Jared Kushner-owned company fined as negligent property owner in White Marsh, Essex

Code ViolationsBaltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz revealed on Thursday the existence of more than 200 code violations in apartments owned by the Kushner Companies in Baltimore County, all accrued in the current calendar year.

After threatening to withhold HUD rental payments and levy fines, necessary repairs were made in all but nine properties. Those nine un-repaired properties resulted in withholding of HUD rental payments and issuance of $3,500 in County fines.

“Contrary to the assertions of the Kushner Cos. that they are in compliance with local laws, our inspectors identified and cited more than 200 code violations in properties owned by Jared Kushner,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Repairs were made only after the County threatened to withhold rent or issue fines. And in nine instances, we had to carry through with threatened sanctions. We expect all landlords to comply with the code requirements that protect the health and safety of their tenants, even if the landlord’s father-in-law is President of the United States.”

In a recent statement, Christine Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Kushner Cos., stated, “We are in compliance with all state and local laws.”

“It is a stretch of truth to assert they are in compliance with all laws when more than 200 code violations were observed by our inspectors in just the past 10 months,” said Kamenetz.

Kushner Cos. own 701 HUD-supported units in Baltimore County. Year-to-date, inspectors discovered 173 failures to meet standards. Only when HUD funds were threatened to be withheld were necessary repairs made. In six cases, HUD payments were withheld by the County in order to mandate the repairs.

In other Kushner owned units, County inspectors issued 35 correction notices. Necessary repairs were made to all but three properties, where fines were issued totaling $3,500. Five new complaints were recently received and are still under investigation by County code inspectors.

“Baltimore County will continue to be vigilant it its effort to ensure that residents of Mr. Kushner’s properties have healthy and safe places to live,” concluded Kamenetz.

Kushner Cos. owns 13 apartment complexes in Baltimore County: Carriage Hill, Carroll Park, Charlesmont, Commons at White Marsh, Cove Village, Essex Park, Fontana Village, Gwynn Oaks Landing, Harbor Point Estates, Highland Village Townhomes, Morningside Park, Riverview Townhomes, and Whispering Woods.

Kamenetz advances purchase of 160 acres for open space in Essex

Baltimore CountyMore than 160 acres will add to the open space in Essex as Baltimore County prepares to acquire properties off Barrison Point Road.

The property, in a Resource Conservation Critical Area, includes eight parcels of land that will be maintained as passive open space.

“I am pleased to add this significant open space in Essex to help ensure that we, and future generations, can continue to be good stewards of our environment,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

With approval by the County Council at a November 6 legislative session, the property will be purchased with $1 million in Baltimore County capital and State Program Open Space funds.

Mount Vista task force recommends regional park with community-friendly uses

Baltimore CountyA task force appointed by Councilman David Marks has recommended consolidating several parcels along Raphel Road to create a new Kingsville Regional Park.

In the summer of 2017, Councilman Marks assembled a task force to recommend uses for the former Mount Vista Park property in Kingsville. The task force was chaired by local resident Bill Paulshock and included leaders from area recreation councils and civic organizations. After several meetings, the task force has endorsed the following recommendations.

The Rutkowski Farm (owned by the Maryland Transportation Authority) should be transferred to Baltimore County in exchange for the Schmidt property, presently owned by the county. The Rutkowski Farm and Mount Vista Park would become one regional recreation area.

The westernmost area of this regional recreation area would have passive uses, such as trails and picnic pavilions, as well as a small playground. The easternmost area would have more active uses so that traffic and any noise is focused on the part of the park with fewer residential neighbors. It is recommended that two restrooms service the recreation area, spread appropriately throughout the park.

It is recommended that four large fields (110’ x 65’ feet) and four short fields (80’ x 50’) serve the easternmost area, and that at least one of the large fields have artificial turf. Ground should also be reserved in this area for a future indoor recreation facility. The facility will have dawn-to-dusk hours and none of the fields will be lighted.

The task force is opposing any extension of public water/sewer to this area. It is recommended that this area be renamed “Kingsville Regional Park” and that the current Kingsville Park be renamed “Franklinville Park.”

“We would like a transfer to occur as soon as possible, but if that cannot happen, we want to provide a blueprint for this property for the next County Executive,” Councilman Marks commented.

Over the past seven years, Councilman Marks has worked to open four new parks in Perry Hall and to renovate the current park on Franklinville Road.

Bill Paulshock, the chairman of the task force, thanked the members for their hard work. “We have developed a consensus that will advance the idea of a regional park with community-friendly uses,” Paulshock said.

Both Marks and Paulshock noted that the park concept will need to be done in stages due to cost.

Task force to look at future of Kingsville’s Mount Vista Park

Kingsville MDBaltimore County Councilman David Marks on Wednesday announced the creation of a task force to recommend future uses for Mount Vista Park and the Schmidt property in Kingsville.

The 111-acre Mount Vista Park, formerly a golf course, was purchased by Baltimore County in 2008. The 27-acre Schmidt property was purchased by the county in 2007. The parcels are located to the east of Interstate-95 on Raphel Road.

“Mount Vista Park and the adjacent Schmidt property are largely unused by Baltimore County residents,” Councilman Marks said. “I want to develop recommendations for future uses that are sensitive to nearby neighbors, and can be funded by the County Executive who takes office late next year. These recommendations will look at what should occur at the properties, as well as lighting, traffic, and other issues associated with future activity.”

The task force will be chaired by Bill Paulshock, a longtime leader in area recreation programs. Members will include Brian Coats, Catherine Fleury, Tom Kneeshaw, Terry Nolan, Shawne O’Connor, Chuck Satmary, Pat Schmidt, and Sally Wagner. These include both recreation council volunteers and longtime residents.

Since 2010, Councilman Marks has worked with community leaders to open four new parks have in northeastern Baltimore County: Angel Park; Gough Park, Perry Paw Dog Park, and Soukup Park. Additionally, he brokered an agreement to add 11 acres to Honeygo Park near Ebenezer Road.