Development plan to go again before Bel Air commissioners Foes' fears unfounded, planning director says

January 16, 1996|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,SUN STAFF

Because of a technicality in an earlier presentation, a development plan for Bel Air will be resubmitted tonight to the town commissioners -- a first step toward a vote -- and opponents are preparing to voice anew their objections.

But opponents' fears that the plan would mean the widening of some roads are unfounded, and the source of another concern is a typographical error, according to Bel Air's planning director, Carol Deibel.

The plan, which provides development guidelines for the next six years, must be resubmitted because the planning commission failed to attach a signed letter of endorsement in its first presentation, Mrs. Deibel said.

This "minor technical oversight" means that a vote by town commissioners originally scheduled for this month won't take place until late February or March, she said. A public hearing has been set for Feb. 5.

Some Howard Park residents believe that the plan would extend Route 22 through their neighborhood. Others in the northern part of Bel Air fear that Route 24 would be widened to four lanes from Broadway to Jarrettsville Road.

"This is simply not true. The plan does not contain such recommendations," said Mrs. Deibel, who will resubmit the plan to the town commissioners at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

"I think the problem is that some residents are not looking at the entire plan; they are just looking at parts of it," she said.

But Nancy Murphy, who lives in Howard Park, insists that maps in the plan show the Route 22 extension through her neighborhood next to Harford Mall.

Mrs. Murphy, who has been the plan's most outspoken critic, also contends that the plan would permit "four-story" shopping centers in the town's commercial district along Route 24 and U.S. 1.

But the word "story" has been termed a "typo" by Mrs. Deibel -- the only one in the 1 1/2 -inch-thick document, she says. "If you read the entire page, it's clear we are talking about four stores as a definition of a shopping center. There is no sinister plot; this is insane."

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