Gravel Regulations Could Be Eased

May 01, 1991|By Elise Armacost | Elise Armacost,Staff writer

Two County Council members will try to make life easier for Anne Arundel's sand and gravel operators tonight.

Councilman David G. Boschert, D-Crownsville, will resurrect a proposal limiting inspection fees to be paid by sand and gravel operators. Councilwoman Diane R. Evans, R-Arnold, plans to introduce an amendment allowing excavators to sell their product on Saturdays.

Citizens have opposed Saturday sales at several previous hearingson a tough new bill regulating the sand and gravel industry, sponsored by Council chairwoman Virginia P. Clagett, D-West River. Evans said her amendment would protect neighbors from negligent truckers by requiring the Department of Public Works to intervene if certain trucksbecome a problem.

"If they become a problem, Public Works can come in and regulate them. This way, we'rezeroing in on the problem areas, not the whole industry," Evans said.

Boschert's amendment wouldset a $2,000 cap on inspection fees for operations of 49 acres or less and a $3,500 limit on those greater than 50 acres.

As written, Clagett's bill says the fee must be sufficient to cover the cost of inspections and the review of plans and specifications.

"I'm concerned about letting the county have carte blanche on issues such as this," said Boschert.

Last month, the council voted down Boschert's amendment to a new sand and gravel bill capping the fees at $1,500 foroperations of 49 acres or less and $3,000 for those of more than 50 acres. The amendment failed, 3-3, in Boschert's absence.

Clagett and Maureen Lamb, D-Annapolis, and Edward Middlebrooks, D-Severn, alsoopposed the cap, saying they wanted to make sure the countyhas enough money to regulate sand and gravel pits properly. Council members Diane R. Evans, R-Arnold, George Bachman, D-Linthicum, and Carl G. "Dutch" Holland, R-Pasadena, supported the amendment, saying it protects businesses from an excessive financial burden.

Because the county charter prohibits council members from reintroducing an amendment once it has been defeated, Boschert increased the fees by $500 in his new proposal.

"I was kind of reluctant to increase it," Boschert said. "I am trying to honor (the other council members') request for an increased capital, but not to the point where it's going to be outrageous."

Also scheduled for tonight's council meeting:

* A hearing on an amended version of a new animal control ordinance. The bill regulates owners of 10 or more cats, requires licensing for grooming parlors, raises dog license fees, and sets stricter standards for pet care.

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