Joppa-Loch Raven group unveils goals for businesses Association hopes to develop a master plan

November 19, 1996|By Suzanne Loudermilk | Suzanne Loudermilk,SUN STAFF

By the turn of the century, Baltimore County's Loch Raven Boulevard corridor will be a showcase of welcome banners, attractive signs and improved store facades, if a local business group achieves its goals.

That's one goal of the Joppa-Loch Raven Business Association, which has unveiled details of its priorities for the next three years, including the development of a master plan for enhancing Loch Raven Boulevard, Joppa Road and Taylor Avenue, and for giving the area its own identity.

"We're not Towson; we're not Parkville," Ron Levine, the group's president, said at a recent meeting. "If we get the business people in this area to make it look better, then it will get better."

Of particular interest is the Loch Raven Boulevard-Taylor Avenue intersection, home to four shopping centers. Over the years, absentee management, vacancies and deteriorating exteriors at the centers have caused concern in the community.

"We have the potential of this area -- if no one does anything -- decaying very rapidly," said Levine, president of Ethan Allen Home Interiors on Loch Raven Boulevard. "We are looking for this area to stay viable."

To achieve its goals, the business group plans to increase its membership from 70 to 200.

"It's not so much for the dollars and cents," said Steve Spund, president-elect of the group and general manager of Greetings and Readings at Loch Raven and Taylor, referring to annual dues. "It's to improve the area. We need a lot of help from the businesses in the area."

The Towson-Loch Raven Community Council, an umbrella group of community associations, began the group about four years ago. "When looking to get things done in the community, it's better to have more than one voice," said Wayne Skinner, a council board member.

The business group also hopes to increase community spirit by organizing social events.

Yesterday, group members decorated for the holidays at Joppa Road and Loch Raven Boulevard. Santa will visit area stores next month.

"It will give visibility to the organization," said Mary Ellen LaPlante, a board member and president of A&A Trophy House, a family-owned business on Loch Raven Boulevard. "And we're going to have some fun doing it."

Pub Date: 11/19/96

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