Appeal aimed at reviving proposal for 6 radio towers Radio station seeks reversal of zoning ruling

January 30, 1996|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

The possibility of six 350-foot radio towers still looms in South Carroll.

A Baltimore County radio station is appealing in Carroll County Circuit Court a decision that prevents construction of the towers a Hoods Mill Road farm, near Route 97 and the Howard County line.

William B. Dulany, the attorney for WCBM-AM radio and the owners of the 400-acre farm, requested Friday a judicial review of the Board of Zoning Appeals action, which reversed the original approval for the project.

A new county ordinance placed the appeals board in the awkward position of having to reverse itself.

In an opinion delivered Nov. 16, the appeals board said the towers were an approved conditional use for the farmland. The ** sale of the farm, owned by Harold and Esther Mercer, was contingent on that approval.

Neighbors had testified during three days of hearings that the line of towers would lower property values and have an adverse impact on their health and the environment.

The board said the Mercers' rights to sell the property outweighed the neighbors' objections. The 3-1 decision allowed the project to proceed to the Planning Commission for approval of the site plan.

Less than two weeks later, the new ordinance restricted multiple-tower complexes to industrial land and made the appeals board's decision moot.

The County Commissioners adopted the ordinance Nov. 27. The law, drafted shortly before the zoning hearing opened, effectively killed the WCBM project.

At the time, Mr. Dulany called the commissioners' action "an attempt to micro-manage their own board of appeals."

In a written conclusion issued Dec. 27, the appeals board negated its previous approval. The issue will now go to Circuit Court.

Neither Mr. Dulany nor Louis Mangione, the vice president of WCBM, was available for comment yesterday.

County officials said they would not comment until they had seen the appeal.

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