Zoning plan draws environmental objections

February 27, 1996|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

Zoning proposed for a recently annexed waterfront site on Bembe Beach Road would have an adverse effect on the environment, roads, schools and utilities, neighbors said last night at an Annapolis City Council meeting.

In a public hearing, the residents spoke against an application by the city Planning Commission for zoning that they fear might allow construction of a six-story nursing home complex proposed by Mericare Associates Limited Partnership, a division of Landover-based Norair Inc.

The nursing home would overlook the Chesapeake Bay.

The 12.85-acre property was annexed from Anne Arundel County by the city government last year, and needs zoning classification before any building may begin.

City officials say they are uncertain whether the designation of single-family residence sought by the Planning Commission would allow Mericare Associates to build its nursing home complex on the land.

"The current plans are too big and would involve too much clearing of natural woods," said a two-year Bembe Beach resident in his testimony before council. "We're just afraid that it would have a negative impact on the environment."

The man, who identified himself to the council only as Brad, also shared similar concerns of other residents who said the nursing home "would cause a burden on sewage, water and electrical utility services in the area."

The council also heard testimony for an application from George Phillips, former owner of the Harbour House restaurant, to expand his Food Basket store on Dock Street into a 10-seat delicatessen. The store, which sells food, gift items and teas, would offer carryout meals and serve sandwiches and other light fare if the application is approved.

Mr. Phillips said he hopes the expansion of his store "would fill a void left by Rookies" when that supermarket closed in downtown Annapolis.

An application from PBCL Inc. to open Einstein's Bagels, a restaurant-delicatessen at 122-124 Dock St., was also heard by the council. The proposal faced some opposition from business owners who called the bagel shop "a chain operation" that would "create unfair competition by lowering prices" against small local businesses.

The council planned to vote on the zoning issues at the March 11 meeting.

In another matter, the council met in closed session before the hearing to consult with counsel on pending litigation involving the Naval Academy's dispute with the city over an unpaid bill for sewer service.

Details of the discussion were not disclosed last night.

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