ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced Wednesday 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 it as open space.

The County will use Program Open Space 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.

The 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,” Ball said. “Moving forward we will continue to work with our partners to protect our green and open spaces.”

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.

CBS Baltimore Staff