County puts part of Sheppard Pratt on landmarks list

September 04, 2002|By Andrew A. Green | Andrew A. Green,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore County Council voted last night to put part of the Sheppard Pratt Health System complex on the historic landmarks list, a blow to preservationists who had wanted the entire property protected.

Officials at both Sheppard Pratt and Greater Baltimore Medical Center lobbied to keep four of the 13 structures recommended by the county Landmarks Preservation Commission off the list, saying that landmark designation would prevent them from planned expansion and modernization of their facilities.

Councilmen said they were sympathetic to the preservationists, who argued that the entire campus, which dates back more than 100 years, is a vital part of the nation's history. But ultimately, the councilmen decided it was important that the two medical institutions be able to adapt and expand.

"To do what Landmarks wants them to do really ties their hands a lot," said Councilman Wayne M. Skinner, a Towson Republican.

Skinner said he continues to work with both institutions and hopes to strike a deal that will preserve more buildings without placing too many restrictions on the hospitals.

Councilmen also approved an amended version of a bill paving the way for the Baltimore Ravens to build a new training facility on part of the Northwest Regional Park.

The bill originally proposed by the Ruppersberger administration would have allowed professional sports training facilities on land zoned RCA-5 as a matter of right.

But an amendment introduced by Councilman Joseph Bartenfelder, a Fullerton Democrat, made that use permissible only by special exception. That means the Ravens will have to participate in additional public hearings before the plan is approved.

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