Stadium foes appeal parking reduction

November 15, 1994|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Sun Staff Writer

Two groups who won a stunning October zoning victory against a proposed 78,600-seat football stadium in Laurel have appealed the one part of the zoning decision that went the Redskins' way.

Russett Center Limited Partnership, a group of developers building a neighborhood next to the stadium site, and Citizens Against the Stadium II have appealed a hearing officer's decision to grant the Redskins a 39 percent reduction in the number of parking spaces that would be required at the stadium site.

Appeals filed by both groups said the Oct. 12 decision was arbitrary, capricious, contrary to the law and against the weight of the evidence presented.

The Redskins have already appealed the rest of the findings reached by Robert C. Wilcox, Anne Arundel County's administrative hearing officer. He rejected their request for the special exception Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke needs to build a $160 million stadium in an industrial zone. He also denied requests for six variances from county rules on matters such as landscaping and width of parking spaces.

No date for the appeal hearing has yet been set. The stadium opponents filed their appeals Thursday. They questioned Mr. Wilcox's decision to grant the Redskins a variance from the county law that requires one parking space for every two seats. That would require the Redskins to provide 39,300 spaces, but the team wanted to reduce the number by about 50 percent, to 20,077 spaces.

In his decision, Mr. Wilcox said he did not question 23 assumptions the Redskins made to arrive at their figure of 20,077 parking spaces.

He challenged only one of their assumptions: that vehicles coming to the stadium would carry an average of 3.5 persons each. A more reasonable assumption would be 3 people per vehicle, which would mean at least 4,000 additional cars at stadium events, Mr. Wilcox wrote in his decision.

He rejected the stadium proposal in part, he said, because those extra cars would overwhelm roads and clog intersections. Mr. Wilcox also wrote that the county law requiring one parking space for every two seats is "excessive and unrealistic."

Mr. Wilcox's decision would allow the Redskins to cut the number of parking spaces to 24,100.

"We're saying that that's too high," said Jeanne Mignon, CATS II president.

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