Connecting a rich history to an innovative future for the Bare Hills community and Lake Roland.
Bluestem is a proposed mixed-use project that will include retail, dining and a multi-family residential building on six acres at 6241 through 6247 Falls Road in the Bare Hills community.
The primary design objective of this development is to promote an interconnected village concept with a distinctive town character.
Bluestem is adjacent to Lake Roland, a tremendous natural resource for the region and a source of shared interest for the surrounding communities. The proposed plan includes a point of entry to the park, meeting the community’s demand for the creation of a mixed-use village with a focus on the park.
Through the input of local stakeholders and professionals, the development has been designed to improve sustainability and usability for Lake Roland. The developers have engaged local community holders and teamed with experts familiar both with the park itself as well as the specific type of redevelopment.
Updates to the proposed plan for Bluestem include:
- No development within the forest buffer.
- No parking on park property.
- Approximately one acre of green space included in the current plan.
- Better and closer access to Lake Roland Park’s Orange Trail.
- Residential building relocated away from Lake Roland Park’s Purple Connector Trail.
- Retail “Main Street” created.
- Retail on first floor with residential above for the mixed-use portion of the project.
- Number of drive-thru’s allowed reduced from 3 to 2.
- Maximum permitted building height lowered from 8 to 6 floors.
The development has been planned in an environmentally conscious effort to improve the property and benefit the park. It will improve the watershed, protect the local ecosystem, and support the conservation of the open space through modern improvements and redevelopment of outdated infrastructure.
Clean Air, Walkable Lifestyle
Bluestem would replace several outdated commercial structures as well as a large mulch operation and equipment storage yard that abuts the park. The mulch facility produces a perpetual noxious odor and other negative environmental impacts. Further, it is not compatible with the concept of a walkable village and is inconsistent with the economic revitalization currently underway in Bare Hills.
Read More About The Environmental Impact
The developers and designers of the Bluestem development in the Bare Hills community have gone to great lengths to ensure the project will exist harmoniously on the boundary of the…Read More
This article was originally written by, and published on, the Lake Roland Nature Council website. To view the original article, please click here. This past winter, volunteers from Lake Roland Nature…Read More
The developers of Bluestem have extensively engaged local community members and stakeholders to understand what is important to neighbors, businesses and park-goers. The developers have taken exceptional measures to design the project in a way that lends the resources of the property to improve functionality and accessibility to the park. It will produce an amenity for housing aligned with the community for which there is no existing supply.
Connecting to Community Master Plans
"A major theme of the 2010 Community Plan is creating ‘connections’. This important planning principle is not just about obvious connections relating to pedestrian and other transportation needs. Rather, the goal is to think about the community’s relationship to its surrounding communities and the region. The Park is a central part of what binds and connects the surrounding communities, and more broadly has the potential to be an important regional asset. Consequently, a significant part of the 2010 Community Plan focuses on the Park and the creation of a mixed-use village in the Bare Hills community on Falls Road." (RRLR Plan, p. 4).
"In addition, new multi-family residential uses can transform this area into a complete neighborhood similar to the Village of Cross Keys located farther south on Falls Road." (RRLR Plan, p. 6)
The RRLR Plan also recommends support for "a mix of uses throughout the Bare Hills Village area…and where appropriate, rezoning parcels, which would provide the impetus for revitalizing and upgrading the uses for the Bare Hills area to become a more community-oriented retail, office and residential village." (RRLR Plan, p. 9)
Aligning with Baltimore County Master Plan 2020
Bluestem is in conformance with the goals, objectives and recommendations of the Baltimore County Master Plan 2020 (“BCMP 2020”). Specifically, the BCMP 2020 has adopted different transect zones which are designed to provide the basis for real neighborhood structure, which relies upon compact, walkable streets, mixed-use, transportation options and housing diversity. The village of Lake Roland is classified as T-5 (Urban Center) transect zone, which is intended to include higher density mixed-use buildings that accommodate retail, offices, townhouses and apartments. (BCMP 2020, p. 29)
Read More About The Community Impact
According to the Lake Roland Nature Council (LRNC), park attendance has skyrocketed in the last decade— in the early 2000s, approximately 40,000 people visited the park each year, compared to…Read More
The development has implored state-of-the-art techniques for landscape architecture, engineering, and construction in order to provide modern facilities both to current neighbors and future residents. It will be built under modern codes and building requirements with a vision for future needs of the surrounding community.
Read More About The Design
But How Will The Project Affect...
The planned development falls within a Business, Major-Commercial, Community Core (“BM-CCC”) zone.
Bluestem will be served by public water and sewer. According to the 2017 Basic Services Maps, the property is not located within a deficient area or an area of special concern for either water or sewer. The public water and sewer is sufficiently sized to accommodate the project.