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Vacant Lot

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Jamie Smith Hopkins | June 19, 2012
Vacant homes might be the most visible sign of abandonment and distress in a neighborhood, but vacant lots can cause problems, too. Or offer opportunities. Baltimore's "Power in Dirt" program aims to make it easier for residents to adopt empty lots near them, an effort Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake spoke about Friday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors' annual meeting in Orlando. By telephone just before the session, Rawlings-Blake said about 14,000 lots in the city are vacant, "and until recently, when community members were trying to get their hands on one of the lots, it was a challenge.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | August 15, 2014
Walk through a graffiti-tagged corridor, under a light rail bridge, past the cars hurtling down the Jones Falls Expressway and you've entered what some believe could become a wonderland. A group called Section 1 envisions a skate park built under a labyrinth of highway support columns. They see concrete walls as canvases for street artists. A weedy lot, the setting for food truck rallies and art fairs. And an overgrown field near CSX tracks could hold a concert stage with space for an audience of thousands.
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NEWS
October 30, 2007
THE PROBLEM -- A traffic light on Key Highway in South Baltimore appears to serve no purpose. THE BACKSTORY -- Reader Jim Smith asks a very good question that should have a very easy answer about a signal on Key Highway a block south of Cross Street: "Why does the city maintain a traffic signal at the intersection of a busy street and a vacant lot?" The answer, of course, is far from simple. Frank Murphy, deputy chief of the Baltimore Department of Transportation's traffic division, said the light was installed several years ago based on early plans for the Pier Homes at HarborView development that indicated a cross street would be built there.
NEWS
May 13, 2014
There are 26 outlets to the Baltimore Harbor, and most of these are from the neighborhoods that empty into it. The new trash interceptor is amazing ( "New water wheel joins fight against harbor trash," May 6) but it will clean up only the Jones Falls outlet. One cannot jump from having this interceptor to the conclusion expressed in a recent article that we will have a swimmable Baltimore Harbor in 2020. The trash problem is not a water problem but a land problem that is not getting the attention, and bold moves are necessary to solve this issue.
NEWS
September 13, 1996
Police arrested a Pasadena man Wednesday on charges that he broke into a vacant lot in the 7800 block of Marley Neck Boulevard and tried to steal a truck that had been used for scrap metal.Randall David Lang, 32, of the 400 block of S. Carolina Ave. was charged with trespassing and felony theft.Donald Smith, a friend of Jane Pitt, the owner of the property, called police about 4 p.m. He told police someone had cut a chain that was blocking the driveway. When police arrived, a man was putting the truck onto the back of his tow truck, police said.
NEWS
By Donna R. Engle and Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF | May 16, 1996
The Maryland Department of the Environment is seeking an injunction against a Mayberry man accused of diverting his septic waste -- which had overflowed into a neighbor's yard -- through an agricultural drain and onto an adjoining vacant lot.The state agency filed the request last week in Carroll County Circuit Court against Rusling Blackburn and Mayberry Associates, developers of Runnymede Summit subdivision. Blackburn lives at 2828 Mayberry Road, on a lot in the subdivision.Blackburn, an official with Mayberry Associates, said Tuesday he could not comment because he had not seen the MDE complaint.
NEWS
By Andrew A. Green and Andrew A. Green,SUN STAFF | September 20, 2001
In a case that has escalated into a countywide fight pitting preservation against property rights, Baltimore County's Landmarks Preservation Commission will hear arguments tonight on whether a vacant lot can be brought into a historic district against the owner's will. On one side are six homeowners on Parkton's Hillcrest Avenue who have put their late-19th-century Victorian homes into the county's historic preservation program but worry about the future of a 1-acre vacant lot in their midst.
NEWS
By Jamie Stiehm and Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF | September 19, 1998
A tree and a new program started growing yesterday on a vacant lot in East Baltimore, marking the debut of an urban reclamation project sponsored by the city's Department of Housing and Community Development and the nonprofit Parks and People Foundation.Informality -- including gardening clothes -- was the order of the day for the Vacant Lot Restoration Program's inaugural effort near Pratt Street and Broadway, where volunteers, including students from nearby Lombard Middle School, planted the tree.
NEWS
By Joan Jacobson and Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF | November 22, 1995
A plan to put housing for the elderly on a vacant lot near Roland Park has brought strong opposition from surrounding residents who prefer to see the rare piece of undeveloped property preserved as a park.A subsidiary of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. that owns the land wants to construct 87 apartments on 4 acres in the North Baltimore neighborhood of Evergreen -- just north of Cold Spring Lane and east of Wilmslow Road.But nearby residents who use the meadow surrounded by trees as a play area for children and dogs, have hired a lawyer to fight the development plan and find money to convert the area into a public park.
