Vanguard set to hold Merritt Pavilion PUD meeting on Aug. 28
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 13:36

Staab obtains renderings of latest Vanguard proposal

 by Ben Boehl

    The community will finally get its input meeting for the Merritt Pavilion planned unit development (PUD). The meeting will take place on Thursday, Aug. 28 at Dundalk High School from 6 to 9 p.m.
    Former state legislator and Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks director Bob Staab obtained the latest renderings of Vanguard Development’s plan for the site from a resident of Church Road and shared the diagrams with The Eagle  this week.
    “I’ve been involved with Rec and Parks for over 40 years, and I’m having trouble understanding [the latest proposal],” Staab said.
    Staab told The Eagle that, as he interprets the renderings, the latest plan shows one baseball diamond, one soccer field and possibly a smaller soccer field.
    He said the community is willing to compromise with Vanguard, but contended that Vanguard is not following the conditions set out in the request for proposals (RFP) issued by the county, which sets requirements for development at the Government Center site.
    He pointed to conditions of the RFP that require the developer to keep multiple ballfields and stated that the March 2014 proposal showed Vanguard planning four baseball diamonds and two soccer fields.

Len Weinberg of Vanguard responded that some information was distributed to residents around the Government Center site, but his plan calls for three 75-foot diamonds, one 60-foot diamond, two full-size soccer fields and one smaller “clinic-size” soccer field suited for practice and training.
    “We are continuously forming and reforming our plan to meet the community’s needs,” Weinberg said.   
    Staab said he remains unhappy that the outdoor amphitheater is part of the proposal, as he believes that a heavy majority of residents oppose the outdoor theater.
    Staab opined that only Vanguard will benefit from the amphitheater by hosting shows, while the county will be responsible for any damages and maintenance.
    “They have got everything to win and nothing to lose,” Staab said. “If they want the amphitheater, they should put it on the shopping center property.”
    Weinberg did not specifically respond to the criticism of the amphitheater but did say that the community will get to express its concerns and offer ideas.
    “I would tell you that we have been listening to all members of the community. We are listening very carefully.”   
    Staab explained that he is upset that the county will keep a storm water management area, which will control runoff from the shopping center, and believes the outdoor multi-purpose courts should be kept, as they were originally built under the state’s Open Space Program.
    He stressed his belief that it is important for the public to attend the Aug. 28 meeting.
    “I think we can make a difference, but the cards are stacked against us.”