Development Process & Timeline
For over three years, Vanguard Retail Development, the property owner, has been working with the community association, nature council, local businesses and other interested parties to come up with the best plan.
- Winter 2014: Vanguard begins planning Village of Lake Roland, a mixed-use project that will include retail, dining and a multi-family residential building on six acres at 6241 through 6247 Falls Road.
- Spring 2014: Vanguard enters agreement with property owner.
- October 2015: Vanguard files an issue with Baltimore County as part of the Comprehensive Zoning Map Process ("CZMP") to downzone the property to Commercial, Town Center Core ("CT"), which would require more community-based uses for the property.
- March 2016: Vanguard Retail Development completes purchase of 6241-6247 Falls Road in the Bare Hills community. At the time of purchase, the property had been in the same family for over 50 years and zoned Business, Roadside – Automotive Services ("BR-AS"), the most permissive and undesirable of commercial zoning classifications.
- February 2016: The Department of Planning recommends Business, Major-Commercial, Community Core ("BM-CCC") zoning for the property.
- January to August 2016: The CZMP includes a review of the property by the Department of Planning, a vote by the Planning Board, a review by the County Council and ultimately a vote by the County Council. At each step of the process, there is opportunity for community input.
- January to August 2016: In tune with the CZMP and concerned with some of the permitted uses under BM-CCC, Ruxton-Riderwood-Lake Roland Area Improvement Association ("RRLRAIA") discusses additional constraints on the property, such as building height and restriction of big box stores, with Vanguard. August 2016: County Council votes favorably on BM-CCC zoning for Village of Lake Roland.
- August 2016: Vanguard and RRLRAIA execute and record a Restricted Covenant Agreement ("RCA") with Baltimore County that outlines additional constraints on the property.
- September 2016: Perennial litigant, Alan Zuckerberg, files a lawsuit challenging the CZMP map for the 2nd Council District, which effectively ties up all properties that were rezoned during the 2016 CZMP in District 2—including Village of Lake Roland—for the foreseeable future.
- January 2017: Eager to move forward with Village of Lake Roland and contribute to the positive transformation taking place in the Bare Hills community, Vanguard files a Planned Unit Development ("PUD") application with the county, which would negate the need to wait for resolution of the Zuckerberg lawsuit.
- February 9, 2017: As part of the PUD process, Vanguard hosts a Community Input Meeting ("CIM") to share the first draft of Village of Lake Roland plans.
- June 30, 2017: Maryland Department of Natural Resources ("DNR") sends a letter stating, "no specific concerns regarding potential impacts or recommendations for protection measures" for the property, providing the proposed project an environmental greenlight.
- July 12, 2017: By petition of a small group of members, RRLRAIA holds a special meeting to oppose the Village of Lake Roland development project and reject Vanguard’s request for a modification to the RCA. Members voted overwhelmingly (504 to 305) against this action, supporting the RRLRAIA board’s activity in negotiating with Vanguard.
- July 26, 2017: Vanguard and RRLRAIA execute and record an amended RCA.
- July 27, 2017: Vanguard withdraws PUD application.
- February 14, 2018: Concept Plan submitted
- March 13, 2018: Concept Plan Conference
- April 9, 2018: Community Input Meeting and Vanguard announces new name—Bluestem.