Residential: Project of the Year – Maryland Building Industry Association, LDC
Working closely with the Beazer Homes development team, MRA provided site planning, engineering, and public facilitation services for Ballard Green, a 105-acre, 521-home mixed-use community located in the heart of Owings Mills Town Center in Baltimore County, Maryland. When the development team began this assignment, the surrounding community had actively opposed prior proposals for the property. After establishing a new and consistent dialogue with all interested parties, our development team turned opposition into support. It took only one year from being designated a PUD by the County Council to receiving Development Plan approval from all Baltimore County approval agencies, a new benchmark for success. Throughout that year, the development team held monthly “open forums” at a local community center where any interested party could come, hear what was being proposed, ask questions, and expect answers, establishing a new standard for community participation.
The site plan centers around a new elementary school planned in the center of the property along Lyon’s Mill Road. On the east side of the school are three traditional neighborhoods with rear car garage townhomes of various sizes. On the west side of the school are three contemporary neighborhoods with front garage townhomes of various sizes. At the intersection of Lyons Mill Road and Owings Mill Boulevard is a multi-family neighborhood that is centered on the historic Plinlimmon Farmstead. MRA worked with the Baltimore County Landmark Preservation Commission in evaluating the historic resources, visiting the site, discussing alternative solutions, and developing an overall plan for the preservation of the historic buildings and surrounding grounds. Finally, a community center is planned south of the school, easy walking distance to all the proposed residences.
This project is an excellent example of infill development in an established community and community participation in the land development process.