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The Dripby Brew Editors6:13 amSep 24, 20120

Meetings set for Patterson Park parking plan

Councilman Kraft voices opposition to still-sketchy plan.

Above: The Battle of Patterson Park (parking vs. greenspace) is about to get intense at upcoming community meetings.

Four meetings have been scheduled for southeast residents to sound off on the city’s plan to create 96 parking spaces and a new loop road in Patterson Park.

The plan to create three parking lots to serve the Casino Building and Virginia Baker Recreation Center on the park’s Baltimore Street side – disclosed by The Brew last week – has sparked anger and criticism among many residents and park users.

City Councilman James B. Kraft said the plan upends years of neighborhood agitation for fewer vehicles – and Rec and Park’s promise to remove asphalt from little used roads and expand the greenspace.

He told community leaders last week that he is against any new parking or the proposed loop driveway, but agreed to host the four public meetings to let city officials present their plan.

Spearheaded by the city Health Department, which wants to convert the Casino Building into a magnet senior center, the parking plan is preliminary, according to Rec and Parks officials, who say they are open to community suggestions.

The first meeting is next Monday (Oct. 1) between 6:30 and 8 pm at the Baker Rec Center inside the park at 2601 E. Baltimore Street.

Other meeting dates: 10:30-noon Saturday morning (Oct. 6) at Hampstead Hill Academy, 500 S. Linwood; 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 9) at St. Andrew’s Church, 2028 E. Lombard; and 7:30-9 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 11) at Breath of God Lutheran Church, 141 S. Clinton.

The plan, if pursued by the city, will need the various agency approvals, including from the Maryland Historical Trust, which has a preservation easement on the historic Casino Building.

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