Developer's experts continue quarry pitch Opponents of project file petition seeking time to counter testimony

March 22, 1996|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

At a third hearing last night, developer Kingdon Gould's experts continued to pitch his proposal to quarry rock on a 300-acre site in Jessup, and opponents filed a petition to bring in their own experts.

Opponents hope to counter testimony from the dozen experts Mr. Gould has lined up to support his proposal before the Howard County Board of Appeals.

They didn't have sufficient time or information from Mr. Gould to prepare witnesses before the hearings that began in January, according to their 11-page petition.

Board members will consider the petition during a work session April 2.

Mr. Gould wants to mine a crystalline rock, called Baltimore gabbro, and stockpile sand, gravel, clay and fill dirt on his Chase Property a 546-acre wooded site east of Interstate 95, west of U.S. 1 and south of Route 175.

Baltimore gabbro, known for its hardness and uniform texture, is used mostly for road construction.

If all local and state regulatory hurdles are cleared, mining could begin in two to three years.

But some 1,000 homeowners near the proposed site have formed a group called the Stop the Quarry Coalition to block the project.

They fear a quarry would cause traffic snarls along U.S. 1 and cause property values to plummet because of dust and tremors from blasting.

Last night, experts for Mr. Gould told the board that studies have shown that quarries have not had a negative impact on neighborhoods and that his proposed, state-of-the-art quarry could improve property values in the Jessup community.

"I've seen the petition. I've seen the site plans there is a very high potential that this may be beneficial to the neighborhood," said Richard J. Roddewig, president of Clarion Associates Inc., a Chicagoreal estate appraisal and consulting company.

But opponents criticized Mr. Roddewig's testimony, saying he provided no official reports for evidence a criticism they have made of Mr. Gould's experts throughout the hearing process.

"I think it is important that we know the facts on which he bases his opinions," said David A. Carney, an attorney representing the opponents. "I think the board would want to know something that tells us that he knows a whole lot about this operation."

Mr. Roddewig said he lives within a half-mile of a quarry.

Prices of houses near the quarries he has studied including three Maryland operations have shown little or no decline, he said.

"My professional opinion is that this kind of quarry there is no adverse impact on that neighborhood," said Mr. Roddewig.

In fact, he said, Mr. Gould's quarry has benefits most don't.

Mr. Gould has promised the residents a 5,000-square-foot community center and, when mining is completed, parkland with a lake.

He also pledged to give the community association 5 cents for every ton of Baltimore gabbro and any other mineral he mines at the site, with a guarantee of at least $50,000 a year.

The board will continue the case at 7: 30 p.m. Tuesday.

Pub Date: 3/22/96

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