State sues over homes near BWI noise zone Aviation agency seeks closure of trailer park built near airport

July 26, 1996|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

The Maryland Aviation Administration filed suit Wednesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court against the owners of a Hanover mobile-home park as part of its program to move residents away from the roar of jets.

The MAA wants to close the mobile-home park and move about 150 residents from the noise zone, land around the Baltimore-Washington International Airport deemed too noisy for homes. The park sits on 17 of 72 acres off Ridge Road owned by Symcha and Joan Shpak.

The suit was filed after the Shpaks turned down the MAA's offer to buy a perpetual easement that would prevent future residential use, but allow warehouse and other light industrial uses for which the land is zoned.

In its suit, the MAA also is asking for a temporary easement that would allow its agent to run the mobile-home park until all residents have moved. After that, the easement would terminate and the land would revert to the Shpaks.

Attempts since September to negotiate a settlement with the Shpaks have been unsuccessful, and in May the aviation administration received approval from the state Board of Public Works for a condemnation order to go to Circuit Court, where a jury would decide the price.

Michael C. West, the airport agency's associate administrator of planning and engineering, said the MAA will try to reach a settlement with the Shpaks before a trial date is set for January or February.

"We will try to expedite the process as quickly as we can," said West.

The MAA has hired O. R. Colan Associates of South Charleston, W.Va., a national firm that handles right-of-way acquisitions and relocations, to move the residents. But it can't start until the question of the easement is settled.

Thomas M. Kretzschmar, Colan's project manager, said it is expected to take two years to relocate the residents. This would be the largest relocation by the aviation administration since it started its program.

The $8 million project is to be paid for with a $6.4 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration and $1.6 million from the state.

About 45 residents attended a meeting Wednesday evening at Wesley Grove United Methodist Church and were told the status of the project by MAA officials.

Residents had been concerned the Shpaks would sell the land to a developer after it was rezoned from residential to industrial use seven years ago and they could be forced to move at their expense.

Under the state's plan, residents would be paid a lump sum either to move to another mobile-home park or be reimbursed for the value of their mobile home by MAA, said Kretzschmar. They also could move into apartments or buy homes, he said.

Kretzschmar said he has interviewed about 70 residents to determine what kind of assistance they would need to move.

Marie Delano echoed the sentiments of residents when she said, "Come on. Let's push this."

Pub Date: 7/26/96

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