By Judy Tacyn
How has a community of 261 houses, 20 of them on Old Man Creek of the Magothy, been able to fly under the radar since 1984? Perhaps it’s because Stewart’s Landing is off the beaten path and hidden from the main section of Severna Park. It may be quiet, but the water-privileged community is active, bustling with excitement of children playing year-round.
The Stewart name comes from Stewart Greenebaum, a Baltimore-based real estate developer who now has his name on the cancer center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. He was also the developer of Shipley’s Choice.
The community comes together to make pine swags at Christmastime and sing holiday carols. The numerous events throughout the year include the Penguin Plunge; sock burning; dinner clubs; new neighbor socials; an Easter egg hunt; a cornhole tournament; movie nights at the tot lot; Oktoberfest in the fall with fun rides and crafts for the kids; adult happy hours; Halloween fun; and the popular Around the World Party, which covers five different blocks, each one representing a different country, and once, even the moon.
The community boasts two large wooded areas, a tot lot with a basketball court, a marina, a gated dog park and a wooded walking trail.
Resident for 13 Years
Larry and Sherry Leikin were drawn to Stewart’s Landing because they wanted a family-oriented neighborhood for their three young children that included waterfront and good schools.
“The sidewalks are key!” said Sherry. “Few neighborhoods in this area had them, and I believe it adds to the friendliness of our community. Lots of folks have dogs and it’s safer to push a stroller on a sidewalk. Everyone waves and says hello and you do feel a real part of the community.”
As for what makes Stewart’s Landing unique, Sherry said it’s her neighbors. “The people are the most genuine folks you will ever meet,” she said. “They are truly the best friends I have ever made.”
All three of the Leikin children attended Folger McKinsey Elementary.
“I like to call Severna Park the biggest-smallest town in America,” said Sherry. “Most places have six degrees of separation, but in Severna Park, it’s only two degrees of separation. Everyone knows each other!”
Sherry said the community comes together one Thursday a month to make more than 200 sandwiches for the homeless. And, when the Leikins suffered a sudden and tragic loss, it was those same neighbors who came to their side.
“It was our neighbors in Stewart’s Landing that organized meals for us for almost two months, and when I said I was having difficulty being at home in the evenings, we were welcomed to break bread at so many dinner tables with other families as we were healing,” added Sherry. “It really made a difference to be in this community, and I was so grateful to be in a community that cares.”
Sherry is on the homeowner’s association board, and she is the social chair.
Resident for 16 Years
Dave and Lise Chaisson had been living in Anne Arundel County and knew they wanted their children to go to school in Severna Park.
“We had been searching for homes for a few years but put the search on hold because I was pregnant with our third child and didn’t think moving was realistic,” said Lise. “A realtor we had been working with sent us an open house email and we thought, ‘Why not take a look?’ We came to the open house and fell in love with the layout of the house, the quiet street, mature trees, the community and, of course, our desired school district.”
Like the Leikin family, all of the Chaisson children attended Folger McKinsey and loved their experience. “Our younger two were even bused to Pasadena during the renovation, but it was worth it for a new school,” said Lise.
Lise calls Stewart’s Landing a “hidden gem,” and she wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the community to anyone looking in Severna Park.
“Severna Park has a great sense of community, with like-minded people where the kids come first; excellent schools and teachers; great shops and restaurants,” said Lise.
We have met some of the best friends we could ever ask for, in Stewart’s Landing,” she continued. “They are kind, generous and willing to lend a helping hand without question.”
Dave Chaisson served on the homeowners board for four years, and he also started the sock-burning event.
Resident for Almost Four Years
Stephen and Becky Fox wanted to purchase a home before their oldest son started school. “We drove around Severna Park for several months until we found Stewart’s Landing,” said Becky. “We knew that this would be where we would buy our forever home.”
The Fox family was looking for a community in Severna Park because of the great schools, but they also wanted something that was water privileged, with a fun playground and plenty of community events that offered opportunities to build friendships with neighbors.
“Stewart’s Landing checked all of our boxes,” said Becky. “Our community is a great mix of young families, original residents and everyone in between. Everyone gets along and looks forward to spending time together. There is pride in and love for our community and its wonderful residents. We help each other out and work together to keep the community looking great and running well.”
About a year and a half ago, Becky had a major surgery. She said her neighbors were like family.
“It was a long recovery, but some amazing friends that just happen to be my neighbors put together a meal train for my family of six,” said Becky. “We had full, hot dinners hand-delivered to our house. This occurred every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for six full weeks. Some of the people in the meal train we knew, however, there were others that I met for the first time. We are blessed to have so many incredible neighbors and friends!”
Becky decorates the community and is a member of the garden club. Stephen is the secretary for the HOA board.