South County is not against development The Sun's...


February 21, 1999

South County is not against development

The Sun's notion that residents of southern Anne Arundel County are "anti-development," or that we believe the Small Area Planning process will allow us to "veto particular types of development" is flat out wrong.

Most South County citizens know the Small Area Plans offer communities a way to encourage responsible development. That's why they support the process and want to see it work.

Your Feb. 9 editorial, "Paper or plastic -- or neither?", indicates your lack of understanding of these realities.

I know of no residents of Shady Side or Deale who, as The Sun editorial claims, are treating "proposals by Safeway, Food Lion and Shoppers Food Warehouse as though they were designs for toxic waste dumps."

Many, in fact, believe a new supermarket might enhance life on the Shady Side peninsula if the costs are not too steep.

What citizens do want is a clear accounting of all of those costs: What environmental damage will result given that the Safeway site is next to Rockhold Creek, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay only a few hundred yards away.

What of Food Lion's proposed complex in a wetlands?

How many neighborhood businesses will be lost?

Will already serious traffic problems worsen?

How many more of our wells will dry up because of the store's impact on ground water?

Most important, when the county government has recently forged a new partnership with citizens to review, rezone and restructure local growth -- the Small Area Plans -- why not let the process work before large and possibly misplaced commercial centers are built?

The Sun insists that citizens should embrace these new strip malls and "capitalize on this willingness to invest in South County." Yet, somehow, we are to simultaneously force these large commercial interests to "adhere to strong standards of community preservation and environmental protection." Finding ways to revitalize commercial areas and deciding how our communities will grow is the job of citizens, not of Safeway, Food Lion or Shoppers Food Warehouse.

Amanda Spake, Churchton

The writer is vice president of South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development.

Heed Sullam's call on reforms

I was pleased to read Brian Sullam's support for a county whistle-blower law ("More trash than tips likely on fraud hot line," Jan. 31).

This proposal is not new. Del. John R. Leopold, R-Pasadena, and I testified before the Anne Arundel County Council to urge enactment of such an ordinance in July 1992. