Sunday, July 31, 2011

Irvine now registering for Native Plant seminar and sale


Join us for our annual Native Plant Seminar and Sale on August 27, 2011. It's perfect for homeowners, garden club enthusiasts, Native Plant Society members, nursery/landscape professionals, land managers and environmental educators.

Four post-seminar workshops will be offered in the afternoon. This seminar provides a great opportunity to increase your knowledge about native vegetation, sustainable practices and the conservation of our regional landscapes. Throughout the day, the region’s finest native nurseries will provide an opportunity to learn more about species native to the Piedmont region and to purchase a wide selection of top quality native plant material. Seminar registrants will be admitted to the plant sale at 7:30 a.m.

http://www.explorenature.org/experience-irvine/native-plant-seminar-and-sale


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Saturday, July 30, 2011

National Night Out is this Tuesday

From the Rodgers Forge Citizens on Patrol:

The National Night Out is August 2, 2011. We are honored to have several public official attending this year including County Executive Kamenetz, Councilman Marks, Delegate Lafferty and Chief Johnson. Our local Precinct 6 Commander, Captain Jones will also be attending. Towson Area Citizens On Patrol (TACOP) is also collecting items for the homeless in coordination with Baltimore County Social Services.
We'd love to have you participate in the motorcade or feel free to stop by just to donate and just say Hi.

Details here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jx5X6KaNN9oS0ZE3bHHm-AI6qGCqBYBfS6W6eVrhm2Y/edit?hl=en_US

And see this story in the Towson Times.


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Armed robbery

Update: Patch.com has done a story on this incident. Read it here: 
http://towson.patch.com/articles/robber-attacks-woman-45-in-rodgers-forge


From Rob Williams Rodgers Forge C.O.P.:
A white male, wearing a black sweatshirt, committed an armed robbery around 1:30 this morning. The armed robbery occurred somewhere along York Road. I'm not sure of many of the details other than the description of the suspect and that the robbery did not occur at a business.

Police made their way into Rodgers Forge, setting up a perimeter between Pinehurst Road and Dorking Road searching for the suspect. A K-9 unit was dispatched to the area. County Air was not available due to the low ceiling.

This event occurred just a few minutes after I wrapped up a call with Officer Heyman. He was responding to a call I placed regarding several individuals on school grounds. Just before he left the scene, I asked if it had been busy. He said it had been busy earlier in the night but
things were quieting down. That all changed in an instant.

The scene cleared shortly after 3 a.m. and the suspect had not been found.


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Monday, July 25, 2011

How do you deal with lead paint?

My husband recently scraped, primed and painted the outside of our garage.  But he didn't wear a face mask when he was scraping or painting.  How concerned should we be about lead exposure?  Have any of you dealt with this issue?  It's a fact that most of our houses have lead paint both inside and outside so I'm guessing that I'm not the first to worry about this.

-- posted by Belinda


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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jazz at Cylburn

Free concert at Cylburn on July 27. Details here (scroll down at main page): http://www.cylburnassociation.org/index.html


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Last chance to give public input on school board reform

The task force that is looking at whether Baltimore County's school board should be at least partially elected is having its last public-input forum on Monday, July 25 at 6:30 pm at the Towson Library.

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/local/politics/2011/06/baltimore_county_school_board_1.html


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Saturday, July 23, 2011

missing cat

Hi, Kris:  Last night I walked my dog and my cat followed us to Heathfield and Old Trail and then he was gone.  He answers to the name Petey Pie and he is a very friendly, gray american tabby.   He had never walked that far before and I am worried he can't find his way home.  He has no collar/tags.  Can you and the forgeflyer help?

Sincerely,
Janine


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Friday, July 22, 2011

Arty Hill & the Long Gone Daddys at Ladew this Sunday


“A country songwriter of the first order,” Arty Hill marries the soul of classic country and wry storytelling with honky-tonk swagger. artyhill.com

Concerts are held in the Great Bowl from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Tickets are available at the door and do not need to be purchased in advance. http://www.ladewgardens.com/EVENTCALENDAR/SummerConcertSeries.aspx
-- posted by Kris


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Thursday, July 21, 2011

School supplies?


