A Marley Neck man is challenging the approval of a car dismantling and recycling plant scheduled to be built next to his Fort Smallwood Road home.
Alfred Reiff, who has lived in the 6600 block of Fort Smallwood Road for 44 years, and numerous community groups have asked the Circuit Court to reject a salvage yard operator's request to build on 3.4 acres adjacent to his home.
CSX Realty, developers of a 2,273-home planned community on Marley Creek, and a competing salvage yard operator have joined the appeal, which was filed July 1 in Annapolis.
"What we find objectionable are junkyards -- especially if you are trying to clean up an area," said Mary Rosso, a resident of the Silver Sands community off Solley Road.
The county Board of Appeals granted Michael J. Loher, owner of Mike's Auto Parts in Hanover, a special zoning exception on June 2 to operate a recycling plant. The board's decision restricts the hours of operation, barring work on Sunday, and allows him to store no more than 100 vehicles behind a 8,384-square-foot warehouse where the dismantling would occur.
Residents and CSX said they fear Mr. Loher's recycling plant will become a junkyard, joining a collection of eight salvage operations within five miles of the proposed site. That could destroy the work they've done to improve the bleak, industrial image of the increasingly residential area, they said.
Located near the Baltimore City line, the recycling plant "is really not the signal you want to send when people are coming into Anne Arundel County," said Mrs. Rosso, who is president of the Maryland Waste Coalition, a non-profit environmental group that has joined the suit.
Other groups that have joined the suit include the Greater Pasadena Council, which represents 28 communities, the Silver Sands Improvement Association, the Solley Road Civic Association, and the Chestnut Hill, Riviera Beach and Point Pleasant communities.
An administrative hearing officer denied Mr. Loher's request for a special exception last December, saying he saw no need for a new salvage yard, with so many already in existence nearby.
The appeals board overturned that decision, saying only two of the eight yards meet current regulations. The others eventually will be phased out, the board said.