Council OKs incentives to revitalize Pikesville

November 07, 2006|By Josh Mitchell | Josh Mitchell,Sun Reporter

A plan to provide loans and grants for the revitalization of vacant properties in Pikesville won approval of the Baltimore County Council yesterday.

The plan, approved by a unanimous vote, would provide up to $1 million in incentives to invest in properties on Reisterstown Road between the Baltimore City line and the Beltway. The money will come from a countywide account that provides business loans, and the program will be administered by the county Economic Development Department.

"We are looking for creative projects that revitalize areas that we have otherwise had difficulty in moving forward with it," said Councilman Kevin B. Kamenetz, a Pikesville-Ruxton Democrat who proposed the legislation.

The plan was praised by business owners at a council work session last week but has received criticism from some community leaders, including Alan Zukerberg, president of Pikesville Communities Corp. He said the county should do more to address problems in the area such as flooding and a lack of open space before luring more businesses to the area.

"We need the parks and the storm water management developed first - that's where his energy should be going," Zukerberg said of Kamenetz.

Also yesterday, the council approved a community plan for a section of Towson that contains aging, boarded-up duplexes.

The plan recommends zoning changes that would allow 10 acres of the Towson Manor Village neighborhood to be replaced with a mix of houses, townhouses and condominiums. The zoning changes would have to be introduced through legislation at a later council meeting.

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