Judge to rule on trailer park takeover

May 29, 1997|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Eugene M. Lerner will decide over the next several days whether the Maryland Aviation Administration has the right to temporarily take control of a Hanover mobile home park to move its residents.

Lerner, who had listened to two days of testimony, told lawyers for the state and Symcha and Joan Shpak, owners of the park, yesterday that he would send them written opinions. The park sits on 17 of 72 acres off Ridge Road owned by the Shpaks.

The Maryland Aviation Administration added Ridgewood Mobile Home Park to Baltimore-Washington International Airport's noise zone in 1993, making residents eligible for government assistance in relocating.

The state filed suit last year after the Shpaks turned down the aviation administration's $1.9 million offer for a perpetual easement that would prevent future residential use, but allow warehouse and other light industrial uses for which the land is zoned.

The aviation administration 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 to negotiate a settlement have been unsuccessful, and in May 1996 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.

Under the state's plan, residents would be paid a lump sum to move to another mobile home park or be reimbursed for the value of their trailer by the aviation administration. They also could move into apartments or buy homes.

Yesterday, Andrew S. Harris, an airport noise expert, testified for the state that a proposed new runway -- parallel to an existing one and ending just a mile from the 150-unit mobile home park -- would increase airport traffic and make the neighborhood noisier.

But K. Donald Proctor, the Shpaks' lawyer, continued to express doubt that the runway, which was proposed in 1987, would be built.

Michael C. West, the airport's associate administrator of planning and engineering, testified Tuesday that the new runway could be built by 2003. The aviation administration plans to begin environmental assessment studies for the runway in six months, and hopes to complete them in two years, he said.

The project could take five years to complete.

Pub Date: 5/29/97

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