As many of you may know, the permitting process at Loch Raven has changed for permit holders who purchased their first permit in 2016 or later. The process may change even further. There is a plan at Baltimore Recreation and Parks (BCR&P) that all permit holders, even those who have had permits for decades, will have to go into a lottery for a chance to win access to buying a permit every year.
After hearing of this proposal, two other concerned boaters and I, met with BCR&P, managers Chris McCollum and Kevin McCommas to discuss alternatives to their proposed changes.
BCR&P is motivated by the goal of providing access to the reservoir to everyone, equally. In their view, this goal is limited by parking lot constraints. Unfortunately, their solution (a lottery system) does not increase access to more people. This plan simply creates a system that will remove access from one customer to hand that access to another person. None of us want to lose access to permits, nor do we want to lose our substantial investment in our reservoir boats.
We have proposed an alternate plan to BCR&P that provides access to more permit holders, and will not put additional pressure on the parking lot. It is a great plan that will allow all permit holders to renew every year. Based on 2016 permits applications, this plan would allow for all permit requests to be provided access in 2018. There should even be excess permits.
BCR&P is receptive to this plan and is negotiating in good faith to provide a solution that meets all of our needs. With that in mind, I request that anyone who is renewing permits this year, understand that this is a cordial negotiation that we believe will meet the needs of all parties. There is no need to give Kevin a hard time when you pick up your permits. He is involved in the negotiations and antagonism won’t help. Please take the high road.
We will keep you informed.