4.8-acre property, once targeted for development, to become public open space
County Executive Calvin Ball today announced the closing on the Savage remainder property, a five-acre parcel located to the west of Savage Mill, for $1.725 million. Howard County has now officially taken ownership of the property and will preserve the property as open space. The County will use Program Open Space (POS) – state funding designated for outdoor recreation and open space areas for public use – to complete this transaction.
Development of the Savage remainder property has long been controversial due to its environmental significance. This property has been the target of proposed development since 2013, transitioning through iterations ranging from 15 units per acre to a maximum of 35 units. The Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks will now preserve the property as open space available for use by the public.
“We listened to and heard the concerns from the Savage community and will preserve this valuable green space that connects to Savage Park while contributing to the quality of life of all our residents,” said Ball. “Moving forward we will continue to work with our partners to protect our green and open spaces. Thank you to our District 13 representatives and our State Delegation for prioritizing Program Open Space funding, and the expansion of parkland in Howard County, which helped us bring this project into fruition.”
“Especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we see the critical importance of providing open space for communities” said Councilwoman Christiana Rigby. “I am so grateful that County Administration has worked with the Savage community to preserve this important ecological area in southeastern Howard County, and I look forward to future public use of the Savage remainder land.”
The property is designated by the State of Maryland as a Targeted Ecological Area, reserved for lands and watersheds of high ecological value that have been identified as conservation priorities. Additionally, the property is part of Howard County’s Green Infrastructure Network that connects ecologically valuable forests, wetlands, meadows, waterways and other natural areas.
“The department received a Maryland Department of Natural Resources Program Open Space grant to pay for land costs to further protect the Little Patuxent River while adding acreage to Savage Park,” said Director of Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks Raul Delerme. “The county actively pursued this acquisition of property with the support of the Savage Community Association and looks forward to working with them in the coming years to determine the best use for this new parkland.”
“We are pleased to have completed the sale of this property adjoining Historic Savage Mill to Howard County to become part of the Savage Park,” said Jay Winer, General Managing Partner of Savage Mill. “We look forward to working with the County in the future on plans for the park land to benefit the community and highlight historic Savage Mill.”
“We are indebted to the widespread support for preserving this parcel from citizens and organizations on the local, state, and national level. But it is ultimately Dr. Ball’s recognition of the environmental and historic significance of this land which got us over the goal line. The Savage Community will be forever grateful,” said Susan Garber, Savage Community Advocate.