Where do you go for your school supplies? We were at Target and the school area was pretty quiet so I decided to fill as many items as I could. But we need 8.5 x 11 card stock paper. I'm not 100% sure what that is, but, has anyone found that at a good price anywhere?

BTW, Target had everything else I needed, although I had to go to the regular office-supply aisle for the non-pocketed tab dividers.


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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Do you consign or donate?

A couple of years ago, I finally unloaded the 12 plastic tubs of carefully washed and stored clothes that my children had long ago outgrown. I had stored them in the attic for the day that I would have the time to take these precious garments to a consignment store and reap the bounty thereof. I have a number of friends and neighbors who are well versed in consigning clothes so I thought I'd join their number. Well, I won't give all the details but I found that the amount of effort I had to put in washing, hanging, sorting these clothes was not worth the money I received (I only really tried it once).


Maybe if I had been consigning small amounts of clothing all along it wouldn't have been such an onerous chore. We also had a yard sale (also not so easy) and then we chose to donate and that's what we've done since with all clothes we outgrow.

I'm wondering though what other people do with their outgrown clothes and toys. Do you use ebay, Craigslist, consignment stores, yard sales? Do you donate? What has your experience been (try not to bash any particular stores)? Are there charities that would particularly welcome these things (House of Ruth)? Is there a secret to successfully consigning clothes and toys?

-- posted by Belinda


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Rodgers Forge code sweep will be Aug. 29

Here's an email from Councilman David Marks:


"The Code Enforcement sweep for Rodgers Forge will be on Monday, August 29. This hopefully gives the community association plenty of time to advertise the sweep to residents. I will join staff from Code Enforcement at the Rodgers Forge Community Association meeting on Wednesday, August 31 to discuss any results."

I have asked for a list of things the inspectors will be looking for; I'll post when I have info.


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Bubble Days this weekend at the Science Center


Get ready, the Maryland Science Center's super soap bubble celebration is almost here. The 6th Annual Bubble Days Weekend is July 23rd and 24th from Noon until 4pm each day. All activities are free with paid admission—completely free for members.

See smoke bubbles, frozen bubbles, fire bubbles, square bubbles, even a kid in a bubble. Plus, world famous bubbleologist Casey Carle returns with his amazing BubbleMania show on the atrium stage. Casey Carle is a world famous bubble performer and bubble expert who has demonstrated his incredible bubble blowing and bubble bending skills to enthralled audiences all over the world. Multiple performances are scheduled each day.

Plus, on this weekend only, the Maryland Science Center is transformed into the Maryland Bubble Center. Visit the bubble factory where you can make your very own bubble formula to take home, create bubble arts and crafts, try your luck in bubble gum blowing contests and see bubbles freeze in mid air before shattering like ice. Join the fun outside with the electric bubble machine and lots of bubble blowing activities.


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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baltimore Get Down this Thursday

The Baltimore Get Down is a community dance gathering designed to provide grown-ups with a place to get down, shake a--, free the collective spirit, and raise the roof.


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What's a good sleep-away camp?

I was reading an article in the New York Times last week about the way in which sleepaway summer camps are adjusting in a slowed economy. I started thinking that I don't really hear many people around Rodgers Forge talking about overnight camps in this area. Maybe it's because my children aren't that age yet. My niece goes to camp in New Hampshire and her brother (my nephew) came to Baltimore to the CTY camp at Johns Hopkins. I've heard some friends talk about camps they went to when they were young. But this is the extent of my knowledge regarding overnight camps. Have any of you sent your children to overnight camps? If so where did you send them? What were the camps like? How do you know when your child is ready for this?

-- posted by Belinda*

*The Flyer is going to start having multiple contributors to get a wider range of perspectives.


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Monday, July 18, 2011

Latest crime report

Read it here.


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Maryland Science Center is being totally irresponsible


Time:
Everyday all day long
Location: Maryland Science Center
Cost: Free with paid admission
When:
July 1 through Labor Day Weekend

Splat, Thunk, Zap, Kaboom! At the Maryland Science Center, Summer is the time for Irresponsible Science. Inside and out, bottom to top, all around the Science Center, come join the fun as we get into to some squishy, gushing, exploding summertime fun.

