Severna Park area to get a master plan

June 16, 1994|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Sun Staff Writer

Severna Park business and community leaders are forming a corporation to develop a master plan for the area and help generate money for cultural and community services.

The leaders are calling their new organization ASPIRE (Association for Severna Park Improvement, Renewal and Enhancement) and applying to the state for nonprofit status that would make it eligible for state and county grants, said Pat Troy, who will serve as the chairwoman of the board of trustees.

"We are embarking on a whole new area with this," said Maggie Miller, who will work as the vice president of development. "We may be creating something that will help other communities."

Unlike the Greater Severna Park Council, ASPIRE will be able to accept private donations that are tax deductible, Mrs. Troy said.

"Through our research, we found that neither the Greater Severna Park Council nor the Chamber of Commerce could be restructured to be able to receive these tax deductible gifts," she explained.

The idea for ASPIRE grew from the meetings several months ago of a community planning coalition that was trying to develop a master plan, Mrs. Troy said.

The group found that it would be nearly impossible to draft the plan without expensive professional help. And even if a plan that included specific community facilities was developed, it is doubtful that county money would be available to build and maintain them, Mrs. Troy said.

"We want to have the assurance that the future in Severna Park will be a product of progress," Mrs. Miller said. "We may identify some social problems in the process of this and then look for solutions."

While there are no specific plans for buildings or projects, Mrs. Troy said she would like to see a senior citizens center built and some other type of cultural facility where people could take lessons in music or art.

The corporation "will enable us to create a center," Mrs. Miller said.

"This will be a focus for the community, a place or a heart of the community. It can be the core of the community that will encourage community action and spirit."

The organization will have a 20-member board of trustees, a board of advisers and contributing members, Mrs. Troy said.

Linda Zahn, spokeswoman for the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce, who will serve on the board of trustees as the secretary-treasurer, said the chamber supports the project.

"I think when you do any long-range planning for the area and make changes in the community, it affects the business community," she said.

"This will allow us to really plan and have an organized effort."

Diane Evans, the County Council member representing the Severna Park area, said the creation of this corporation is a good idea.

"I know the people involved are very committed to the community," she said. "What they are providing will be a real gift to the community."

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