Village of
LAKE ROLAND

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Project OVERVIEW

Village of Lake Roland is a proposed mixed-use project that will include retail, dining and a multi-family residential building on six acres at 6241 through 6247 Falls Road in the Bare Hills community.

The primary design objective of this development is to promote an interconnected village concept with a distinctive town character.

Village of Lake Roland is adjacent to Lake Roland, a tremendous natural resource for the region and a source of shared interest for the surrounding communities. The proposed plan includes a point of entry to the park, meeting the community’s demand for the creation of a mixed-use village with a focus on the park.

Village of Lake Roland would replace several outdated commercial structures as well as a large mulch operation and equipment storage yard that abuts the park. The mulch facility produces a perpetual noxious odor and other negative environmental impacts. Further, it is not compatible with the concept of a walkable village and is inconsistent with the economic revitalization currently underway in Bare Hills.

History of Development in BARE HILLS

The development of Bare Hills coincides with the development of Falls Road in the early 1800’s, which was an important transportation corridor for Baltimore and points north.

In the early years, the area maintained an industrial character focused on quarrying, milling and mining operations that relied upon a mineral rich rock formation which served as a source of copper and chromite. In fact, this sweeping rock formation left the area with thin soil and sparse vegetation that ultimately provided the basis of its “Bare Hills” moniker.

These industrial beginnings were followed by the expansion of the Baltimore Susquehanna Railroad and a period of growth centered on scenic, rural residential development. The completion of I-695 and I-83 transportation networks in the mid-20th century led to an increase in moderate density neighborhood development.

Bare Hills is once again going through a major transformation, as substantial redevelopment is taking place throughout the community. All the improvements are illustrative of a progression towards a truly walkable village.

Compatibility with Community and MASTER PLANS

The Village of Lake Roland development furthers the planning objectives set forth in both the Ruxton-Riderwood-Lake Roland Community Plan (“RRLR Plan”) and the Baltimore County Master Plan (“BCMP 2020”).

From the RRLR Plan:

"A major theme of the 2010 Community Plan is creating ‘connections’. This important planning principle is not just about obvious connections relating to pedestrian and other transportation needs. Rather, the goal is to think about the community’s relationship to its surrounding communities and the region. The Park is a central part of what binds and connects the surrounding communities, and more broadly has the potential to be an important regional asset. Consequently, a significant part of the 2010 Community Plan focuses on the Park and the creation of a mixed-use village in the Bare Hills community on Falls Road." (RRLR Plan, p. 4).

"In addition, new multi-family residential uses can transform this area into a complete neighborhood similar to the Village of Cross Keys located farther south on Falls Road." (RRLR Plan, p. 6)

The RRLR Plan also recommends support for "a mix of uses throughout the Bare Hills Village area…and where appropriate, rezoning parcels, which would provide the impetus for revitalizing and upgrading the uses for the Bare Hills area to become a more community-oriented retail, office and residential village." (RRLR Plan, p. 9)

Compatible with Baltimore County Master Plan 2020

Village of Lake Roland is in conformance with the goals, objectives and recommendations of the Baltimore County Master Plan 2020 (“BCMP 2020”). Specifically, the BCMP 2020 has adopted different transect zones which are designed to provide the basis for real neighborhood structure, which relies upon compact, walkable streets, mixed-use, transportation options and housing diversity. Village of Lake Roland is classified as T-5 (Urban Center) transect zone, which is intended to include higher density mixed-use buildings that accommodate retail, offices, townhouses and apartments. (BCMP 2020, p. 29)

Bare Hills is once again going through a major transformation, as substantial redevelopment is taking place throughout the community. All the improvements are illustrative of a progression towards a truly walkable village.

Project IMPACT

Village of Lake Roland is a proposed mixed-use project that will include retail, dining and a multi-family residential building, falling in a Business, Major-Commercial, Community Core (“BM-CCC”) zone.

The planned development falls within a Business, Major-Commercial, Community Core (“BM-CCC”) zone.

Water and Sewer

Village of Lake Roland will be served by public water and sewer. According to the 2017 Basic Services Maps, the property is not located within a deficient area or an area of special concern for either water or sewer. The public water and sewer is sufficiently sized to accommodate the project.

Transportation and Roads

According to the 2017 Basic Services Maps, Village of Lake Roland is not located within a deficient transportation area and will not negatively impact the traffic conditions in the area. The site will be served by a full-service traffic signal. This one access point—both in and out—is safer than the multiple curb cuts that currently exist along the property.

The project includes walkable linkages to be constructed between Lake Roland and the Bare Hills community as well as between Village of Lake Roland and nearby amenities. As a result, the amount of pedestrian access in Bare Hills will be significantly increased. Enhancing walkability is a foundational theme upon which Village of Lake Roland is based. It is expected that the proposed project will spur an increase in pedestrian activity, which is expected to reduce the overall traffic impact within the community.

Environmental

The site is currently home to a large mulch operation and equipment storage yard that produces a perpetual noxious odor and other negative environmental impacts, including run off. Village of Lake Roland will remove the facility and associated environmental impacts and bring this outdated parcel into conformance with current environmental regulations and standards. This will drastically improve the overall environmental condition of the property compared to its current state. Specifically, the existing storm water management facilities will be adapted and reconfigured in accordance with Maryland Department of the Environment’s water quality requirements and in compliance with Baltimore County’s storm water flood control standards.

Residential Density

Within the BM-CCC zone, no apartment units are allowed on the first floor of a building, but the number of apartment units permitted above the first story of any building is unlimited. Village of Lake Roland apartment units will be confined to a single six-story building overlooking Lake Roland Park. This building will accommodate approximately 150 units—all above the first floor.

Parking

The number of parking spaces required is based on the number of residential units proposed as well as a calculation of the number of square feet being occupied by each type of commercial use (i.e., restaurant, retail or office). Based on the uses proposed, Village of Lake Roland will meet all Baltimore County parking requirements and no parking variances will be requested.

Schools

Village of Lake Roland is served by West Towson Elementary School, Dumbarton Middle School and Towson High School. The anticipated pupil yield from the approximately 150 multi-family units proposed are as follows: 4 elementary, 2 middle and 2 high school students. Pursuant to the enrollment figures published by Baltimore County Public Schools, there is adequate space when considering adjacent school capacity.

Police and Fire Resources

Village of Lake Roland will not adversely impact Baltimore County’s ability to provide police and fire services. Specifically, neither the Towson Police Precinct nor the Brooklandville Volunteer Fire Company will be adversely impact by the proposed development. Additionally, all structures on the property will be constructed in compliance with all current county and state building and fire code regulations

Development Process and Timeline

For over two years, Vanguard Retail Development, the property owner, has been working with the community association, nature council, local businesses and other interested parties to come up with the best plan.

Plan Update

Since the Community Input Meeting in February, many changes have been made to the proposed plan.

Updates to the proposed plan for Village of Lake Roland include:

In addition,

In addition, Vanguard Retail Development has agreed to withdraw the PUD application for this project and continue with the normal Baltimore County Development Review process. The trigger for this event will be the execution of the amended Restrictive Covenant Agreement (“RCA”).

Community Support

“We’re excited about the Village of Lake Roland project and the continued development of properties along Falls Road in Bare Hills. We’re eager to be part of a true village center with shops, restaurants, residences and access to the park.”
- Courtney Carey, Owner, Simply Beautiful

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