What happens when you drop a five pound ball of silly putty or a giant mound of jello off the roof of our building to the plaza below? Have you ever wondered how much of an explosion you can create with a block of dry ice, hundreds and hundreds of ping pong balls and a metal trash can? How far can a water balloon travel when you have the help of gigantic slingshot? Find out during the Summer of Irresponsible Science where everything goes and chaos rules.

http://www.mdsci.org/events-calendar/events/IrresponsibleScience.html


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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nordstrom has shoe-tying classes

A friend mentioned the other day that her son is having a hard time learning to tie his shoes and that she might take him to Nordstrom's shoe-tying class. I had never heard of it, but called Nordstrom in Towson for the scoop.


The classes are once a month on a Saturday at 9:15 am and they're free. The kids are given a snack and they get to take home a paper shoe with color-coded laces. The lesson lasts about half an hour. The next class is July 23 and you have to call ahead to reserve a spot: 410-296-2111.


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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Horrible accident on Charles at Sheppard Pratt

Patch reports that a pregnant woman was in a car accident on Charles that resulted in her baby being stillborn. I can't even imagine what she and her family are going through. A commenter on Patch said she thinks that intersection is inherently unsafe.


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Rodgers Forge board votes to ask for code-violation sweep

The board voted via email on Thursday in favor of the sweep. The sweep will look not just for rat-related problems (trash cans without lids, etc.) but any code violations, and inspectors will be allowed to enter residents' yards. Per Councilman David Marks, the board must notify residents 30-45 days prior to the sweep, so more details from them should be out soon. Here's what Marks said in a June 22 email:

"As a safe guard to the county, specifically Code Enforcement, a request on community association letter head is requested. Additionally, notification through newsletters, e-mails or at community meeting should be given to residents 'somewhere within 30 to 45 days prior to the actual sweep.' As you are aware, my office made the request on behalf of the community with concern to the urgent nature of rat infestation. As a courtesy, Lionel VanDommelen, Bureau Chief of Code Enforcement honored that request with the limited condition that it be conducted by one inspector instead of four and be limited to the specific area of the park and address issues related to the rats such as trash containers with no lids, rat burrows in yards, junk and debris and yards containing animal waste that has not been cleaned up. A complete sweep will be conducted of the entire neighborhood in August. I would greatly appreciate it if effort could be made to notify the community as best as possible of the sweeps, but most importantly of the community wide sweep in August."

Read more about the sweep in Patch:
http://towson.patch.com/articles/rodgers-forge-requests-code-enforcement-sweep-following-rat-issues

PS: I would imagine bird feeders do not violate county code (anyone know for sure?) but please be aware that they are rat magnets and you might want to re-think having one given the problems the neighborhood has had.


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25-year resident reflects on Rodgers Forge

Rob Williams, who you probably know from his extensive work on Citizens on Patrol and who can frequently be seen walking dogs around the Forge, asked me to publish this retrospective:

Last week, I read the July issue of the Rodgers Forge Newsletter. I was intrigued by the reprinted letter on the back of the newsletter written by Charles Heinmuller in 1975. I was inspired by his words, especially the final paragraph. Those words inspired me to write a reflection of my 25 years living in Rodgers Forge.

In his letter, Mr. Heinmuller, who had lived in the community since 1939, reflected upon how the neighborhood was one of the "beauty spots of Baltimore County." He mentioned how well kept the properties were, including the alleys. He stated the Forge was an area to be proud of and that we were the envy of many. He pleaded with the neighbors to maintain the good name of Rodgers Forge.

Rodgers Forge is a better place than most to reside but it also faces day to day issues found in other neighborhoods. Rodgers Forge isn't perfect. I've felt that sometimes the media, outsiders and even neighbors have painted an unreal image of the Forge. When something bad happens in Rodgers Forge, for example the rat issue we are currently dealing with, the neighborhood gets chastised. It's almost an attitude of "this shouldn't happen in Rodgers Forge!"

We are vulnerable to the same issues many other communities have faced. History has demonstrated that. A van was fire bombed in 1956. We've had residents charged with a host of incidents. Dumbarton Middle School was tagged with racist graffiti almost ten years ago.

