Baltimore County Executive & Council,
Baltimore County Planning Office &
Baltimore County School Board
Towson, MD 21204
Re: Sparrows Point Middle/High Schools Overcrowding
Dear Baltimore County Government Elected and Employed:
This Friday September 13, 2019 at 10 am – 11 am at the Jefferson building Room 205, 105 Chesapeake Avenue, Towson Maryland 21204 a Development Plan Hearing-Sparrows Point County Club Estates PUD for the proposed constriction of 66 Single Family Homes, 53 Villas, and 193 Townhomes on a portion if the existing county club property will convene.
In light of the above mention hearing, kindly review the attachments and the following regarding Sparrows Point Middle/High School overcrowding.
In November 2017 Baltimore County Public High School Capacity Study held its final meeting at Bear Creek Elementary. During the meeting the study blunder not addressing Sparrows Point Sparrows Point Middle and Sparrow Point High Schools sharing the same physical facilities was uncovered.
A press release, “Sparrows Point Country Club Development,” from Baltimore County 7th Councilman’s Office (attached) admirably speaks of a three pronged vision to “reverse the downward spiral and revitalize a community of over 100,000 people re-create the job base, increase the quality of the housing stock, and reenergize the commercial corridors,” and Developer Craftsmen’s Country Club Estate role realizing that vision.
However, that three pronged vision did not take into consideration Baltimore County 7th District taxpayer’s number one concern: School Overcrowding.
And although the “Sparrows Point Country Club Development,” statement lauds of inclusiveness “the adjacent communities, both by shared boundaries and by a school district, were consulted and a list of capital projects, some for new community amenities and some to pay homage to our rich history, were negotiated,” the disconcerting reality is only three community associations were consulted: North Point Village Civic Association (home of Developer Craftsmen’s recent Admirals Landing), Well-McComas Improvement Association, and North Point Peninsula as listed in the attached page four of Country Club Estates Development Proposal submitted November 2017.
NOT consulted were the “adjacent communities, both by shared boundaries and by a school district,” of Lynch Point, Lodge Forrest, Lodge Farm, West Inverness Charlesmont, Cedarcrest, Millers Island, Denton Avenue, Todds Farm, Bear Creek, Jones Creek, Sparrows Point, Penwood Terrace, Battle Acre, Shaw’s Discovery, Beechwood Estates, and Historic Fort Howard.
County Public High School’s November 2017 High School Capacity Study final meeting,
Country Club Estates Developer Craftsmen Homes attended the 7th
District Civic Council of Baltimore County March 2018 meeting fielding questions
of the additional overcrowding Developer Craftsmen’s Country Club Estates will
induce at overcrowded Point Sparrows Point Middle and Sparrow Point High.
Developer Craftsmen was mute on that issue.
Then later in August 2018, Baltimore County Department of Planning hosted a Public Input Hearing at the proposed development site, Sparrows Point County Club. And at that Hearing Developer Craftsmen and Developer’s architect D.S. Thaler were again challenged to respond to additional overcrowding Developer Craftsmen’s Country Club Estates will induce at Sparrows Point Middle and Sparrow Point High Schools.
And again, Developer Craftsmen and Developer’s architect D.S. Thaler and Associates remained mute.
The excerpt below of an attached letter dated August 30, 2018 sent to the Baltimore County Council addressed the Point Sparrows Point Middle and Sparrow Point High School’s pernicious overcrowding and Developer Craftsmen’s Country Club Estates inducing additional overcrowding.
A Planned Unit Development presently under construction known as “Shaws Discovery,” is located within the school boundaries of Sparrows Point Middle and Sparrows Point High Schools. Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) has determined once Shaw Discovery is built-out Sparrows Point Middle will be a t 103% capacity and Sparrows Point High will be at 114% capacity. Of great concern is another Planned Unit Development being processed within the school boundaries of Sparrows Point Middle and Sparrows Point High Schools known as “County Club Estates.” Country Club Estates per the PUD applicant’s statement of Projected Impacts of Development describes in page 4 (attached) “children of Country Club Estates will attend both Sparrows Point Middle and Sparrows Point High Schools generating 33 middle school student and 46 high school students with the proposed density of 312 units (4 units per acre) in addition to the students added from the Shaws Discovery PUD.
Sparrows Point High School’s State Rated Capacity is 871 students, the additional Country Club Estates 46 students will elevate student capacity to 119% for a total of 1035 students.
Sparrows Point Middle capacity will elevate to 109% with 33 additional Country Club Estates students totaling 625 students.
Clearly increased school overcrowding from the Country Club Estates PUD will detrimentally affect the quality of education Baltimore County Public Schools is charged by both legal statutes and taxpayers to deliver.
