Taking Issue with " 'No Growth' Hysteria"Editor: Your July...


August 03, 1991

Taking Issue with " 'No Growth' Hysteria"

Editor: Your July 27 editorial, " 'No Growth' Hysteria in Howard," is an example of sensationalism.

The editorial referred to "about 2,000 people ultimately living in 937 dwellings." This amounts to 2.13 people per dwelling. I doubt the accuracy of that figure. No mention was made of the 6,300 people expected to work in the employment centers.

You noted the "services and jobs and business opportunities in that part of the county." The Columbia town center is a 20-minute drive from the proposed site and the U.S. 40 business corridor extends from the Baltimore County line to almost Marriottsville Road. Where are the "non-residential roads" other than Interstate 70 to which "the added traffic would be channeled"? I believe the homeowners living along Route 99 and Marriottsville Road, the only other roads bordering the 682-acre site, would disagree with the phrase "non-residential roads".

Apparently The Sun feels the local residents have no "list of positives" against the proposed change to the present zoning.

` Roger D. Hall. Marriottsville.

Editor: In response to your editorial, " 'No Growth' Hysteria in Howard," pardon our hysteria. We are fighting to preserve a very special environment.

The Waverly Woods project is exactly what rural western Howard County doesn't need. Even the name, which includes the word "woods," gives pause. The area is wooded, but this development will destroy the woods. Why do developers feel compelled to name their projects after whatever they destroy in creating them?

What problems will this massive development in a largely rural residential area create? The landfill is almost full. A new site has not been identified. Where will all the excess trash created by 937 homes, a golf course and a 327-acre industrial park be disposed of? Taxpayers certainly will wind up footing a substantially increased burden to handle this problem.

Water and sewer service will have to be extended into the area. Where is all the water supposed to come from? Baltimore is hard-pressed to keep up with present demand. It seems that each summer brings water-use restrictions. What improvements

will have to be made to the sewer capacity to accommodate all the extra water, given that it can be piped in?

Two golf courses already exist in close proximity to the proposed one. Wilcox Springs just opened a few weeks ago. The other, and older, established course at Turf Valley is operating at less than 50 percent of its capacity. What on earth do we need with a third course?

Anyone familiar with Route 99 knows it is running out of traffic-handling capacity. How expensive will it be for the taxpayers to improve the road to handle this new mass of business and residential traffic? How much of the road's present scenic charm will remain when it is straightened and widened to four or six lanes?

Where will the extra classrooms come from to service the children in those 937 new homes crowded onto 302 acres? How about police and fire protection? Who will pay for those capacity increases?

There is a great deal of empty commercial real estate in Columbia and the surrounding area already. How much additional excess capacity will this new 372-acre industrial park create?

Developer Donald R. Reuwer Jr. is quoted as saying that he expects an adequate public facilities ordinance to be in place long before construction begins.

Such an ordinance may or may not be in place, but even if it is, this development will have a profoundly negative impact on land values, quality of life and taxation burden for those of us who live in the area.

Waverly Woods would be a great idea if it were proposed for an area such as Baltimore, Montgomery County, Prince Georges County or Northern Virginia, where extremely heavy development has already destroyed any semblance of the quiet, rural life western Howard County has always represented.

You view heavy development of Howard County as desirable. We who live here and wish to keep our beautiful rural area from becoming another Fairfax County see heavy development as a threat to our way of life. Taken in that context, perhaps our "hysteria" is understandable and even justified.

% Charles A. Aston. Ellicott City.

Mikulski's Money

Editor: A recent article in The Sun reported that Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., has raised a $1 million campaign war chest, hoping to deter opponents in her 1992 re-election bid.

Some 35 percent of that money came from fund raisers in Alabama, California, Ohio and New York. Excuse me, but isn't Ms. Mikulski representing the citizens of the of Maryland?

How come $132,000 from other states is financing the campaign of a person many Marylanders are very displeased with?

If this practice is allowed to continue, it is possible that her huge campaign blitz could overpower any other candidate, no matter how qualified or responsive to Maryland citizens.

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