Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News

Baltimore Officials Grant Lowes/Walmart 25th Street Station Development Project Stormwater Management Waiver

Baltimore Officials Grant Lowes/Walmart 25th Street Station Development Project Stormwater Management Waiver

In 2004, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached the largest settlement for storm water violations as a result of contamination found at Wal-Mart construction sites.

On February 4th, 2011 Baltimore City officials granted the proposed 25th Street Station bog-box development project a Stormwater Managment Waiver from Maryland’s 2007 State Stormwater Regulations.

The 25th Street Station project, originally pitched as a “green development” to area residents, promises to “meet or exceed Baltimore City’s recently enacted Green Building ordinance”.  However, the developers, represented by lawyer and Chair of the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission, Jon Laria, have now requested a Stormwater Management Waiver for the 25th Street Station and it has been approved.

According to the Baltimore City Stormwater Managment Manual,  Stormwater Management Concept Plans require “Waiver requests, if any” and curiously, the concept plan for the proposed 25th Street Station did not include a waiver request.  In addition, the Baltimore City planning department minutes from a Site Plan Review on December 16th, 2009 (link) of the 25th Street Station state,  “Stormwater Management will be under the new regulations”.

Residents raised concerns about whether the proposed 25th Street Station Development was in compliance with the 2007 Stormwater Management Law at an August 5th, 2010 Planning Commission hearing.  The development’s proposal includes covering a considerable amount of permeable land on the property with buildings and a parking lot.  Concern was raised that the plan does not appear to include adequate Environmental Site Design principles required under the Stormwater Management law.  Members of Baltimore City Planning Department dismissed resident’s concerns, stating the project had been “grandfathered” into the 2000 Maryland Stormwater Management requirements.

After the hearing, residents sought the waiver for the grandfathering of the 25th Street Station proposal.  Baltimore City Department of Public Works responded that a waiver had not been requested for the 25th Street Station.  Residents continued to raise Stormwater Management concerns regarding the proposed development up through the vote by Baltimore City Council on the 25th Street Station Planned Unit Development.

A “Public Notice” for the waiver request quietly appeared in the form of a single page posted within the Department of Public Works section of the Baltimore City website on January 19th, 2010.  One week was given for public comment.

The proposed 25th Street Station development project would encompass 11 acres in the Remington neighborhood of Baltimore.  To learn more about Stormwater Runoff, CLICK HERE to visit the EPA’s website.

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

apparently the Stormwater Regulations aren’t meant to apply if you area a politically connected developer.

Comment by Paul

I’m looking forward to the elections. I am thoroughly disgusted at the nepotism and loosey-goosey budgeting at City Hall. From appointing a criminal to fill a vacant Council seat, turning a blind eye to Council Members who live outside of their districts, paying for personal expenses out of city coffers, to granting a back-dated stormwater waiver to a paying customer (campaign donor) – we need CHANGE in Baltimore.

Comment by Baltimore or Bust

I guess “green” development is only a word they use when they want official city approval because they can just flaunt environmental standards openly. Voters beware, the public beware. Thank you to Baltidome for keeping our eyes open.

Comment by Betty

Great post, I found you site when I was on my phone. I’ll check back later when I am on my desktop

Comment by Karissa Prybylski

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