Organizations To Renew Fight Against Ballman Tract Rezoning

November 11, 1991|By William C. Ward | William C. Ward,Staff Writer

Neighborhood activists will renew their fight against an absentee landowner who wants to double the number of homes that can be built on an 11.3-acre tract on Ballman Avenue.

The landowner, Georgia Clift, wants her property rezoned R-10 to permit 10 housing units per acre.

Clift, who moved to New Hampshire in 1983, says the R-5 designation, which limits the number of units per acre to five, has scared away potential buyers who want to build town houses there.

A county administrative hearing officer denied her request, and Clift filed an appeal, which will be heard Dec. 18 in Annapolis.

Clift will be opposed by community organizations that say rezoning will increase traffic and pollution and destroy the character of the neighborhood, which consists mostly of single homes.

The opposition is led by the Arundel Improvement Association and the Greater Brooklyn Park Council, an umbrella group of 14 civic associations.

"We are going to mobilize our forces again," vowed Frances Jones, president of the Arundel Improvement Association.

The group bused area residents to a September zoning hearing on the case. Neighbors protested the application and angrily confronted Clift, who had returned to the county to testify.

Clift is a fourth-generation descendant of Henry Ballman, who came to Anne Arundel County in 1851 and developed a large estate in Brooklyn Park. Ballman's house was designated a historic site by the county several years ago.

Clift's attorney, Thomas A. Pavlinic, wants to buy and develop the property with 94 homes, including 86 town houses.

Pavlinic's notice of appeal, filed Sept. 27, claims that the County Council erred when it passed an amendment zoning the property R-5. The Planning Advisory Board had recommended that the property be designated R-15 during the county's last comprehensive rezoning in1989.

"I'm of the opinion that the Planning Advisory Board knows more about zoning than the Hearing Board," Pavlinic said.

The appeal will be heard de novo, meaning all the evidence and testimony willbe heard again, giving Pavlinic a chance to introduce new evidence to prove that the County Council was mistaken when it designated the tract R-5.

To rezone a property in Maryland, the applicant must be able to prove the original zoning is in error.

Jones said BrooklynPark residents will be there by the busload, brandishing petitions and ready to testify.

"(Pavlinic) has no new valid reasons, and thepeople object just as vehemently as they did in September," said said. "There's been no change in their feelings."

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