City accepting bids for repairs at Coldspring Homeowners get help with costly terraces

September 18, 1998|By Erika Niedowski | Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF

On top of the homeowners association fees they fork over for upkeep of their northwest Baltimore community, residents of Coldspring New Town are slapped with a steep monthly assessment for repairs to the concrete "terraces" that serve as community walkways.

To their relief, the city is preparing to shell out some money to help fix the terraces, which have fallen into various states of disrepair.

State Del. Samuel I. Rosenberg, a Baltimore Democrat and the longest continuous resident of the complex, grudgingly pays several hundred dollars a month for the special fund. "It's a significant [amount], and has a negative effect on people's purchase of units there," he said.

The Department of Housing and Community Development is seeking proposals from architectural and engineering firms for repair of the terraces. Submissions are being accepted until noon Sept. 25. Work is to begin in late fall.

Faced with mounting repair costs, the Coldspring Community Association -- which continues to levy a monthly "terrace tax" based on the property value of its single-family units -- appealed to the city for help. Residents argued that Baltimore has a significant investment in the community, which was designed by Moshe Safdie and developed along the Jones Falls Expressway in the late 1970s with the financial help of the city.

Homeowners also contended that repairs to the 11 terraces would be analogous to city-funded repairs to city sidewalks or streets.

City Planning Director Charles C. Graves III, a Coldspring resident, said that water has been "quickly eroding the decks. I think it's a concern of the whole community."

Pub Date: 9/18/98

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