State plans to buy mobile home park near BWI WEST COUNTY -- Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

November 17, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

The Maryland Aviation Administration plans to buy a mobile home park in Harmans where residents have complained for years of the noise from jets at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

But it could be five years before the residents move.

State officials must come up with more than $6 million in federal grants, figure out what to do with the 150 families living at the Ridgewood Mobile Home Park off Ridge Road and certify a new noise zone -- land around the airport deemed too noisy for people to live.

Several years ago, state officials decided to hold off on the purchase until a new runway was completed near Dorsey Road.

Construction of the new runway, which has been delayed until the late 1990s, would have affected the park, which is one mile from where the proposed runway ends.

Even without the new runway, however, state officials say, jet noise is a problem because mobile homes are not insulated or soundproofed as well as other houses.

"We think there is good reason to try and relocate the residents because of the noise," said Michael West, the MAA's associate administrator for planning and engineering.

He got no argument from Marie Delano, who lives in the park and is president of the Anne Arundel County Mobile Home Owners Association.

"The noise is horrible," she said, calling the state's plans to buy the park too vague. "They will not give us a definite answer."

Mr. West said airport officials are negotiating with Sam Shpak, an Eastern Shore resident who owns the mobile home park. They have estimated that it would cost $8 million to buy the land and relocate the residents. The money would come from a Federal Aviation Administration grant and the state.

Before officials can apply for the grant, the new noise zone must be certified. That should be in the spring.

Mr. West said the state will start to put aside money from its capital budget next year to buy the park, the only one in the noise zone.

If all goes well, the money should be in hand in 1997, the earliest residents could be relocated.

But the state will have to find a place to relocate the residents, because a county law on the books since the 1950s prohibits new trailer parks.

Ms. Delano said she would like the state to give each homeowner enough money to move -- in her case, $16,000. "If they would offer me that, I would put my tail between my legs and run," she said. "I'm tired of fighting."

Residents also have been concerned that Mr. Shpak would simply sell the land, which was rezoned from residential to industrial use three years ago, to a developer.

Mr. Shpak could not be reached for comment. Mr. West said he did attend a public meeting last month where the issue was discussed.

"He is interested in how he would be compensated for his business," Mr. West said.

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