Davidsonville * Edgewater * Shady Side * Deale


April 19, 1993

Plans for later hours at restaurant opposed

Downtown Annapolis residents are rallying against an attempt by a Main Street restaurant to stay open later to offer dancing and live entertainment.

Buddy's Crabs & Ribs wants to extend its closing time from midnight to 2 a.m. and open a bar featuring local bands. The restaurant floated a similar plan four years ago but was turned down by the city and eventually lost a court battle to stay open past midnight.

The restaurant contends that it is a question of fairness. A half-dozen other pubs in the historic downtown stay open past midnight.

But downtown residents are worried about noise, litter and other problems created by patrons of the bars. Residents have complained that drunken people sing, shout and urinate in their gardens late at night.

"Are we just going to have as many bars as people want?" asked Mike Langrehr, president of the Ward One Residents Association. "The residents are absolutely opposed to this, because we believe we have enough bars downtown."

The city's Planning and Zoning Commission was split 3-3 on whether to recommend that the application be approved. As a result of the tie vote, the application will be forwarded to the City Council without a recommendation.

Four years ago, Buddy's sued the city of Annapolis after being denied a later closing time but lost its case.

Shift of polling place spurs heated debate

Amid a heated debate with racial overtones, the Annapolis Board of Elections decided to move a polling place from a church to a community center shared by two of the city's public housing projects.

Republican leaders were strongly opposed to having a polling place at the recreation center between Eastport Terrace and Harbour House because they fear that a "perception of danger" will keep people from voting.

But even though they submitted petitions signed by 363 residents to keep the polling place at the Eastport United Methodist Church, the election board decided to move it. Thethree-member board acknowledged that the community had safety concerns but decided that the recreation center was more centrally located.

The city's election law requires that polling places be as close to "the center of the voting population of each precinct as possible."

Alderman Carl O. Snowden, D-Ward 5, and other proponents of the move told the board Wednesday night that it would be "a racial insult" to avoid moving the polling place because of fears of crime.

The two public housing communities are overwhelmingly black, and the neighborhood near the church is largely white. Most of the petitions were signed by white residents, Mr. Snowden said.

The new location could have a substantial impact on the race for the seat in the city's 6th Ward. In 1989, Alderman Wayne Turner, a white Republican, nearly lost the race to Michael T. Brown, a black Democrat. Mr. Turner won by four votes.

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