The Maryland Aviation Administration can close a mobile home park, relocate the residents and compensate the landowners so that a runway can be added to BWI Airport, an Anne Arundel County judge ruled Friday.
Circuit Court Judge Eugene M. Lerner condemned the property, just west of the bustling airport, setting the stage for the real battle: how much the state should pay property owners Symcha and Joan Frances Shpak for ending residential use of the land.
No court date has been set for that hearing.
The state's offer of $1.9 million for a perpetual easement is, after taxes, neither enough for them to retire on nor enough to start a new business, Joan Shpak said.
The Shpaks have operated Ridgewood Mobile Home Park on about a quarter of a 72-acre tract they own. The easement would allow warehouse and other light industrial uses for which the land is zoned, but Joan Shpak said the couple cannot afford to develop it.
"The reason we are doing this [contesting the easement] is because the money they are offering us is totally ridiculous. This business grosses more than half a million dollars a year," said Joan Shpak, angry over the ruling.
"My husband is 70 years old now. When would they like us to start revamping our life?" she said.
Aviation officials said only that they were happy with the ruling and ready to move ahead to a court determination of compensation.
The Shpaks had hoped to expand the 150-trailer mobile home park by one-third, but it was added to the airport's noise zone in 1993. Because the trailers cannot be sufficiently soundproofed, the residents are eligible for government assistance to move.
Aviation officials plan to add a 7,800-foot runway to allow an increase in airport traffic.
During a two-day hearing last month, Michael C. West, the airport's associate administrator of planning and engineering, testified 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 state filed suit last year after negotiations with the Shpaks failed.
Pub Date: 6/08/97