Board approves variance for Brooklyn Park church

February 27, 1997|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

The county Board of Appeals approved yesterday a variance to allow a Brooklyn Park church to build a 164-seat sanctuary at Hammonds Lane and Trillo Avenue.

The board voted 5-2 to grant the variance to Christian Bible Church, ruling it would be consistent with other development in the neighborhood, which has a Lutheran church, a nursing home and two medical clinics.

Northern Anne Arundel County is nearly fully developed, and it would be difficult for the church to find other land, the board said.

The 120-member nondenominational church meets at Arundel Village Plaza in the 5500 block of Ritchie Highway.

Residents of Terrace View Mobile Estates, near the proposed church site, have said they do no oppose the church but fear that it might create traffic jams on the only road to their community.

The board said it found that traffic impact would be "insufficient to raise the likelihood of major traffic problems."

Five board members said they thought the 1.47-acre site was large enough for a church without adversely affecting the community, but two members disagreed.

The dissenters found the "request excessive and not in keeping with other nearby development."

In August, Robert C. Wilcox, the county administrative hearing officer, turned down the church's request for a variance. Wilcox ruled that the 1.47-acre site was not large enough. County law requires a minimum of 2 acres for a church on land zoned for five houses an acre unless a variance is granted.

The church appealed Wilcox's decision.

Officer stops car, arrests detention center inmate

A county police officer who stopped a car early Tuesday because a headlight was out and the driver failed to signal a turn discovered a detention center inmate at the wheel.

George Anthony Gales, 37, of the 6500 block of Harrison Ave. was arrested and charged in a warrant with escape, giving police a false name, driving on a suspended and revoked license, failure to display a license and other traffic offenses.

Officer David Frendlich was patrolling Ritchie Highway in Brooklyn Park shortly before 1 a.m. when he saw a northbound 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with one headlight out. The driver turned onto Walton Avenue without signaling, and Frendlich stopped the car, police said.

The driver did not have a license and said he could not remember his birthday, police said. Frendlich checked the name the man gave him through Motor Vehicle Administration records and found that the name in the MVA records belonged to a man at least 4 inches shorter than the driver, police said.

When Frendlich arrested the man and warned him his fingerprints would be used to identify him, the man gave his real name and said he had used his brother's name because he knew he was wanted for escape, police said.

Pub Date: 2/26/97

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