Committee and City of Baltimore want you to enjoy Earth Day 2017!

Cycle Track Update Meeting Report

A second progress meeting hosted by the RPCL’s Cycle Track Committee on Thursday evening February 9, 2017 at The Woman’s Club of Roland Park was well attended by approximately 75 residents.

During his welcome, Ian MacFarlane Civic League President shared news that Alta Design was recently retained to supplement the Committee’s work evaluating Roland Avenue’s cycle track and considering next steps.

Presentations included Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Survey Results, and a Pro/Con analysis of options; these are now posted on the committee’s webpage at  In addition, there was a discussion of Parking Enforcement.

It was announced that the City’s 6 month review has been delayed and is now expected to be complete in June, 2017. The committee plans to conclude it’s efforts and submit a recommendation to the RPCL Board prior to the Annual Meeting in May, 2017 which has yet to be scheduled.

Until then updates will continue monthly at the RPCL Board Meetings and your comments may still be emailed to the committee at

Remembering Al Copp

The Roland Park community lost a great neighbor and friend this week with the passing of Al Copp.

Dr. Phil Spevak, former president of the Roland Park Civic League, has prepared this remembrance.

“Al Copp will be remembered by many, but all may not understand the difference he made to Roland Park.  He embodied great personal qualities of integrity, fairness and responsibility but most importantly, he understood that in life, there is more value in helping others than in helping ourselves.  He lived that philosophy.

We became friends when, as a volunteer, he worked hard to help implement many of the major projects of our community master plan.  He did so selflessly, never wishing to bring attention to himself.  No one had a bigger heart.  He joined our community efforts during his retirement. His integrity and his expertise, gained over a long career that included the development of the Inner Harbor, were valuable as we navigated sometimes-complicated city processes. Throw in humor, patience and perspective, Al added much.

Remember Al when you see the many new street trees, streetlights, benches and trash receptacles on Roland Avenue, when you cross our streets safely using the special crosswalks, when you walk along the restored Stony Run, and when, in not too long, you walk to the top of the Roland Water Tower.  I imagine when you look out from the restored tower, you’ll know Al will be smiling.”

The following notice appeared in the Baltimore Sun on February 3rd.

“On February 2, 2017, Albert M. Copp Jr. passed away at home from pancreatic cancer. Devoted husband of Laurie Schwartz; loving father of 3 children Susan Waterman, Sharon Murray and Stephen Copp; grandfather of 8 and great grandfather of 2; also survived by 2 brothers, Lloyd and William. Family and friends may visit the family at Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Rd, (at Overbrook) on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 from 2-4 and 5:30-8PM. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to the Roland Park Water Tower Project, c/o Roland Park Community Foundation, P.O. Box 16214, Baltimore, MD 21210.”

Update: the Baltimore Sun published this obituary on Feb. 6th: Albert M. Copp, winemaker and planner who oversaw Inner Harbor development, dies

Organic Debris Pickup program returns in 2017

For those who have paid their Civic League dues and their full maintenance fees, an organic debris removal program is available.

Roland Park organic debris collection is planned for the months of March, April, May, June, July, September, October and November and will be collected during the first two weeks of the month.

Please visit the Organic Debris Pickup page for the requirements of the program and a link to the sign-up form.

We are currently accepting applications for the pickup in early March 2017.

Civic League supports patrol of I-83 in city by Maryland State Police

Following is the text of a letter sent by  Ian Macfarlane, President of the Roland Park Civic League, to the members of our state legislative delegation.

For Roland Park residents who are interested in this issue and wish to contact the state legislative delegation members, follow the links on each representative’s name for mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.

December 7, 2016
State Senator Lisa Gladden
State Delegate Jill Carter
State Delegate Nathaniel Oaks
State Delegate Sandy Rosenberg

Dear State Representatives,
I am writing on behalf of the Roland Park Civic League and the residents of the Roland Park community to express our concern about the high utilization of Baltimore City Police Officers responding to accidents and other traffic incidents that occur on the Jones Falls Expressway (I-83).

The responsibility for the stretch of I-83 from the City/County line to President Street currently falls on the Baltimore City Police Department (BCPD) and specifically on the BCPD resources of the Northern and Central Districts. With the severe shortage of police officers in Baltimore City, we feel that there is an urgent need to get the Maryland State Police to take over responsibility for this stretch of I-83. They already patrol the section in Baltimore County and they are especially trained for highway patrol. With accidents occurring daily, and sometimes more than once a day, the burden on the BCPD has become overwhelming. In order to maintain the safety of officers, rescue personnel, and the public, it is often necessary to shut down the roadway in one direction. This requires a minimum of three police cars that must be diverted from neighborhood patrol duties for periods sometimes stretching to as much as two hours. The patrolling of, and response to, communities on both sides of the highway are seriously impacted by these frequent events.

In the past, it appears that jurisdictional issues interfered with the role of the Maryland State Police in Baltimore City, but now there are protocols in place for cooperation and the Jones Falls is a very discrete highway that can be managed as a discrete unit. In addition, this is a roadway that carries traffic from throughout the region. Most of the drivers are not from Baltimore City; they are work commuters, or travelling to and from sporting events.

Easing the burden of policing I-83 from the City/County line to President Street would enhance BCPD’s ability to patrol the neighborhoods on both sides of I-83 in the Northern and Central Districts. With Maryland State Police enforcement, we might also see a decrease in the excessive speeds and a reduction in accidents. We need your help to make this happen. We recognize that the State Police are not going to volunteer to do this, so it is going to take some work on the part of the State legislative delegation – but we believe that it needs to happen, and soon. We hope that you agree that this makes sense and we ask for your support to find creative ways to make this happen.

Ian MacFarlane
President, Roland Park Civic League
Cc: Mary Pat Clarke, Baltimore City Council
Sharon Green Middleton, Baltimore City Council