Zoning change proposed to allow auto racetrack Arundel's Redmond targets former copper refinery for motor sports

March 17, 1998|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

An Anne Arundel County councilman, who is honorary chairman of a fans organization pushing for construction of an auto racetrack in Pasadena, introduced zoning legislation last night that would allow the track in his district.

The bill, introduced by Councilman Thomas W. Redmond, is written to apply only to the state-owned former copper refinery on which the Middle River Racing Association hopes to build a $100 million speedway.

It would allow "motor sports racing complexes" on land zoned for heavy industry. They are allowed only on land zoned light industrial, Redmond said.

Community opposition drove the track's developers out of Baltimore County, and they recently dropped plans to build the 54,800-seat track in western Anne Arundel County, near Russett.

The leaders of several Pasadena community groups have said )) that developers have yet to seek support from residents who would be affected.

Plans have been changing so fast that developers haven't had time to involve residents, Redmond said yesterday.

Residents will get a chance to hear the developers' proposal and from county officials at a forum April 9 at the Orchard Beach Fire Hall, he said.

A hearing on the legislation will be held April 20.

In other business, the County Council voted unanimously to urge the county executive to ask private composters to take some of the county's yard waste.

In February, the council approved the sale of a former compost yard shared with Howard and Baltimore counties. But the county is still sending 15,000 tons of yard waste yearly to a transfer station at the site at a cost of $36.70 a ton. The county also pays more than $15 a ton in interest on bonds that were sold to buy the Annapolis Junction property.

Private composters would probably charge less to take the yard waste, said Redmond, sponsor of the resolution.

In other business, Councilman James DeGrange introduced legislation to add two positions to the county ethics commission and to allow the council to appoint the majority of the members.

Under his proposal, which would have to go to voters as an amendment to the county charter, the seven-member council would appoint seven members and the county executive would name two.

The county executive now appoints seven members of the commission and the council none.

The change would make the commission more independent and remove the perception that the county executive could "stack the board," said DeGrange.

Pub Date: 3/17/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.