NEWS
By Laura Cadiz and Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF | May 27, 2004
The revitalization of Oakland Mills Village Center has suffered a significant setback -- Exxon Mobil Corp. won't sell its vacant lot for a senior apartment building, according to a developer who has been planning the highly praised project for more than a year. Developer Jeffrey C. Kirby said he had a contract with Exxon and was planning to buy the 1.7-acre lot before beginning construction, which was scheduled to begin this summer or fall and be completed within a year. But the company backed out of the deal.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | April 17, 2013
The developer of a vacant lot in Charles Village owned by the Johns Hopkins University has decided not to build a grocery store there. The university supports the decision about the site, at the corner of St. Paul and E. 33rd streets, said a statement released Wednesday by Armada Hoffler, the lead developer of the 1.1-acre site. The other firms involved are Beatty Development Group LLC and Skye Hospitality LLC. The development group, 3200StPaul, has met with residents of Charles Village and the surrounding communities in recent weeks to solicit their thoughts on how the land should be used.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | October 17, 2012
So far this year, Maryland has been spared hurricanes and big tropical storms, but there's been a monsoon of television and radio advertising on both sides of the casino battle - approaching a cost of $50 million - to woo voters one way or the other. That's a state record, a grotesque orgy of corporate spending. Perhaps you've tuned out by now. I've been getting good at hitting the mute button whenever a Question 7 spot comes on. But on Sunday, one that I hadn't seen before caught my eye. In a commercial break during the telecast of the Ravens-Cowboys game, a man in a brown suit and tasteful tie appeared on the screen, his back to M&T Bank Stadium.
FEATURES
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | September 6, 2012
Wooded land is plentiful around The Pointe at ArundelPreserve, a subdivision at one end of a massive mixed-use development off Arundel Mills Boulevard in Hanover. But as is happening throughout Maryland, finished home lots — barren plats that are ready for the erection of new homes — are becoming few and far between at the 268-acre planned community, which also contains a hotel, restaurants and offices. Builders were eager to lock up lots in this locale, according to the Pointe's developer.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | July 28, 2012
For months, the wooden sign on a grassy lot in Waverly has sported a new brightly painted message every week. "Believe in Life & Your Purpose in It," one said. "Give Hugs. " "Breathe. " Since late April, artist Sarah McCann has been painting a word or phrase on the sign each Saturday morning. The greetings were inspired by passers-by, who sent text messages to McCann (she posted her cellphone number), filled out forms or simply shouted suggestions as they walked past the lot on East 33rd Street.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2012
Two luxury condominium complexes alongside Baltimore's waterfront will have to pay nearly $2.3 million in additional property taxes this year, thanks to new assessed values that acknowledge — four years after the first residents moved in — that the buildings' empty units actually exist. The almost 190 units still owned by the developers of the Ritz-Carlton Residences and Silo Point had been taxed as if they were empty lots, even as residents were paying high-end prices – frequently more than $1 million in the case of the Ritz — to live in other condos in the same buildings.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | July 10, 2012
A Baltimore developer was given zoning approval Tuesday to build apartments on one of Hampden's last remaining vacant lots. The Baltimore Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals signed off on plans for 10 apartment units with 12 off-street parking spaces to be built on a triangular plot near the intersection of Roland Avenue, Hickory Avenue and West 34th Street. The development wraps around the corner lot and each apartment unit is designed to look like a modern rowhouse. According to the developer's renderings, four units will face Roland Avenue, six will look out onto Hickory Avenue and an entrance to the building will open onto the sidewalk off West 34th Street.
NEWS
By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,SUN STAFF | August 11, 2004
Plans to turn the sole vacant lot on Annapolis' Main Street into a home and retail shops have apparently collapsed, according to the project's architect. Crownsville resident Anthony Manganaro bought the vacant lot, which faces Main Street on one side and the State House on the other, for $1.6 million in March. He planned to build a residence on State Circle; two shops would front Main Street. City officials were thrilled that someone wanted to refurbish a property that had become an eyesore.
NEWS
By Tom Pelton and Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF | August 1, 1999
He has demolition crews ready to pull down a landmark hotel. He has a dream of raising a 35-story tower in its place. He just doesn't have the money to build anything yet.Developer J. Joseph Clarke said he hopes to begin demolition of the 81-year-old Southern Hotel this week before he has the financing to build its replacement, the $120 million One Light Street hotel and office complex.Clarke said he's moving ahead immediately because he wants the City Council to understand the urgency of approving more tax breaks for his project.
BUSINESS
Jamie Smith Hopkins | June 19, 2012
Vacant homes might be the most visible sign of abandonment and distress in a neighborhood, but vacant lots can cause problems, too. Or offer opportunities. Baltimore's "Power in Dirt" program aims to make it easier for residents to adopt empty lots near them, an effort Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake spoke about Friday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors' annual meeting in Orlando. By telephone just before the session, Rawlings-Blake said about 14,000 lots in the city are vacant, "and until recently, when community members were trying to get their hands on one of the lots, it was a challenge.
NEWS
April 30, 2012
Baltimore's property tax rate is high (that's one thing that everyone that owns a home or business in the city can agree on) so nothing makes the blood boil quite like news that someone has successfully avoided paying their fair share — except, perhaps, finding out it wasn't a case of avoidance so much as lax enforcement. That's what appears to have happened in the case of some of the city's priciest condos, as recently uncovered by reporter Jamie Smith Hopkins . Baltimore lost out on more than $10 million in property tax revenue over the last several years because some 200 luxury condos were assessed as if they were little more than holes in the ground.
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