Council to weigh complaints about gas station plan

February 08, 1996|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Responding to complaints that the Howard County Board of Appeals acted unfairly in hearings on a proposed North Laurel Exxon station, County Councilman Dennis R. Schrader said this week that he will raise the issue with fellow County Council members and the county's Office of Law.

"What [board members] should be concerned about is making the appropriate decision based on the evidence," the 3rd District Republican told members of the North Laurel Civic Association Tuesday night.

Exxon Oil Corp. recently won approval from the board to build a gas station, convenience store and carwash at All Saints Road and Route 216 in North Laurel Park, despite neighbors' objections that it would increase traffic at an already dangerous intersection.

Residents said zoning board members gave more weight to testimony from Exxon attorneys than to testimony from residents and that board members knew the Exxon lawyers.

Residents also protested that a board member spoke with Exxon's attorneys during breaks in the public hearings, access the residents said they did not have.

"It's not that we didn't win," Debbie O'Neil told Mr. Schrader at this week's community meeting. "We didn't even get a fair fight."

Exxon is waiting for the board to file its decision in the case officially so that it can begin construction of the gas station.

"I don't feel we got any extra consideration," said Columbia attorney Francis Hunter, one of two attorneys representing Exxon.

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