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Oliver ‘Stunned’ By Signatures Opposing Foundry Row

The Baltimore County Councilman said the signatures dropped off at his office show a need for a more “community-driven process.”

Baltimore County Councilman Ken Oliver said the 7,100 signatures he received from residents calling for additional review of proposed development Foundry Row show a need for more public process.

“From the boxes of petitions that were delivered to my office and the offices of my council colleagues this week, to the huge turnout or residents at this month’s council meeting, it is clear that there are significant community concerns about permitting a new 400,000 square foot retail mall along Reisterstown Road,” Oliver said in a press release.

– one for each council member – containing 7,100 signatures of Baltimore County residents who are opposed to Foundry Row, the Wegmans-anchored development Greenberg Gibbons hopes to build at the Solo Cup site on Reisterstown Road.

While Oliver’s district doesn’t include the Solo Cup property, his district contains the and the . The developers of both of those projects are opposed to Foundry Row, citing concerns about traffic, a potential overabundance of retail and weakened prospects for mall revitalization.

Oliver said the signatures echo his concerns about the need for more review of the project, including a review of the developer’s full traffic study, which Greenberg Gibbons has yet to release.

“Our constituents are calling for a more community-driven process, whether it is a Planned Unit Development or a series of community charrettes like those that succeeded in Dundalk, Middle River, Towson and Randallstown,” Oliver said in a release. “If we refuse to do that, I believe that the council will be stifling public debate, quashing community voices and, ultimately the public trust.”

As Say No to Solo collected signatures at shopping centers on Reisterstown Road and used its Facebook page to spread its message, Greenberg Gibbons started its own Facebook page to drum up support for Foundry Row and refute what it says is misleading information from the opposition.

“A petition with clearly misleading information aimed at stopping Wegmans and Foundry Row is being distributed in the Owings Mills area,” read a post from July 20. “After months of push polls, robo-calls and mailers failed to generate support for their special interest group, they have resorted to a deceptive petition.”

Sher Katz August 14, 2012 at 04:21 PM
I would encourage the council members to take serious consideration as to the where each person actually resides and if they truly knew what they were agreeing to when they signed this petition. According to the census bureau's website in 2010 the population of Owings Mills was 30,622, a 51% increase from the prior census, in 2000. Randallstown population was 32,430, a 5% increase from 2000. Pikesville 30,764, a 5.6% increase from the 2000 census. For a total of 93,816 residents for the area in question. Normally I would have only included Owings Mills in this listing but since the coalition has cited businesses and communities from both Randallstown and Pikesville I felt it necessary to include them as well. And this does not even include Reisterstown, though had it the percentage would be lower for the supporters of this coalition. That being said, lets put this in perspective. If those 7,100 signatures are only from the three communities I've listed, and I doubt they are, that is only 7.6% of people who are against the rezoning. Do the other 92.4% make a difference? Or count. Perspective, is the reality.
Alexandra Chat August 14, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I live in Owings Mills and I am for the Foundry Row project, but I have yet to see a petition, a flyer, get a phone call or any other way to voice my opinion. My vote counts too. Where can I vote?
Jake August 14, 2012 at 08:00 PM
I find this incomprehensible. So many articles Mr. Shapiro, and so little clarity. Here is the situation in a nutshell for Mr. Shapiro and all of the readers of Patch who have followed this saga (This way all future reporting can actually be focused on new developments in the approval process of the change in zoning to the Solo Cup property and not on deceptive council members and developers??): Brown is a power-hungry egomaniac who has made lots of his money feeding off of taxpayer funded projects awarded to his company. Occasionally he will engage in purely private undertakings. Those of the latter variety are mediocre at best in terms of quality, but quite profitable to Mr. Brown. Owing to his amazing wealth, Mr. Brown feels that he is entitled to get whatever he wants, even if that means squashing the ability of others to make money. His campaign promotes his form of crony capitalism. All other businesses are not to get the deals he gets. All other entrepreneurs are not to be allowed to rise to his level of success. He of course looks to a man who comports himself as a 3rd world prince to reflect his views on the County Council. The whole tale is absurd. It's even more absurd that you report this on charade as if it is reality. All individuals not under the influence of some substance want Foundry Row and Wegmans because it will help the area. It will also mean that Brown will have to produce a quality development in order to earn more money than he already has. Simple.
Anonymous August 14, 2012 at 08:12 PM
I live in Owings Mills and support revitalization 100%. Our community needs this to keep our property values up, keep residents in our community to shop, etc. I have not seen any opportunity to vote YES. Hunt Valley and Columbia have a Wegman"s, why shouldn't Owings Mills? I don't understand why people would be opposed to making Owings Mills a better place to live and spend money!
k. harris August 15, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Wegman's would be great in Owings Mills- just not at the former Solo Cup property! Wegman's helped to revitalize Hunt Valley Mall. It would do the same for the Owings Mills Mall and that is where it should go!
ReisterstownMAN August 15, 2012 at 10:07 AM
I still dont get why people are so against it going at the SOLO CUP PROPERTY? Traffic? Are you that concerned with traffic? I mean so what there is traffic for a few more minutes then already. They said they would take care of the traffic and roadways and come with a plan.. What is the issue here? Who cares if it is built there? I guess you just want the property to sit vacant like the rest of Owings Mills and Reisterstown. Like the Franks building that will never be torn down or the old grocery store building near Target. What eye sores they are... You dont get it! A company is willing to open its doors and build something great for the community and you are against it? All you can say is go to Owings Mills Mall? I worked at the mall years ago...That place is a disgusting crap shoot. Let the companies at the mall and Owings Mills Centre worry about their own revitalization plans and stop getting involved with this one. They just know one thing and one thing only...they wont have anyone open their doors with new stores in that mall or the centre.
Newowingsmillsguy August 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM
How anybody could be against a GREAT store coming to Owings Mills just astonishes me!! Are people in this area that dumb. I am puting my faith that there are more smart people then dumb people, in Owings Mills, and this project will move forward.
Justin Eason August 15, 2012 at 01:15 PM
I think that Ken Oliver opinion means nothing, He should have never been voted in for another term. I also support the Wegmans!
R P Dangle August 15, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Someone is willing to invest money in our community that will put people to work and people want to vote no? The site is currently abandoned, THERE IS NO TRAFFIC! ZERO! Any project will create traffic (Imagine the rush hour traffic if the project was all offices). I would love to hear what the developers of the mall and Metro Centre think the solo site should be used for. Do they think we should leave the plant abandoned until the state somehow comes up with the $50 Million needed to improve that intersection? They don't want the competition. They claim there will be 500,000 square feet of retail saturation, but the solo project is less than 300,000 sf of retail once you subtract out the Wegmans. They know that they are the cause for a lot of this saturation in the first place. I live in Owings Mills and I support the Wegmans.
PM August 15, 2012 at 04:56 PM
There were teenagers or possibly in their 20s walking around the Cherry Valley shopping center asking for people to sign it. I saw three people sign it without actually finding out what they were signing. They came over to me and I asked why they were opposed to it and they responded that they are just being paid to get signatures.

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