Bad things happen in good neighborhoods. I'm not shocked by a bad event in the Forge. It's not a poor reflection of our neighborhood. Events happen, good or bad.

Rodgers Forge isn't perfect. We can't be and we shouldn't be. But, the simple fact remains; Rodgers Forge is a better place to live than many other communities.

I feel, though we need to regain something. We need to regain our pride. Pride only comes through action. We, as a group need to take action in dealing with several issues. To stop any further rat infestation, we need to roll up our sleeves. Garbage is a food and nesting source for these critters. Let's start taking better care of picking up trash that has been scattered about. Let's start securing trash cans better. Let's start trimming back unsightly brush.

A minimal amount of effort will make a big difference.

Taking pride in our neighborhood will keep us strong and will keep Rodgers Forge attractive to potential home owners.

Many things have changed in Rodgers Forge in the last 25 years. But, one thing hasn't changed for me. I still care deeply about this neighborhood. I'll do whatever it takes to keep Rodgers Forge as one of the" beauty spots of Baltimore County." I hope you will too.

Thank you.

Rob Williams


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Friday, July 15, 2011

Half off all shoes at Lily Pad in Stoneleigh

http://www.lilypadoftowson.com/

Sent from my cell.


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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Multi-family yard sales this Saturday

"We are having a multi-family yard sale on the 7000 Block of Heathfield Rd on 7/16 from 8am-12pm. A few of us are setting up in the circle on Heathfield and other neighbors are welcome to join or attend."

"We are having a multi-family yard sale on the 100 block of Brandon Road this Saturday, July 16th from 8AM-12PM. We will have a variety of items!"


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Tomorrow is the last day to toss your hat in the RFCA ring

The deadline to announce you're running for a seat on the Rodgers Forge board is Thursday, July 14, at midnight. They will no longer accept nominations from the floor. You can drop off your application in the box out front of 201 Dumbarton (on the Pinehurst side).


What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Better?


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National Merit Scholarships for two Towson High grads

Read about it in Patch:


Way to go! Wish it was more; two grand doesn't buy much college these days.


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Monday, July 11, 2011

Amber Alert canceled - boy found

Boy found: http://www.wbaltv.com/news/28516352/detail.html


WBAL: Baltimore City police said officers were called to the 300 block of Gwynn Avenue at about 6:30 p.m., where witnesses told police that a light green late model Ford Taurus with two people inside stopped and grabbed Darrick Charles Brown, who was walking on the street with others.


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Latest crime report

Including garage burglarized on Murdock Road. Remember to lock those doors! Read the report here.


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Mambo Combo at Ladew on July 17


Baltimore’s “Best Party Band” kicks it up with the soca, samba and tango laced with Caribbean and Latin sounds. mambocombo.com
Concerts are held in the Great Bowl from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Tickets are available at the door and do not need to be purchased in advance. Picnics, blankets and chairs are welcome, but please, no pets, alcohol or athletic equipment. Food and refreshments are available for purchase. Admission includes the Gardens: Members $7, Adults $15, Seniors (62+) and Students $13, Children (ages 2 -12) $3. http://www.ladewgardens.com/EVENTCALENDAR/SummerConcertSeries.aspx


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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fast-tracking development in Towson

The Baltimore Sun: ... Last week the County Council adopted a Marks-sponsored revitalization measure that is designed to help make Towson's core into more than a place where people work and drive home, or shop at the mall and drive home. Developers can put projects on a fast track for approval by following a set of design standards meant to make the area more inviting for walkers, shoppers, restaurant patrons and entertainment-seekers.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/bs-md-co-towson-streetscape-20110707,0,2075113,full.story


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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Toddler yoga


From a Forgian:


I just wanted to pass on a fun class that I attended last week: Mom and Toddler Yoga at the new studio Yoga on York. There are so many young kids in the Forge, it's an activity that others might want to try!

