Baltimore City Councils Unanimously Urges State Lawmakers to Adopt Criteria for State Center Development
BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION URGING STATE LAWMAKERS TO ADOPT CRITERIA FOR STATE CENTER REDEVELOPMENT
March 1, 2018, Baltimore, MD— After a year of dimming prospects for State Center redevelopment, a step forward took place this week.
The Baltimore City Council unanimously adopted City Council Resolution 18-0069R supporting the redevelopment of the State Center complex by urging state lawmakers to adopt the criteria that the surrounding communities have advocated for over 12 years.
Introduced by Councilman Eric T. Costello and co-sponsored by Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and all Councilmembers, the resolution requests the General Assembly to pass, and the Governor to sign, HB 1286. This bill protects the participation and planning process of the communities in the State Center Neighborhood Alliance in any development effort going forward on the 28 acre site.
“Baltimore has waited too long for State Center redevelopment,” said Council President Young. “This project is too important to the livelihood of this community. We cannot allow more than a decade of community planning and input to be lost.”
“The abrupt cancellation of the project in 2016 was a blow to the 12 neighborhoods surrounding the complex,” said Councilman Costello. “As elected officials, we want to do whatever we can to make sure their hard work in this process is not forgotten.”
The bill was introduced in the House of Delegates by Delegate Cheryl Glenn with 19 co-sponsors including Delegate Antonio Hayes, whose legislative district is home to State Center. “We are committed to seeing this complex redeveloped and to ensuring the communities’ interests remain the top priority,” said Delegate Glenn. “This project can transform both the State Center neighborhoods and the whole city.”
Delegate Hayes noted that the bill would ensure both an enforceable community benefits agreement and an economic inclusion plan to support training, short-term jobs, and long-term careers for neighborhood residents. Hayes added that “residents in the 40th District would prefer economic development to proceed instead of authorizing, at the request of the Governor, a million dollar lawsuit.”
“This resolution and this bill are great news for our neighborhoods,” said John E. Kyle, president of the State Center Neighborhood Alliance, Inc. “If the bill is enacted, we are confident that we will have a seat at the table for discussions and decisions about this vital redevelopment. That is right where we should be.”
A companion bill, SB 614, has been introduced in the State Senate by Senator Barbara Robinson.