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How Do Foreclosures Affect Property Values and Property Taxes?

Bhopkins's insight:

They say the impact on local revenues is a mixed bag. I'm no expert in this area, but it does seem to me in tracking real estate listings that we have more than a few foreclosed properties in communities within the URDL in the wake of the economic downturn. 

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Suburban Land Trusts
Conserving land in older, "inner" suburbs for small parks, gardens, natural areas & stormwater management
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GREEN events | Baltimore

tracking sustainable events around Baltimore aiming to keep the community connected, educated, and inspired.
Bhopkins's insight:

Green Events for September 2015

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101 York developer offers more financial incentive for community support

101 York developer offers more financial incentive for community support | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
"Every cloud has a silver lining," reads the sign in developer David Schlachman's conference room.
Bhopkins's insight:

"The PUD process has been turned into a means for a developer to get what it and the county government want, which cannot be built under current zoning, over the objections of the impacted communities, so long as the developer and government agree on a menial payoff to entice communities to sit down and shut up. That is not how the PUD is supposed to work."

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Where are the trees in Baltimore County?

Where are the trees in Baltimore County? | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
"Green space in cities shouldn't be considered an optional luxury," wrote Charles Montgomery in "Happy City, Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design." He points to an "explosion of research into the benefits of nature," which could include this summer's robust data by researchers in Toronto showing that living on a city block with 10 or more trees on it has the same benefits as boosting your income by $10,000 or being seven years younger.
Bhopkins's insight:

"We are people in need of nature. Urban nature — not vacation nature. Not the woods, not off the grid, just a simple blurring of the lines. Climbing vines that soften the sharp cubist edges of all these brick buildings going up in Metro Centre. Greenery that soothes, rejuvenates and amplifies."

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San Francisco Has a New Model to Improve Public Space – Next City

San Francisco Has a New Model to Improve Public Space – Next City | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Two neighborhoods recently created a “Green Benefit District.”
Bhopkins's insight:

The neighborhoods known as Dogpatch and Northwest Potrero Hill recently established the country’s first Green Benefit District (GBD). Through the program, property owners will pay a small assessment that will go toward maintaining and improving parks, plazas, gardens, sidewalks and more.

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Why new design guidelines are not the path to a vibrant Towson | Community Architect Daily

Why new design guidelines are not the path to a vibrant Towson | Community Architect Daily | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:

'Chances that this new overlay would make the new vibrant and attractive Towson that most want to see, any more likely are dim. Most importantly, they won't make the path there more transparent, predictable and enforceable.

Towson communities have been on high alert for some time. One can expect a lively hearing tonight.'

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How Compton, California Became 'Compton'

How Compton, California Became 'Compton' | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Racist housing policies and calculated segregation caused the once-flourishing suburb to become an icon of urban decay.
Bhopkins's insight:

"Compton is emblematic of inner-ring suburbs, which developed next to central cities as primarily single-use, residential-only subdivisions. These suburbs lack strong business districts, limiting their commercial potential, and they contain aging housing stocks, which diminish their appeal to higher-income earners."

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Towson Row project draws criticism over lack of open space

Towson Row project draws criticism over lack of open space | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Opponents of a lack of green space or higher waiver fees in plans for Towson Row told a Baltimore County administrative law judge at a hearing Thursday that they were not there to try to scuttle the mixed-use development, which they like overall, but rather to draw attention to the need for more open space in the downtown core of Towson.
Bhopkins's insight:

"It's 15 years old," Glikin said during the break. He and Ertel said $55,000 as an open space waiver fee for a project like Towson Row might have been acceptable at that time, when the economy was worse and the county was trying to spur development, but the money is inadequate now, when Towson's urban area is growing at a breakneck pace."

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How Trees Calm Us Down - The New Yorker

How Trees Calm Us Down - The New Yorker | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
How a leafy sidewalk or a forest scene can make us feel richer, younger, and more focussed.
Bhopkins's insight:

"Something deep within us responds to the three-dimensional geometry of nature, and that is where arguments of economic equivalence, however well intentioned, fall short. If someone offers you ten thousand dollars or ten trees, take the trees."

