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Comment: 'This Whole Opposition Is A Sham'

Readers sounded off after a Patch report pieced together information about developers and the community coalition "Say No To Solo."

In less than four months, the Say No To Solo Coalition has sprung up to lead the opposition against  in Owings Mills from manufacturing to retail.

The group's funding , although some suggest it's backed by the Owings Mills Mall developer, and its politically connected public relations firm, .

Find what Patch readers had to say after yesterday's story below:

--"This whole opposition is a sham. If you live here, you want this Wegman's and welcome the redevelopment of Reisterstown Rd. It has been eyesore for years." -

--"What is the rush to push Solo development through? How about let's say we finish the 2 major projects that need to be finished in the area: Metro Center and the Mall redev. Then, if people are still clamoring for MORE development, go forward with that [...] It's not like doing the Solo project is now or never." -

--"Obviously suspicious, has been from the begining. I'm thankful this will be over in a couple of days and Ms. Supik can go back to Randallstown after she closes the Post Office Box in Pikesville for her "non-profit" coalition fighting against progress in Owings Mills. Where I live." -

--"Here's the deal: Kimco has been sitting on the mall for years, doing nothing. The developers of the proposed Foundry Square have a track record of on-time and under budget. The proposed road construction actually advances long overdue road work in the area in a way that will reduce congestion even accounting for the increased traffic. The developers of Foundry Square also have offered to buy the OM mall from Kimco if Kimco won't develop it and develop it themselves. It's time for action." -

What do you think? Should developers be able to bankroll supposed grassroot community coalitions?

ab August 24, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Owings Mills Mall is a pathetic shopping enviroment. It has been going straight downhill for 10 yrs with no attemps to better themselves while other shopping malls have revamped & blossomed. I owned a store in the mall. I moved out after 7 yrs of being lied to by mngmnt and waiting for the mall to match my efforts. I moved in the mall when there was approx 120 stores & moved out when there was approx 30 stores. They had the nerve to accuse me of abandonment, after 7 yrs of despair- leaky roofs, bad lighting, and being charged CAM and a hefty advertising fee for no print/tv/or radio. For these reasons I applaud Wegmans Foundry Square Group for being swift & decisive in giving our area the change and growth it needs to compete! Kimco needs to follow suit. Our community wants & deserves novelty! If you build it, they will come!
Chuck Burton August 24, 2012 at 01:52 PM
If the County Council does not require any advocacy group to reveal the source of its funding, the Council is not doing its duty. If such a group refuses to say where its support comes from, the council should eliminate that group's position from consideration.
Sher Katz August 24, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Ditto
ddbs00 August 24, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Agreed. I'd bet one American dollar Ken Oliver knows where Say No to Solo's support comes from. It's not in his interest to disclose that information to the rest of the Council though, and it's certainly not in his interest to disclose it to the public.
Momofmany August 24, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Well it's politics as usual here. Of course if the illegitimate coalition was for the other side it would be ok. This is no different than any other "sham" within county politics it is really a matter of whose side you are on. So.......we have three developers and three projects so why not get all together and do some real "urban planning" and come up with an outcome that will benefit the citizens and not re-election bids in another two years. The reality is this, all three are in a "blighted" area with high crime rates and a level of demographics that may or may not support such infrastructure "long term". This is an opportunity now challenged by greed and egos! The bottom line is that we have a "vacant" industrial site! A metro complex and a mall that was devastated by crime and demographics and now we will invest millions of taxpayer dollars for infrastructure and in ten years where will this all be??? Let's "slow down" and start all over and make a quasi-governmental development corp such as what redeveloped the Charles Center in the 1960s, Harborplace in the 1970s and now West Baltimore. It worked there and it can work here? This would certainly squelch the individual agendas and the benefits would be long lasting?
Jake August 24, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Momofmany, I thought I was reading satire when I was reading your post, but apparently not. What do Charles Center, Harborplace, and West Baltimore quasi-governmental developments have in common? They are horrible. Having lived in Europe, I can say they most resemble communist central planning of the 1960s -1980s. Owings Mills is not in need of control from on high. If allowed to breathe free from Brown's dream of getting all government contracts and dominating the the population, Owings Mills will thrive and meet its potential. The last thing Owings Mills needs is to be more like Baltimore City or Bucharest.
Steve August 25, 2012 at 12:04 AM
"Should developers be able to bankroll supposed grassroot community coalitions?" Sounds like the Koch brothers and the Tea Party Part Deaux.
R Flynn September 04, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Where was all this opposition when the Walmart/Sam's Club was being developed? That alone increased traffic on Reisterstown Road seemingly by 100% while providing nothing positive to the community. This section of Baltimore County is in dire need of a "nice" supermarket, the Giant and Safeway will have to raise their standards to compete. Furthermore, without a Foundry Row the Solo Plant would become more of an eyesore than it is currently...right in the middle of Owings Mills. Owings Mills is a nice town with ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, the retail does not reflect this. Let the market determine the retail, not politics. -R Flynn- Owings Mills

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