County Denies Rubble Fill, Cites Area Incompatibility

March 21, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

The county has denied a proposal from a Silver Spring-based company to develop a rubble landfill in the Forks of Patuxent area of Odenton.

An administrative hearing officer agreed with nearby residents that a landfill is not compatible with surrounding communities becauseroad improvements suggested by the Halle companies wouldn't be enough to handle the estimated 250 trucks driving in and out every day.

"(The) applicant has failed to establish that the development will not have adverse impact on public health, safety and welfare," wrote Thomas G. Ross, the administrative hearing officer.

"(The applicant) must first meet its burden of establishing that there are adequate facilities, including roadways," Ross said.

"Having failed to meet that burden, the application must be denied," he wrote.

The Halle companies had proposed the landfill for 220 acres within a 480-acre parcel off Patuxent Road.

Company officials testified that the company would shore up steep cliffs and improve the safety of area properties.

They also said the company would fill in areas near homes that eventually could be in danger ofcaving in.

The company alsopledged to plant trees as a buffer to the landfill operation and offered to improve roads -- including widening Patuxent and Conway roadsand the intersection of Md. 3 and Route 424.

It also said it would pay for security and a county inspector to work permanently at the landfill.

The County Office of Planning and Zoning recommended that the proposal be turned down, faulting the developer for not adequately addressing the amount of traffic a landfill would bring and for wanting to work too close to residential areas.

Edwin Dosek, president of the Crofton Civic Association, testified that the intersection at Md. 3 and Route 424 already is overburdened, and any more traffic forced on it would be a disaster for the community.

"I'm glad the hearing officer listened to the plea of the communities in regards to the safety issue," Dosek said yesterday. "Frankly, it just had to come out that way. I'm pleased."

Residents of Woodwardville and Wilson Town complained that their concerns were being overlooked by thedevelopers.

Raymond Murdock, who lives on Conway Road in Wilson Town, said he was surprised that thecounty ruled against the landfill.

"We were hoping that the evidence all of us presented to the hearing officer would make him think for a while before making his decision," Murdock said.

"We didn't want a blind decision."

At the hearing, Murdock said he was planning to ask the NAACP for help, not because the two communities are primarily black, but because they weresmall and not taken seriously.

"We needed some help," said Murdock, who is black. "Many people thought that if they spoke up against the project, if it were approved, a lot would happen and they wouldn'thave any say about it.

"A lot of people were afraid to speak up and say anything against the project," Murdock explained.

Halle officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The company has30 days to file an appeal with the County Board of Appeals.

Murdock said he would be willing to sit down with Halle officials to discuss the project, but he is just waiting to see what the company's nextmove will be.

"We won Round 1," he said.

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