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Why Kevin Kamenetz wants to move quickly on post-Red Line planning - Baltimore Business Journal

Why Kevin Kamenetz wants to move quickly on post-Red Line planning - Baltimore Business Journal | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
He's asking the regional planning organization he chairs to come up with a mass transit study within 90 days.
Bhopkins's insight:

"There are clearly a number of concepts that should be considered," Kamenetz said. "They can include doing part of the Red Line. They can include rapid bus. They could include a monorail-type system. But it could also include a revamping of the MTA bus routes system ..."

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Baltimore legislation would rename Robert E. Lee Park

Baltimore legislation would rename Robert E. Lee Park | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young is taking the first legal step to strip a popular county-operated park of its Confederate ties.
Bhopkins's insight:

"The park is centered around historic Lake Roland, and the name Lake Roland Park better reflects this open space treasure," Kamenetz said in a statement Friday. "We look forward to making a joint announcement with the city about the name change in the near future."

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Amid concerns for their health, bees find a powerful buffet in an unlikely urban oasis

Amid concerns for their health, bees find a powerful buffet in an unlikely urban oasis | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
A bulldozer rumbled atop a massive construction-rubble landfill nearby as Sam Droege and Thom Wilson went bee-hunting beneath high-voltage power lines slicing across northeastern Baltimore.
Bhopkins's insight:

"To many, a landfill and an unkempt power line right-of-way might look like eyesores. But they're flashing an all-you-can-eat sign for wild bees, which can be found in surprising numbers and diversity in blighted, out-of-the-way spots like this one in Baltimore"

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This Atlanta Suburb's Redevelopment Plans Have Troubling Echoes of Urban Renewal

This Atlanta Suburb's Redevelopment Plans Have Troubling Echoes of Urban Renewal | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Marietta is razing a number of housing complexes with low-income residents to make way for commercial development.
Bhopkins's insight:

"... it’s the instruments of such social and economic improvement—in Marietta and beyond—that should concern metro area residents. If the plans lack too much transparency to the public or decency to the disadvantaged, they trigger memories of a time when cities delivered great harm with a promise of greater good."

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North Point State Battlefield Park Opens to Public

North Point State Battlefield Park Opens to Public | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:

"Reclaimed from a once-vacant lot in an urbanized section of Dundalk, North Point State Battlefield Park is now open to the public. The park preserves nine acres of open land which represent the last undeveloped parcel from the historic battle site."

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Lincoln Institute of Land Policy > News & Events > At Lincoln House Blog

Bhopkins's insight:

"In addition to the challenges of meeting existing infrastructure needs, growing urban populations and a changing climate require local governments to make additional, preemptive investments for the future of their communities, to plan and prepare for growth and sustainability."

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New office building rises in Owings Mills

New office building rises in Owings Mills | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
The multistory parking garages rising next to Interstate 795 stand as the most visible signs of new construction near the Owings Mills Metro station.
Bhopkins's insight:

 just behind the car-centered structures, officials say development of a dense and walkable downtown is starting to take off — validating the idea of the transit-oriented development that was first proposed there more than 15 years ago.

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Special overlay zoning district proposed for downtown Towson

Special overlay zoning district proposed for downtown Towson | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
The Baltimore County Planning Board is considering a resolution by County Councilman David Marks to create a special overlay zoning district specifically for downtown Towson as the county's urban center.
Bhopkins's insight:

Several members of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations urged the board to table consideration of the resolution until they have a chance to study it closely, while others like Wendy Jacobs of the West Towson Neighborhood Association said, "We want to see more clearly defined open space requirements," as well as requirements for restrained lighting in development projects.

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Community Architect Daily

Community Architect Daily | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:

Chances that this new overlay would make the new vibrant and attractive Towson that most want to see, any more likely are dim. Most importantly, they won't make the path there more transparent, predictable and enforceable.

