Parole vote was a `can of worms' worth re-openingThe Sun's...

Letters

February 14, 1999

Parole vote was a `can of worms' worth re-opening

The Sun's editorial page argues against an Anne Arundel County Council bill to remove a 1997 change to the land-use plan for Parole ("Re-opening as can of worms," Jan. 26). But in opposing the bill, the newspaper overlooks the twisted history the bill attempts to rectify.

For 30 years, Bestgate Road has been the northern boundary for development in Parole.

In 1994, the citizens, business owners and land-use planners on the Parole Growth Management Area Committee issued recommendations aimed at revitalizing the Parole Town Center and preventing sprawl. They reaffirmed that the northernmost boundary of Parole -- the line in the sand -- was Bestgate Road.

So many county residents were rudely surprised when the County Council passed a bill in 1997 allowing Parole to spill over this boundary and engulf another 60 acres. Developers intend to rezone the property for commercial use.

Twenty-three area community associations -- the Citizens for Responsible Parole Planning -- oppose the development that would then ensue. Fast growth would overwhelm roads, schools and general infrastructure.

As you stated, "Planning connotes consistency and predictability." Indeed. Consistency in this case means adhering to the boundaries the Parole Growth Management Area Committee initially recommended.

In doing so, the council would represent the desires of its constituents, not the whims of developers.

Melissa Joyce

Annapolis

The writer is a member of Citizens for Responsible Parole Planning.

Reason race track would be a boon for the area...

I still support the auto racetrack in Pasadena for a number of reasons: The developers would use their own money and not our tax dollars. That is a gift and we should appreciate and take advantage of it.

It would be a tremendous boost to our economy. It would provide jobs to those in the building trade. It would create jobs in the tourist business.

It would be an added attraction to the other wonderful things already in the Baltimore and Annapolis area. It would definitely draw tourists.

It would create revenues which could be used to fund other important things in Anne Arundel County, such as education and roads.

This project is not bad for the environment. It would be different if the proposed site was pristine land, but it is not.

This would be an excellent use of an unused and unsightly location.

It could be cleaned up and made into a nice waterfront park which local residents could use during non-race times.

This is stretching it a little, but racing is an attraction to a lot of young boys.

What better way to keep them off the streets and out of trouble then to get them involved in the sport of racing.

If you have ever watched a race on television, during interviews drivers are always positive and never say anything bad about their competitors. They act professional, stress the importance of safety and demonstrate teamwork.

Auto racing is a positive activity. Anne Arundel County should grant approval to build the auto racetrack in Pasadena.

Donna Graham

Pasadena

I am a member of a racing team, racing at Lincoln Speedway in Pennsylvania along with at least six other teams from Maryland.

In my neighborhood, two race teams travel to Delaware tracks and one team races in the NASCAR series in Virginia. This makes a total of 10 race teams, who take their cars, team members and associates to facilities out of state.

At one time, Maryland had multiple "stock car" tracks, but due to pressure from developers and individuals, these facilities were closed and recycled into housing or commercial enterprises.

Currently, only two Maryland "stock car" tracks are on the western side of the Chesapeake Bay within a 2-hour drive.

As a race fun, I attend several NASCAR events each year. I spend $100 to $150 per day, not counting the ticket(s) for the event.

In talking to residents near the racing facilities, most are very happy to have the income that racing brings to their community.

During the Christmas holidays, I was in a small restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Del. and asked the waitress how she felt about "stock car" racing at Dover.

Her reply: "I get about $200 a night in tips," and that restaurant is more than an hour's drive from Dover.

The money that racers and race fans spend out of state could be spent here if we had a local facility.

Walter Shock, Sr.

Millersville

I have been a Pasadena resident for more than 10 years. I am the owner of a successful business in my community.

I am responding on behalf of my family and friends who live and work in Pasadena.

We support the construction of this proposed multi-million dollar motorsports facility in our community.

When I say "we," I mean my family and friends and more than 4,000 Pasadena residents who also have stated their support.

For more than a year, I have worked with a group called R.A.C.E.F.A.N.S., Racing Advocates Commited Exclusively for Approval of New Speedway, gathering support for the project.

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