The teacher brought her 3-year-old son too, so he and my son were playing before we started and they got along very well. Her yoga poses all had fun names (elephant, boat, dog, etc) that the boys could relate to and she switched the poses and activities often so they didn't get bored. I was glad that I knew some yoga going into it because the emphasis was more on the kids than on proper poses for the adults. My son really loved it and has talked about it ever since. Yesterday he said, "Can we go to yoga tomorrow?" and was a little sad that we have to wait until Monday.
www.yogaonyork.net


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Pirate Fest this weekend



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Friday, July 8, 2011

Rain ends Friday night events

Feet on the Street and Belvedere Square concert are canceled for tonight because of rain.


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Who flagged the Forge?

Update -- here's who flagged us:

I did put out the flags for the 4th. Compliments of myself, Ayaz of Wells Fargo and Andy of Marvel Title. Its a fun tradition that I started last year and I plan to continue on for many more years. I will be putting out a newsletter this weekend to follow up. Feel free to share with the inquiring minds!

Thanks,
Tammy Cuddy
Prudential Carruthers Realtors

Another update -- I spoke to the folks at the American Legion (125 York Road) and they said they would consider these to be actual flags and that you can dispose of them 24/7 in a box outside their building.
----

I love all the flags put out for Independence Day. It wasn't a board initiative and the person who did it a few years ago said he's not the one who did it this time. Whoever it was, thanks!


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Rat burrows

The homeowner on the unit block of Dunkirk who first alerted the area to rats is frustrated by the fact that the county keeps saying it sees no evidence of rats near the playground. (Her alley is on the Tot Lot.) She has sent photos to show the evidence in her yard and garage.


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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tot Lot Update

Here's an update from Councilman Marks:

Sent from my cell.

Begin forwarded message:
>
> This morning, I walked the Rodgers Forge Tot Lot with staff from Code Enforcement and Recreation and Parks.
>
> We saw no rats and no evidence of rats, and talked to some of the immediate neighbors and the tot lot users. Code Enforcement has a date set for a sweep in late August but just needs the Community Association letter to formally initiate it. It will not be a sweep where offenders get an automatic fine; they will issue warnings first.
>
> As you know, there is a sandbox area that is blocked off due to what looks like a bee nest. We learned that the inserts are, in fact, cicada killers. The exterminator contracted by the Department of Recreation and Parks can't use poison for fear of it mixing with the sand. The Department is looking at options.
>
> David Marks


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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Texting while peeing


Rodgers Forgian Robbie Blinkoff, a consumer anthropologist, has a new blog about consumerism and culture -- including increasing our productivity by peeing while we text, chubby kids' soda and more. Check it out here: http://www.theconsumeranthropologist.com


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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Latest crime report

Includes an attempted kidnapping, but not in Rodgers Forge. Read it here.


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Councilman David Marks to discuss rat issue at next Rodgers Forge board meeting

From the councilman: "I'm going to speak at the August 31st meeting with a representative from Code Enforcement. We'll talk about the results of the broader sweep in August and what steps the community can take to reduce any likelihood of rats."


(The RFCA does not have a July meeting, so August 31 is the next scheduled meeting. All RF residents are welcome to attend.)


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Reminder: July 14 is deadline if you want to run for a seat on the Rodgers Forge board

The election isn't until September but the board will only accept names until July 14, so if you're toying with the idea of running for a seat on the Rodgers Forge board, make sure you have your name in by then or you won't be allowed to seek election. You can drop off your application in person -- there is a box out front at 201 Dumbarton (on the Pinehurst side) -- or you can mail it in. Details here:


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Monday, July 4, 2011

Little black dog running loose by Tot Lot

From a Rodgers Forgian who lives by the Tot Lot: There's a little black dog running frantically around the neighborhood completely freaked by the fireworks. I couldn't get close enough to get him and he ran down bellona. Can you post?


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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kids eat free at Ikea through July 4


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Friday, July 1, 2011

Variance denied for 300 Hopkins

Managing Administrative Law Judge Lawrence Stahl issued his decision in the case at 300 Hopkins in which the homeowner requested a zoning variance so she could expand her kitchen and add a powder room to the first floor. Her request was denied.

The question came down to not whether the addition was attractive or whether many others had the similar additions already, which they do, but whether she could prove that her home was unique and therefore uniquely harmed by the zoning rules. That is the deciding factor in variance cases.

