Candidate's ties to builder attacked

July 25, 1994|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Sun Staff Writer

A state House of Delegates candidate who has billed himself as "green" has infuriated a group of Parole residents because of his work as a paid consultant for an Annapolis land developer.

Stephen B. Carr of Ferry Farms is seeking the Democratic nomination in District 30, which includes Lower Broadneck, Annapolis and Shady Side.

Mr. Carr, 40, works as an environmental consultant for a developer who wants the city to approve plans for seven homes on 2 acres near Church Creek, a tributary of South River.

Two weeks ago, Mr. Carr testified for the project before the Annapolis Planning Commission. Resident groups from the Fairfax Road and Welinor communities oppose it.

Nendy Lawson, president of the Welinor Community Association, said Mr. Carr's appearance as a "paid gun for the developer" while campaigning for office as an environmentalist was hypocritical.

"We just feel [Mr. Carr] is talking out [of] both sides of his mouth," she said.

Mr. Carr, a longtime member of the environmentally active Severn River Association, has adopted "More Green -- Less Growth" as his campaign slogan.

Mrs. Lawson said the development would send more dirt and runoff into Church Creek, already affected by 20 years of commercial development in Parole.

Mr. Carr said he believes the site, within city limits near Aris T. Allen Boulevard, is well-suited for intense development because needed roads, schools and public facilities exist.

"I'm not a no-growth candidate," he said Thursday. "That's the bill you've got to pay when you live in a city and high-growth area."

Growth is appropriate in areas such as Annapolis, but not in others such as Deale, Mr. Carr said. He noted that a Meredith Creek community association recently retained him to oppose 134 homes planned on Lower Broadneck, which he said lacks necessary public facilities.

"I don't think there is anything hypocritical or inconsistent with my position," he said.

The planning commission appearance also has pitted Mr. Carr, a former archaeological assistant to the National Park Service, against John Flood, another environmental activist.

Mr. Flood, president of the South River Federation of Community Associations, said he was surprised that Mr. Carr is a developer's consultant.

Through the Severn River Association and other citizen groups, Mr. Carr is known to have fought his share of developments and lobbied for stricter controls on new construction, he said.

Mr. Flood criticized the storm water controls and other environmental safeguards for the housing planned near Church Creek.

He disagreed that the site is appropriate for the amount of development proposed.

"What guarantee does he have that this will prevent sprawl in Deale?" Mr. Flood asked. "What we are doing is intensely developing here [Annapolis], and still developing sprawl down there."

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