Washington businessman Kingdon Gould filed a petition this week to dig a quarry in Jessup, but the president of a community group near the site says he's not ready to sign an agreement the developer made with the community because of concerns about the document.
"There are a lot of little things that scare people," said Gary Prestianni, president of the Ridgelys Run Community Association, a group of Jessup homeowners. "They don't like some of the wording. We don't want to be fools."
Mr. Gould's attorney, Richard B. Talkin, said the developer is willing to negotiate any language in the agreement -- an unusual pact that includes plans for a community center and a park with a lake when the quarry is finished.
"If we need to clean up the agreement, we will be glad to do that," Mr. Talkin said. "We're going to have a continuing dialogue with the community."
On Monday, representatives for Mr. Gould filed for a special exception with the county Department of Planning and Zoning to mine sand, gravel, rock and stone, said William O'Brien, chief of the county zoning administration. In Howard County, all quarries require special exceptions, Mr. O'Brien said.
Mr. Prestianni said some members of the association are concerned that wording in the agreement, which was approved by members of the association in May, might prevent them from testifying against the quarry during public hearings.
He said they also are concerned about such things as the length of time Mr. Gould plans to quarry at the site.
"We have to see what safeguards there are to ensure that this quarry won't go on forever," Mr. Prestianni said.
The quarry proposal was first made about seven years ago.