Don’t Trust Kamenetz, Almond

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Please do not get too excited about Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Councilwoman Vicki Almond’s announced plan to revisit the Pikesville Commercial Revitalization District (“County to Reassess Pikesville Commercial District,” May 5). This is not the first time Kamenetz has been involved in allegedly trying to upgrade the Pikesville commercial district. During his multiple terms as councilman, and into his second term as county executive, our area continues to decline, as it does during Almond’s second term. They both have greatly contributed to the decline of our area. Now that the 2018 election approaches, it is opportune for them to announce they are going to have the area “surveyed.”

Kamenetz was influential in having passed the Pikesville Commercial Revitalization Guidelines. As county executive, he appoints the heads of the planning and the permits, approvals and inspections departments. They have intentionally failed to enforce what was in place to upgrade our area. These department heads choose to ignore what is required to revitalize the Pikesville commercial area — for example, allowing the ugly signage along the corridor.

Almond’s actions have been detrimental to the commercial area as well. In fact, while the revitalization guidelines call for the area between the city line and Old Court Road to be developed as a “village,” she gave used-car lot zoning for the corner of Milford Mill and Reisterstown roads (next to the BP Station). This is not the zoning that should be used to bring the commercial corridor out of its continuing decline.

In addition, she also gave palm-reader zoning to the structure that is across from Trader Joe’s; car-wash zoning on Sudbrook Lane (across from the Suburban Club); and upzoning to the Commerce Center (at Hooks and Greene Tree roads) to allow for the construction of an additional 40,000 square feet of office space on top of the parking deck. Almond disregarded a community-won decision by a hearing judge by changing the commercial boundaries of the old BlueCrest (later Rock Church). She is clearly more interested in the money contributions needed to run for county executive than the best interests of the communities she represents.

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