Tax dispute stalls veteran housing

Full story: Baltimore Sun

The plans are as ambitious as the $100 million price tag would suggest: a sprawling retirement village for military veterans on the site of a former Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in eastern Baltimore ...
Comments
1 - 4 of 4 Comments Last updated Aug 18, 2008
Fort Ave Eddie

Baltimore, MD

#1 Jul 19, 2008
At first, I enthusiastically embraced this unique project idea and actually thought it might work. As I followed it's organization, implementation & progress (which has been just about NOTHING) for the past 4 years, it has become clear that it has gone from zero to negative and it seems very unlikely that it will now happen.
This is federal bureaucratic bumbling, stumbling and mumbling at it's finest.
Michael Hall

Fort George G Meade, MD

#2 Jul 21, 2008
Am I the only person who sees a reasonable compromise within this story:

- Baltimore Co. provides an expidited review of Zoning for County services.

- Baltimore Co. provides tax exemption for those units that
are used by Veterans and spouses.

- Developer guarantees that units will not require school services (like other counties provide for 55+ developments).

- Developer pays taxes on units that are not housing Veterans, and handles the administration of "proving" that a unit houses a Veteran (anually provides proof of veteran status for units that it is not being taxed for).

-----
Baltimore County should consider this project a "good thing" and consider incorporating it into plans for Senior housing.

The developer should reconsider that it has wasted some amount of money in work to date, and that funds that it pays
in taxes should be able to be passed along to the impacted tenants.

-
ursusdave

Baltimore, MD

#3 Aug 5, 2008
Veterans are being used here as a smoke screen to allow wealthy non-veterans to move into the prime Chesapeake Bay waterfront real estate there at Ft. Howard. Any vets moving there must also have a good income or fat savings account. A goodly number of the proposed housing units will be too expensive even for disabled vets who live on a monthly check for being 100% service connected disabled. But many men who were not drafted during the Vietnam War because they were in college can easily afford to live in the proposed Bayside at Fort Howard. And a few of those non-veteran Vietnam Era college grads may very well move there.

This is land that should only be used for much needed veterans health care. Several times, I was an inpatient at the Ft Howard VA Hospital and it is a perfect place for a new hospital to be built for inpatient and outpatient care for vets who need physical rehabilitation services. Not only do us aging vets need it, many younger vets who have served in today's war zones are suffering from numerous types of combat injuries that result in many of those vets needing long-term physical rehab.

The Baltimore County and State of Maryland and private companiesí gas and electric and water and sewage infrastructure for the Ft. Howard area, Ft. Howard is way out at the end of the North Point Peninsula, simply cannot handle the addition of 1,300 new living units there. Also, older populations require more ambulance services and what is available now will not suffice, and it is a long ride to any hospital. Then the ambo or anyone else leaving Ft. Howard has to drive at least a mile or two on roadway where if there is any heavy traffic or an accident has stopped traffic they have no choice but wait, because there is no other way out of there.

This is the beginning of the end for a lot of veterans health care facilities. There are many more VA properties in prime real estate areas all over America where similar development projects are proposed. It is all about taking from low-income vets and giving to wealthy developers and their clients.

The only people who should be living on Ft Howard VA property, or any other VA medical center property, are hospitalized vets, vets in a nursing home, or full time VA employees living in the homes that were there when the VA received the property. Those great old houses in Ft. Howard are former Army officersí homes, and they are perfect for what the VA had once used them, for keeping top doctors and administrators happily housed close to work; and that helps to insure them to be good, long term employees.

I have been to two public meetings about this project and receive mailings from Federal Development about it. I have talked to many local Baltimore County Marylanders about it. No one who lives in the Fort Howard/Millers Island/Edgemere community whom I have spoken to about this or have exchanged emails with is for the project as it is now proposed. They all want a 300 living unit cap and for veterans only.

I have my name on the list to live in Bayside At Fort Howard. If I canít stop the project then it may as well be me as anybody living there. But I had figured that my meager monthly pension check from the VA, I am declared 100% non-service connected disabled (I am actually service connected but the VA refuses to believe it), I figured it would not be enough income for me to be able to live at Bayside, and I am right. Many of the vets who thought they could maybe afford to live there and are on the waiting list have also realized that they too do not have enough income to live there. So take that into consideration when you are told all about the vets who are being screwed over by Baltimore County for not allowing this project to move forward.

Veterans are being used here as a smoke screen to allow wealthy non-veterans to move into the prime Chesapeake Bay waterfront real estate there at Ft. Howard, and thatís just the way it is.
Mary

Germantown, MD

#4 Aug 18, 2008
This company seems to have many projects on it's website but they refuse to refund back to me my 1000 dollar deposit. This article is a smoke screen to divert attention from Federal Development to blame the VA!

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