Evans Proposes Plan To Keep Shipley's, Split Severn

December 18, 1991|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

Councilwoman Diane R. Evans has proposed a new redistricting plan that would keep Shipley's Choice and most of her district intact.

But the plan would move Elvaton and Riverdale out of her district and further split Severn in District 2, drawing opposition from Severn leaders.

The council approved the redistricting changes Monday night. A public hearing on the latest plan is slated for Jan. 6. The council must vote on the proposal by late January or the bill will expire.

Evans, R-Arnold, represents District 5, by far the most populous of theseven council districts. District 5 must lose 7,000 residents to reach the target of 61,000 residents per district. The plan Evans introduced would reduce the district by 5,000 people, to about 63,000.

"This is about as many as I can take back within the legal limit," Evans said.

The council is required to redraw council-district boundaries to reflect population changes recorded in the 1990 U.S. Census. Previous efforts to balance the population in Evans' district drew protests from Berrywood and Lower Broadneck residents.

At a public hearing last month, Shipley's Choice residents protested the latest redistricting plan, which would have split their community. The plan was sponsored by Council Chairman David G. Boschert, D-Crownsville, andwas co-sponsored by Evans and Council members Carl "Dutch" Holland, R-Pasadena, and George Bachman, D-Linthicum.

The plan Evans proposed Monday, introduced in the form of amendments to Boschert's bill, was drafted by Al Johnston and other members of the Greater Severna Park Council.

Evans, Boschert, Holland and Bachman voted for the newplan. The proposal needs five votes for approval, but so far, no other council member has voiced support for the bill. Council members Virginia Clagett, D-West River, Maureen Lamb, D-Annap

olis, and Edward Middlebrooks, D-Severn, abstained on the new plan, saying they needed time to study the changes.

Evans' plan would keep Shipley's Choice and five other communities in District 5. It would move Riverdale, Riverdale Forest, West Riverdale and East Earleigh Heights to District 3, represented by Holland, and West Elvaton to District 2, Middlebrooks' area.

District 4, represented by Boschert, would pick up Sherwood Forest from Lamb's district and a small piece of Severn fromMiddlebrooks' district. Boschert's district would be the smallest ofthe new districts, at 58,000 people.

The plan upset Severn community leaders, who have lobbied to have their community placed in a single district. Severn is already split among three councilmanic districts.

"They did not hear us at all," said Bob McMurtrie, head of the Greater Severn Improvement Association. "That's why we want our owndistrict. This is back-room Anne Arundel County politics-as-usual. Constituents don't mean anything to them."

Critics of Boschert's plan have charged the council chairman wants to keep politically powerful Crofton out of his district, a charge he denies.

Evans defendedthe plan as the best for all county residents.

"We feel this is the best bill for the county," she said. "If this bill expires, it leaves open everything from a nine-member council to any other permutation any other council member wants to submit."

In other action Monday night, the County Council:

* Rescinded changes the council madelast month to an administration bill reforming the commercial bingo industry.

The administration had warned that the changes, which would have increased prize winnings, might encourage organized crime toinfiltrate bingo parlors.

The changes would have doubled the maximum single-game prize -- from $500 to $1,000 -- at the county's five commercial bingo parlors and reduced the time between games offering a

$20,000 prize, from 90 days to 60 days.

Boschert asked a new county Amusement License Commission to study prize amounts and reportback to the council in six months.

The bingo bill is set for a final vote Jan. 6.

* Approved a 90-day moratorium on a new law allowing non-boating, recreational piers. Waterfront community associations protested the law, proposed by Evans, saying it would open county waterways to scores of new piers.

Evans said the groups misunderstood the law, which she said merely codified county practice. However, the councilwoman said she will meet with the groups and introduce a new bill in January.

* Approved a bill increasing the time the county Board of Appeals has to make decisions in certain cases, despite protests from building trade groups. The bill was inspired after an all-night hearing last month on a grading permit for a project near Shady Side.

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