It's interesting to note that many homes in Rodgers Forge were built before the current setback regulations took effect and as built they do not conform to code.

Christiane Rothbaum, the homeowner, said that a few years ago she witnessed the construction just a few blocks from her of another addition very similar to the one she wanted. In that case, no variance was requested and apparently no board approval was sought.

"Don't ask, don't tell -- just do, and you will get away with it," Rothbaum said. "That's the lesson. I tried to follow the legal procedure and here I am."

Read about it also in this Towson Times article.

Below is a portion of Stahl's ruling:

"On its face, this matter appears to be a complicated one, balancing the understandably logical request of a homeowner to understandably alter her home in response to a pressing personal medical need. It clear from all the testimony that the Petitioner is an admirable homeowner and that her care for her home stands as an example and credit to the Rogers Forge community. It is also true that, for whatever reason, many of the homes in Rogers Forge have extensions such as that desired by the Petitioner.

Nevertheless, the reality of this case is simple. In order to construct her desired addition, Petitioner must obtain a variance. Either she qualifies under present statutory and case law, or she does not.

The obtaining of the variance governed by Section 307.1 of the B.C.Z.R. as well as well-settled case law. These requirements are purposely strict in nature, difficult to satisfy and reflect the public policy of severely restricting the granting of variance relief. The seminal case on the subject, Cromwell v. Ward 102 Md. App. 691 (1995), states the prevailing rule that “variances are to be granted sparingly, only in rare instances and under peculiar and exceptional circumstances….a variance should be strictly construed. Cromwell Id at 700. Section 307.1 of the zoning regulations permits variances to be granted “….only in cases where special circumstances or conditions exist that are peculiar to the land or structure which is the subject of the variance request and where strict compliance with the zoning regulations for Baltimore County would result in practical difficulty or unreasonable hardship. Cromwell requires that “uniqueness” first be established before the factor of “practical difficulty” is even addressed. Cromwell Id at 698. In requiring a prerequisite finding of “uniqueness” the Court defined the term and stated:

In the zoning context the “unique” aspect of a variance requirement does not refer to the extent of improvements upon the property, or upon neighboring property. “Uniqueness” of a property for zoning purposes requires that the subject property has an inherent characteristic not shared by other properties in the area, i.e, its shape, topography, subsurface condition, environmental factors, historical significance, access or non-access to navigable waters, practical restrictions imposed by abutting properties (such as obstructions) or other similar restrictions. In respect to structures, it would relate to such characteristics as unusual architectural aspects in bearing or parting walls…Id. At 710.

Only thereafter, do we address the issue of practical difficulty. ...

In considering the testimony and evidence presented, I am not persuaded that the Petitioner has established the “uniqueness” as regards the subject property located at 300 Hopkins Road, as called for in Section 307.1 and defined and discussed in Cromwell v. Ward, supra. ... Pursuant to the advertisement, posting of the property, and public hearing on this petition held, and after considering the testimony and evidence offered by Petitioner, I find that Petitioner’s variance request should be denied."

To read the entire document, including his recap of testimony, click here.



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Caution tape at the Tot Lot

I just asked Councilman Marks about the caution tape at the Tot Lot. He hadn't heard about it but quickly checked and he was told a resident had found a nest of yellowjackets and called an exterminator and it was that exterminator who put up the caution tape. I don't know when it might come down.


Update: Here's an email to my neighbor from a friend of her's near the Tot Lot:

Just an FYI that Parks and Rec. has put yellow caution tape around the Tot Lot sand box. It is infested with some kind of bees or hornets, they said they may be cicada killers. I saw hundreds of them buzzing around the sand box this morning when I went to see what the guys were looking at. A rep(who's name I can't hear on my message) from Parks and Rec left a message that Baltimore County has contacted Terminix to come out to take care of them. She also said it may take more than one day treatment to take care of the problem. She shared that the bees are not generally aggressive and the males don't sting. She also said that if we have any questions, we may contact her office (410-887-7844).


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Former owner of Senator Theatre plans to run for City Council president

This story just has "Huh?" written all over it. And don't miss the comments, mostly posted by the subject of the story.


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