Starbucks’ plan to put a store at the corner of York Road and Regester Avenue in Rodgers Forge was a controversial one, with the surrounding communities saying they welcomed a Starbucks but didn’t want it to be a drive-through — even as some residents said they were happy with the project and couldn’t wait for the store to open.
And they won’t have long to wait.
The store is scheduled to open on Sept. 28, said Mark Renbaum, the developer of the project. It will have about 30 seats, he said.
The location was of particular concern because hundreds of children cross at that intersection every school day on their way to and from Rodgers Forge Elementary and Dumbarton Middle School.
Traffic at that intersection and at Dumbarton Road and York, one block north, can also get quite backed up, raising the communities’ fears of worsening conditions.
The following comments on a neighborhood listserv about the project show the variety of opinions on the new store:
“The biggest problem of all with the Starbucks is the precedent it sets. Without safeguards in place to protect the adjacent properties from unbridled development, we will become the Lutherville-Timonium corridor of fast food, phone stores, and other eyesores.”
“I guess I’m in the minority, but I look forward to this winter when I can walk to Starbucks for a hot drink on a cold snowy day.”
“This development places a cookie-cutter, suburban, drive-thru design where it doesn’t belong and the current development process in Baltimore County offers us no protections. The building is not aligned with others along the street, paving encircles the building, the footprint is tiny with little indoor and even less outdoor seating. It does not encourage lingering and communing with neighbors. With this design comes pedestrian safety problems and the erosion of our unique historic neighborhood and small commercial district’s character.”
“We’re still taking about a Starbucks, right? People are acting like it’s a methadone clinic or bail bondsman. I guess I appreciate living in a neighborhood where this is what we consider a problem.”