Towson communities have been on high alert for some time. One can expect a lively hearing tonight.

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Introducing 'treeconomics': how street trees can save our cities

Introducing 'treeconomics': how street trees can save our cities | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
As a fight over 11 lime trees in Sheffield escalates, activists in cities all over the world are making the case for urban trees – to cut pollution, increase land value and even make you feel younger
Bhopkins's insight:

Urban trees stand at the mercy of cash-strapped local councils and a hotchpotch of agencies, from housing associations to highway authorities, who may overlook their true value.

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Towson Spokes bike project lacks safety measures, cyclist groups say

Towson Spokes bike project lacks safety measures, cyclist groups say | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
The Towson Spokes Project, which will expand the Towson Loop bike path into local neighborhoods, during an informational meeting held Thursday night, drew sharp opposition from area bicyclists who believe the plan fails to make provisions for safe cycling.
Bhopkins's insight:

"Bike Maryland Executive Director Nate Evans said before the meeting that with the exception of a couple of bike lanes, the Towson Spokes project only adds "share the road" signs, which he said are ineffective."

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The New Towson: Emerging cosmopolitan hub or chaotic patchwork of developments?

The New Towson: Emerging cosmopolitan hub or chaotic patchwork of developments? | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
With more than $1 billion in private investment in Towson's redevelopment since 2009 -- which includes 2,700 completed and proposed townhomes and apartments -- many are looking for the funding necessary to provide more open space in Towson to accommodate that growth.
Bhopkins's insight:

"Baltimore County was successful in restricting development outside the URDL, but inside, it's kind of a free for all," [Philipsen] said.

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Montgomery lawsuit raises questions about Baltimore area stormwater fees

Montgomery lawsuit raises questions about Baltimore area stormwater fees | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
The so-called rain tax is being debated again — this time in court.
Bhopkins's insight:

A Montgomery County circuit judge has declared the county's stormwater management fee invalid, saying it violates a state law passed this year to reform the controversial environmental charge. Though the ruling only applies in Montgomery for now, it's creating ripples of anxiety in Baltimore area communities that still levy such fees to pay for reducing the polluted runoff fouling local streams and the Chesapeake Bay.

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Towson Spokes bike project lacks safety measures, cyclist groups say

Towson Spokes bike project lacks safety measures, cyclist groups say | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
The Towson Spokes Project, which will expand the Towson Loop bike path into local neighborhoods, during an informational meeting held Thursday night, drew sharp opposition from area bicyclists who believe the plan fails to make provisions for safe cycling.
Bhopkins's insight:

"Bike Maryland Executive Director Nate Evans said before the meeting that with the exception of a couple of bike lanes, the Towson Spokes project only adds "share the road" signs, which he said are ineffective."

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How Chicago Is Trying to Integrate Its Suburbs

How Chicago Is Trying to Integrate Its Suburbs | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
The city is asking affluent counties to pitch in.
Bhopkins's insight:

"By pooling resources and allowing voucher-holders to move across the entire area, the Regional Housing Initiative has given poorer people access to towns and communities they would have otherwise been excluded from."

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Adding Love and Forgiveness to the Placemaking Toolkit – Next City

Adding Love and Forgiveness to the Placemaking Toolkit – Next City | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
In 2013, the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship, which places architectural fellows for three year terms in community development organizations around the country, partnered with the Fetzer Institute to incorporate a focus on love and forgiveness into design and community development. This approach was not intended to be the sole solution to tough community issues, but rather a conversation starter to address these issues through concrete actions from within the community.
Bhopkins's insight:

"Centering a discussion on community development around love and forgiveness gives communities permission to talk about tough issues."

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Baltimore County Health Rankings Compared to Other Jurisdictions

Bhopkins's insight:

Trend is downward for physical inactivity, obesity and childhood poverty. Take a look for yourself.

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