Woodward & Lothrop Inc. was never known for environmental activism. Yet it is suing everyone in sight in Anne Arundel County on the grounds the planned expansion of the Annapolis Mall will spoil wetlands, endanger water supplies and increase pollution and traffic. Woodies maintains that's its sole concern. No one believes it.
This activism was triggered by a mall expansion to accommodate Nordstrom's, a move that may affect a nearby Woodies. It has appealed rejection of an earlier challenge to the expansion and also filed lawsuits in federal and state courts alleging that the county worked with the mall to circumvent environmental requirements and that state officials allowed illegal dumping.
Woodies' actions ring hollow. It has served the Annapolis community well in three decades, but its own Parole Plaza site is hardly an example of commerce blending with nature; it's an asphalt prairie. Second, if Woodies' executives were so concerned with the environmental damage, you'd think they'd have contacted neighboring residential groups to join as allies. They haven't.