Bay Ridge Land

Historical Railroad tie at Farragut/West Lake

Historical Railroad tie found at Farragut/West Lake – Nov. 2013

Almost a third of the Bay Ridge peninsula, more than 110 acres, is community-owned undeveloped land designated for the use of property owners and residents. This land comprises of two main areas and two minor areas:

Two Main Areas:
• The Bay Ridge Woods
• The Bay Ridge Commons

Two Minor Areas:
• Kass Park
• BRCA Herndon Avenue Property

Certain restrictions govern our use of these areas in order to preserve the land, to encourage the health of its vegetation and its adjacent waterways, and to protect other creatures, such as threatened forest interior nesting birds, that depend on our woodlands for survival. Our undeveloped woodland absorbs and filters storm-water to recharge the aquifers that supply our wells and slows runoff into adjacent lakes and the Chesapeake to diminish erosion and lessen the amount of pollutants swept into the water.


The Bay Ridge Woods covers about 90 contiguous acres along Farragut Road and West Lake Drive from the Chrisland Cove boundary, Black Walnut Creek, and Lake Ogleton inward across Hull Avenue and, to the north of Farragut, to the junction of East and West Lake Drives. A smaller area of the Woods lies between Bancroft and Lawrence Avenues, and other small parcels are scattered about the community. The Bay Ridge Woods is subject to conservation easements, which limit use and promote restoration of the woods to the healthy coastal plains forest it should be.

Details on the Conservation Easements, the Forest Stewardship Plans, environmental studies, and the activities of the Forest Management Committee can be found in other sections of this website. (links)


The Bay Ridge Commons is reserved for the use of property owners, residents, and their guests. It includes the strip of land and beaches along the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay and Severn River between Bay and River Drives and the high-water mark. It also includes platted paths—Bagley, Porter, Clark, and Worden—and the extensions of certain streets—Mayo, Bainbridge, and Sands—that offer access to the Lake Ogleton.

The entire Commons is in the state-designated Chesapeake Bay Critical Area. BRCA worked with the Anne Arundel County government to develop the required buffer management plan, which balances use of the land with the need for its protection. Compliance with this plan is mandatory:

  • Do not cut trees or shrubs in these areas
  • Do not dump cuttings or yard waste over the banks
  • Do not use herbicides
  • Do not store boats on fragile beach grasses
  • Do not park cars or trailers on the commons, paths, or street ends.

We must protect these important common areas, especially the fragile strip of land along the bay and river shoreline. Since the 1930s Bay Ridge property owners have paid a special tax to fund erosion control measures. Without community-based funding and the volunteer efforts of community erosion experts, we would not have the beaches and beach access we enjoy today. Please do your part to conserve them.

In addition to the two major categories of community land, there are two minor ones: Kass Park and the Herndon Avenue property.


Kass Park, on West Lake Drive, is four acres cleared for ball fields with limited seating and parking. It can be used by residents and invited guests for games and recreation. The park was named years ago for Garfield and Rose Kass, principals in Bay Ridge Properties Inc., the last developers of Bay Ridge.


This 2½ acre site contains the pool, pool parking lot, beach in front of the pool, and access along the beach to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation property. Use of the pool enclosure is restricted to members and their guests, except in cases where rental arrangements have been made with the Bay Ridge Pool Association.  The pool parking lot, beach front, and grounds may be used by all residents.

The adjacent land of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is available to residents on a limited basis. By formal agreement, CBF grants Bay Ridge residents access to its grounds on the conditions that we do not interfere with CBF activities and stay away from the office building and parking lots. Access to their 31-acre site includes use of the beach on weekdays from sunrise to 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM till sunset and on weekends and holidays from sunrise to sunset. Residents can also explore the Black Walnut Creek shoreline within the 100-foot buffer zone and the woods that stretch over to Herndon. (Should the agreement be posted here?)