Community Issues

Proposed Regional Park at "Mt Vista Park"

Effective Jan 1, 2009, the County terminated the lease to the Revenue Authority for the land used for the Gunpowder Falls Golf Course. The land has been turned over to Recreation and Parks. Also, in 2007, the County purchased the adjacent 27 acre Schmidt property for $1,066,505.

In 2015, the County demolished the club-house building on the property, which appeared to be a very usefull building for offices and Rec&Park activities. The excuse was that it had a mold problem. We all know that mold problems are caused by a lack of proper maintenance and care of a building. I have it on good advice that mold mitigation would have cost less than demolition, and we'd still have a building to use. My theory is that the County administration wanted the building our of their way so that it would not impede whatever secret plans they had for the property!

According to county documents, Rec and Parks intends to build a $4.5 million regional park, with indoor facilites, ballfields, and pavilions. It would serve the Carroll Manor, Perry Hall, and White Marsh areas, which do not have sufficient indoor facilities. There is concern that such a facility would include a large, ugly building and lighted ball fields.

And a further kick-in-the-ass to residents, in 2016 the Kamenetz administration announced that it had already made a deal to have a commercial company install solar panels on a part of the park. For more, see here!

As a further concern to residents, the Maryland Transportation Authority bought the Rutkowski farm in August 2009 (for $1,085,500) and stated that they plan to relocate their maintenance facility here. While the Rutkowskis had planned to sell it to a private party who wished to build a couple new houses, that plan was scuttled when the property was rezoned to RC-7 during the 2008 CZMP, apparently at the request of some community members who wanted to "preserve" the property. Now, instead of several nice, well-designed houses, we might get a truck maintenance facility (and possibly salt-storage) for the long-term, and, in the "short-term" during the multi-year construction project, a staging yard for many gigantic trucks, similar to the environmental disaster off Lillian Holt Dr by the Beltway (which used to be a playground). See aerial photo.

The possibility of the County and State "swapping" the Rutkowski and Schmidt properties was mentioned at several community meetings. If done, it would, at least, keep the maintenance facility adjacent to I-95 and keep heavy traffic off of Raphel Rd. Click here for more.

Click here for map of properties.

The proposal to run a gas pipeline through this property up to Pennsylvania from a new LNG plant at Sparrows Point has now been dropped. It seems that the industry has switched from wanting to import gas to wanting to export it.

It should be noted that "Mt Vista" is a historical place which was located at the other end of Mt Vista Rd by the new Harford Rd circle, thus, this park has been incorrectly named. Kingsville residents should come up with a better name and push for its use. The early land grants for this area were "Swanson" in 1665, "Simm's Choice" in 1674, "James' Park" in 1685 and "Annapolis" in 1748. (The county courthouse was on the other end of "Simm's Choice" from 1692 to 1712.) Elizabeth Raphel bought this property in 1836, thus "Raphel Park" is the obvious choice.

Update: On Nov 19, 2019, in response to my question about perc tests being done on the Schmidt property, Councilman Marks sent me the following reply, which he had previously received:

MDTA has been coordinating with Baltimore County to perform perc tests on the Schmidt Property and the Old Golf Course. There is the possibility that MDTA could use portions of the Schmidt Property and the Old Golf Course for our new maintenance facility in order to avoid the portion of the Schmidt Property that was paid for using Project Open Space Funds.

As of this morning, Tom Panzerella’s office is reviewing our permit application, and has committed to having it reviewed by the week of August 19th. Once we perform the perc tests, and analyze the results, we will be setting up a meeting with Steve Walsh’s office to discuss next steps.

More recently (Jan 2021), workers have been observed doing a large number of borings all over the property. They look like the sort of tests that would be done before building something really large.

For reference, here is the plot of the portion of the Schmidt property showing the part that is not under POS restrictions. Note that it is the part closest to the bridge. Its shape implies that it was to allow either a mush larger bridge or an exit ramp here onto Raphel Rd restricted to use by emergency and highway maintenance vehicles. This would be terrible, putting such highway maintenance vehicles onto Raphel Rd.

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Updated 27 Jan 2021 by MAP