Crofton leaders seeking to challenge landfill OK

November 30, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

The county Board of Appeals hasn't even issued the written version of its decision to allow a developer to build a rubble landfill near Crofton, and community leaders already are trying to decide how best to challenge that ruling.

They could file an appeal in Circuit Court, but that would be expensive. Bob Scott, president of the Greater Crofton Council, which represents 3,000 households, said it could cost $50,000 just to file the appeal.

That includes $9,000 to transcribe the estimated 50 hours of hearings over two years, the longest case ever heard by the Board of Appeals.

Or community leaders could seek help from county government, arguing that traffic to the landfill would overwhelm already-crowded county roads.

County Attorney Judson P. Garrett recently told the Crofton Civic Association that such decisions are made "on a case-by-case basis.

"It's a question of what's at issue from the county's point of view," he said.

The county administrative hearing officer rejected in March 1991 the landfill proposal by the Halle Co., agreeing with residents that clogged roads would be further burdened by the additional traffic. Traffic engineers estimated that an additional 300 trucks a day would go through the intersection of Maryland Routes 3 and 424.

The Board of Appeals voted last October to overturn that decision, allowing a rubble fill on 150 acres and a sand and gravel operation on 35 acres.

But it added that the Silver Spring-based developer must meet several conditions, including widening Conway Road to 24 feet and adding shoulders to both sides.

But the board's written opinion is not due until Dec. 5, after which civic leaders have 30 days to appeal.

And, even though the six-member board voted unanimously to approve the 150-acre landfill, that vote does not become binding until the written opinion is issued. Mr. Scott said he is hoping board members reverse themselves.

At the civic association meeting, Mr. Garrett urged Edwin F. Dosek, association president, to write to County Executive Robert R. Neall about his traffic concerns.

"Maybe we can work out an accommodation," Mr. Garrett said.

"If you are interested in pursuing this with an attorney, we could internally take care of the costs of the transcript and not have to devote many resources in terms of our own."

Other civic leaders said that would help their efforts. Mr. Scott is trying to get each of his 3,000 households in the Crofton area to shell out between $5 and $10 for a "war chest."

And Norman G. Myers, president of the Greater Odenton Improvement Association, said that organization's planning and zoning committee has met with Crofton officials about the case. He also said he is talking to environmental groups, looking for an appeal angle and financial help.

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