Fight over driveway results in new plans Neighbors upset at encroachment on open space

November 05, 1993|By Jody Roesler | Jody Roesler,Contributing Writer

At least this time, no one blocked a bulldozer with a Honda.

A Bodkin Point man who had planned several improvements to his property, including some that violated community covenants, has agreed to alter his plans.

Lou Principio had wanted to build a free-standing garage on his property off Janer Drive, and a driveway to it through a buffer zone between his and his neighbor's land. But neighbor Robert Chaisson said Mr. Principio has dropped that idea and has agreed to replace trees he had removed from the 30-foot buffer.

Two weeks ago, Mr. Chaisson tried to halt removal of the trees by parking his Honda Accord between the trees and a bulldozer.

Mr. Principio, who owns Hammerjack's bar and concert hall in Baltimore, has been out of town this week and unavailable for comment.

Brian Brooks, president of the Pinehurst on the Bay community association, said Mr. Principio's plans still are raising eyebrows in the community -- especially his intent to move his house closer to land set aside as open space. The buffer zone is essentially a pathway to that riverfront land.

Though Mr. Principio's plans now adhere to the neighborhood covenants, Bodkin Point residents fear they could open the door to development of that open parcel set aside for the community's use.

A public hearing to discuss Mr. Principio's grading permit is scheduled for Nov. 23 at the Arundel Center in Glen Burnie. He still needs a building permit before moving the house.

The issuance of the grading permit, Mr. Brooks said, points out problems in the county's methods. "Your neighbor can have a grading permit issued without your notification," he said. "You won't know until the bulldozers show up."

Mr. Brooks also is upset because the county issued the grading permit without issuing the permit that would allow Mr. Principio to move his house.

"He's going in to plow the land and then can ask for the house move, and by then the county is probably going to say, 'Why not?' "

He added that his main concern is the protection of the open parcel at the tip of the point, owned by community developer Dennis Gilligan. The parcel and buffer zone, he said, allow people to walk to the point and enjoy the beauty of the area.

Mr. Chaisson also said he fears the driveway Mr. Principio would build to his house could open the riverfront parcel to development.

"If that part of the land is developed, someone else might get another easement to develop another wetland," Mr. Chaisson said.

But he said he understands Mr. Principio's motivation.

"He just wants to develop land he's paid very dearly for, and he's got a right to try to do it," Mr. Chaisson said.

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