Dirt, crime and development dominated discussion during a bimonthly meeting of Brooklyn Park community leaders and elected officials Thursday night.
The Greater Brooklyn Park Council, an umbrella organization representing 13 community groups, also elected officers during the 2 -hour meeting at the Northern District police station.
Rick Bittner was re-elected president; Bob Moore, an officer of the Arundel Improvement Association, was elected vice president; Arlene Hodges, president of the Old Brooklyn Park Improvement Association,was elected secretary; and Rosemary Sholmer was re-elected treasurer.
In other action, Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, D-Brooklyn Park, reassured the council that a 17-acre gravel pit at Belle Grove and Old Annapolis roads would not be designated as a rubble landfill.
A last-minute out-of-court settlement ended an ongoing dispute between the county and the Belle Grove Corp. in January. The agreement allows the company to continue accepting sand and dirt without a rubble permit, but also gives the county the right to inspect and regulate the pit under rubble landfill guidelines.
At least 70 Brooklyn Park residentsrallied in support of the company -- which said it had no desire to operate a rubble landfill -- after officials announced that new legislation regulating such landfills applied to the gravel pit as well.
"We were concerned that if the county designated it as a rubble landfill, we'd end up with rubble instead of clean fill," Bittner said. "We thought it would lead to more traffic, dirt and debris."
The council was reassured that the settlement ended that threat.
In other business, the council heard a presentation by police Lt. Ronald France on keeping the neighborhood safe. The Northern District shift commander discussed the Neighborhood Watch program and offered tips on crime-fighting.
The council also debated supporting the Arundel Improvement Association in protesting a proposed town house developmentoff Ballman Avenue.
More than 40 residents in the area hope to preserve the 11-acre property most noted for a large, historic house. But owner Georgia Clift, whose family lived in the house for 47 years,has moved to New Hampshire and wants to sell the land.
Developer Tom Pavlinic has proposed building 115 clustered town homes on the property, designated as a historic site because the manor house dates to 1894. He has offered to renovate the original house and turn it into a community center.
Pavlinic needs a zoning exemption to build clustered town homes, because the property's R-5 zoning prohibits clustered developments without permission from the county zoning administrator. He could build more than 70 non-clustered town houses under the current zoning.
Though members of the Greater Brooklyn Park Council agreed the planned density appears high, they also saw a trade-off in getting a community center. The council decided to "kind of reserve judgment" and not immediately back the protest, Bittner said.