To date, the Baltimore County Executive, Council, Baltimore County Planning Office, Baltimore County School Board, or Developer Craftsmen have not even acknowledged, much less, responded to its content of the sent August 2019 letter.
Attached is a 2006 Baltimore County office of Planning Memorandum addressing the impact of projects with a residential component on public school facilities.
.05. Development Approval in an Overcrowded School District
- If it is determined that the proposed development is located in an overcrowded school district or that the proposed development would result in a school district becoming an overcrowded school district, the School Impact Analysis shall determine whether:
(1) The redevelopment of residential property meets the requirements of § 32-6-103(f)(1) of the Baltimore County Code, 2003;
(2) The Baltimore County Capital Budget contains a capital project that meets the requirements of Section § 32-6-103(f)(2) of the Baltimore County Code, 2003;
(3) Subject to Section B. of this regulation, any comparable school in a district
adjacent to the overcrowded school district has sufficient capacity that meets the requirements of § 32-6-103(f)(3) of the Baltimore County Code, 2003; or
(4) The Board of Education has approved a plan that meets the requirements of §32-6-103(f)(4) of the Baltimore County Code, 2003.
B. In determining sufficient capacity for the adjacent school district, approved plans will be considered in a similar manner as the school district in question. When the subject school district is determined to be overcrowded, spare capacity from adjacent school districts may only be used to mitigate an overcrowded school district to the point when the adjacent school districts reach not more than 115% of the state-rated capacity. The available adjacent spare capacity will be reduced as residential development projects utilize adjacent spare capacity to receive development approval. The adjacent spare capacity will be reduced by order of the approval date for the residential development that utilizes the adjacent spare capacity. The utilization of the adjacent spare capacity will be carried forward for four years or until the subject residential development is completely built.
Country Club Estates does not meet the Baltimore County Code Article 32 requirements.
Once again, the 7th District Civic Council of Baltimore County February 2019 two-hour meeting was devoted to the Sparrows Point Middle and High School overcrowding. Present were Sparrows Point Middle and High School administrators and teachers, Parent Teacher Association leadership, parents, students, Bear Creek Elementary School teachers and administrators, 7th District Baltimore County School Board Member , Sparrows Point High School Alumni President, and other prominent community members of, Beechwood Estates, Millers Island, Lodge Farm, Lodge Forrest, Lynch Point, Sparrows Point, community leadership of Norwood-Holabird, Eastfield -Stansbrook, Colgate, Gray Manor, Graceland Park, Rosedale, Dunlogan, Fort Howard, and Dundalk Farms (to name a few).
Now, after two years of lengthy consultation with parents, school board members, Baltimore County Public School principals and staff, Parent Teacher Association leadership, 7th District Civic Council of Baltimore County leadership, and other stakeholders, no “community benefit,” has been identified Developer Craftsmen can offer that will compensate the detrimental effects additional overcrowding imposes on our Sparrows Point Middle and High School students, their teachers, their administrators, and the taxpayer.
Baltimore County land usage policy experts would surely agree a working definition in the Baltimore County 2020 Master Plan describing what we have before us, Unsustainability,” and “Stupid Growth,” would read,
“the additional residential development in existing overcrowded Baltimore County Public School Districts inducing additional Baltimore County Public School overcrowding in those said Districts (i.e. Sparrows Point Middle and High Schools).”
Laughable (if it were not true).
Given all the above, on behalf of the Baltimore County Sparrows Point Middle and High School parents, students, teachers, staff, administrator, and taxpayers, it is respectfully demanded of the Baltimore County Executive and Council, Baltimore County Planning Office and the Baltimore County School Board:
IMMEDIATE cessation of residential development, including infill, inducing additional school overcrowding in the already overcrowded Sparrows Point Middle and High Schools;
That no further development, that would induce additional school overcrowding in the already overcrowded Sparrows Point Middle and High School District, be permitted until proper school facilities and infrastructure are in place BEFORE any additional development is approved and started;
That the social equity rights of all Baltimore County stakeholders/taxpayer’s are realistically upheld equally.
And that the Baltimore County Executive, the Baltimore County Council, the Baltimore County Planning Office & the Baltimore County School Board clearly and unequivocally demonstrate to our children and taxpaying parents, and to our dedicated Baltimore County Public School teachers and administrators, that Baltimore County education quality is non-negotiable by opposing the Developer Craftsmen’s Country Club Estates Development at this Friday September 13, 2019 at 10 am Hearing until such time the Sparrows Point Middle and High School overcrowding and infrastructure issues have been resolved to the satisfaction of all Sparrows Point Middle and High School District stakeholders.
Please call me if I can be of further assistance and thank you in advance for your uncompromised support of our children’s education and the voting taxpayers of Baltimore County in this matter.
Most respectfully yours,