Modelers' airstrip to move to farm Fewer homes are near Union Mills site

August 04, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

The Carroll County Commissioners voted 2-1 yesterday to move a controversial model plane airstrip from the John Owings Landfill to a Union Mills farm.

Commissioner Donald I. Dell opposed the move.

"I feel we should leave it where it is, because it's already settled in the neighborhood," he said.

The county had planned to move the airstrip to the top of the landfill when the facility is capped next summer.

That move would put the planes farther away from neighbors, he added.

The landfill is off Route 97 north of Westminster, near the Carroll County Humane Society.

Residents near both sites opposed the airstrip, which would be used by members of the Westminster AeroModelers Club.

Club members fly radio-controlled planes, which make buzzing noises. They have had a county permit to fly at the landfill since August 1992.

Three club members said in June that they favored the Union Mills site, the former Spiegel farm near Kowomu Trail and Rinehart Road. The county plans to build a reservoir in the area.

Club members said the site was more remote than the landfill and would be a safer place to fly.

AeroModelers President James Garrett could not be reached for comment yesterday after the council's action.

Neighbors of the landfill complained to the county in December about noise from the planes.

As a concession to them, the Recreation and Parks Board decided that club members should not be allowed to fly planes on the first Sunday of every month.

Mr. Dell suggested at the time that county officials and club members look at the Spiegel farm as an alternative site.

He did not endorse the site then.

Last month, Mr. Dell said he was concerned that the AeroModelers would disturb a farmer who rents the Spiegel land from the county. George Mullinix of Westminster uses the land to spread chicken manure.

Recreation and Parks Director Richard J. Soisson said yesterday that the county and the AeroModelers would sign an agreement to ensure that Mr. Mullinix is not disturbed.

At the meeting, Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy moved to have the county allow the AeroModelers to fly at the Spiegel farm.

Aerial photos show that fewer residents would be disturbed by the planes at the Spiegel farm, he said.

The photos show that there are 21 homes within a 2,000-foot radius of the John Owings Landfill, and three homes within the same radius of the Spiegel farm.

There are 52 homes within a 3,000-foot radius of the landfill, the photos show, and 12 homes within the same radius of the farm.

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