Proponents of creating a park on what is now land owned by Radebaugh Florist & Greenhouses are urging County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to move ahead with the purchase of the property. They are encouraging supporters to attend Monday evening’s county council meeting, where a representative for Kamenetz will be present.
Radebaugh is not closing; this is excess land — located on the other side of Burke Avenue from their shop — that they want to sell.
“This location is ideal for a park because it is situated within easy walking distance of five well-established neighborhoods — Aigburth Manor, Towson Manor Village, s, Donnybrooke, and Wiltondale — as well as newer developments such as Towson Green,” said Beth Miller, a representative of Green Towson Alliance, which is pushing for the purchase. “Towson is underserved by passive green open space, and a park here would provide many health benefits to citizens including stress relief, aerobic exercise and connection with neighbors.”
Kamenetz announced in June that the county would purchase the property and create a park. The $1.1 million purchase of the 2.5 acres would be funded by open-space fees paid by developers. But since then, the county has hesitated over making the purchase because it estimates the cost to tear down the existing structures on the property would cost about half a million dollars, and Program Open Space funds couldn’t be used for that purpose, according to The Baltimore Sun. The Sun also reported that Radebaugh said the announcement of a deal was premature.
“We are still in negotiations with the property owner, but we have not been able to resolve the remaining issues yet,” Don Mohler, Kamenetz’ chief of staff, said Thursday.
Councilman David Marks said he still wants the purchase to happen. The funding request must be initiated by Kamenetz then approved by the county council.
“The County Executive’s press release from June 12th is unequivocal – the county will purchase the land. There is no mention of demolition costs. The county has the money to buy the land; more than $17 million in state Program Open Space funding is unspent. That money can be used right now to purchase the property,” Marks said Thursday. “This has the potential to be a beautiful community park in one of our most densely populated areas. It needs to happen.”
Miller said Green Towson Alliance is urging supporters to attend the 6 PM council meeting on Feb. 1 to let their opinions be known. More info about the park, the Alliance and the meeting is here.
As an aside, a friend of mine who lives near Radebaugh’s posted this to her Facebook page a few days ago, after the huge blizzard: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Radebaugh’s Florist is the best!! They are wonderful neighbors and even though they have a huge lot to plow out of their own, they are helping us get plowed out too. It is above and beyond the call of duty and we so appreciate it!! Buy all of your plants and flowers from them!!”