Parole Residents Raise Objections To Proposed Court Site

February 12, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff writer

Neighbors of a tract in Parole that is being considered as a new District Court site have launched a petition drive, a letter-writing effort and a telephone campaign aimed at blocking the proposal.

Stateofficials are eyeing a 55-acre property along Bestgate Road, just north of the Annapolis Mall, as the site for a $15.7 million Annapolis District Court.

Maryland District Court Chief Judge Robert F. Sweeney said he learned in mid January that the Department of General Services plans to purchase at least part of the 55-acre tract because it is the least expensive of 30 sites proposed for a District Court building.

But about 15 community leaders met with County Councilwoman Maureen Lamb (D-Annapolis) Monday night in her office to discuss the proposal and come up with a way to fight it.

Lamb said yesterday the group agreed to write a letter to Gov. William Donald Schaefer, Comptroller Louis J. Goldstein, General Services Secretary Martin W. Walsh Jr., County Executive Robert R. Neall and other officials, seeking help in reversing the decision.

Helen Laurie, who lives in the 1900 block of Severn Grove Road and was at the meeting, said she and her neighbors also will start a petition drive and a telephone effort to muster opposition to the site, which is in the 800 block of Bestgate Road.

"Ican't believe they would just come in and say, this is what we're doing, like it or not," she said.

Lamb said that the site was specifically zoned for residential development in the latest comprehensive rezoning because of neighbors' concerns about the trend toward commercial development on Bestgate Road.

She said the Comprehensive Rezoning Advisory Committee and the Parole Growth Management Area committee both recommended that it remain residentially zoned.

Laurie said the site includes a stream that forms the headwaters of Saltworks Creek and that construction of a large building and parking lot could damage the waterway.

According to the state's current capital budget, plans call for work to start in the fiscal year that begins June 30, 1993.

A new District Court is part of a 2-year-old reorganization of Maryland's District Court system, and will serve as an addition to district court quarters in the Millard Tawes complex on Rowe Boulevard.

Department of General Services officials would not commenton the site selection, saying only that an Annapolis site is being proposed and that an offer will be made once the appraisal is done.

Sweeney said the Bestgate Road site was selected because it is available for $125,000 to $150,000 per acre, less than half what other suitable sites would cost.

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