Salvage yard ruling a setback to foes Pasadena group seeks more clout PASADENA

March 19, 1993|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff Writer

A Circuit Court ruling in favor of a Marley Neck salvage yard has dealt the Pasadena Pride Initiative of the Greater Pasadena Council its first major defeat.

Judge Robert H. Heller Jr. rejected an appeal by the council and others last week to deny Michael J. Loher of Hanover permission to build a car dismantling and recycling plant in the 6600 block of Fort Smallwood Road.

The proposed plant was an early target of the council's Pasadena Pride Initiative, a combination of beautification projects and zoning fights launched a year ago to combat what Jack Feehley, the council's president, called a decades-old problem.

"People just want to trash this part of the county," he complained. "It's like that place behind the house where, if you really don't know what to do with something, you just stick there."

Residents of Marley Neck and other areas joined CSX Realty, the developer of a 2,273-home subdivision on Marley Creek, in opposing the plant because they fear it will resemble a junkyard more than a recycling plant.

"The trashing of Pasadena is probably the hardest thing to deal ** with," said Mr. Feehley, whose organization represents 28 or so neighborhood associations.

He said he hopes the group can start with beautification projects along Fort Smallwood and Mountain roads and Route 100 to galvanize the community into a political force similar to the Greater Severna Park Council.

"Severna Park has never had to tangle with these types of industrial problems," Mr. Feehley said. "But if someone wants to upset their status quo, watch out."

Mr. Feehley and the other officers of the Pasadena council are banking on the beautification projects fostering an esprit de corps among the disparate waterfront communities that make up Pasadena. They are hoping they can double the number of community associations under the group's umbrella this year.

As involvement increases, Mr. Feehley, a retired developer, said he hopes the council can force the county to reduce the amount of land in the Fort Smallwood corridor designated for industrial use. He also wants the council to crack down on zoning violations, which he said too often are overlooked by county enforcement officials.

Mr. Loher's recycling plant remains the initiative's first challenge, Mr. Feehley said.

Mr. Loher has promised that his computerized 3.4-acre facility will not be an "eyesore" like earlier salvage yards. The conditions of his special zoning exception will prevent him from storing more than 100 vehicles on the site at any time. The cars also must be stored behind the 8,384-square-foot warehouse, where they will be dismantled.

Now it's up to the council to make sure zoning enforcement officials hold Mr. Loher to that agreement, Mr. Feehley said.

"When government fails to do something down there [in Severna Park], there's hell to pay," he said. "I don't know why that doesn't happen here. I guess we need some more people to do the squeaking."

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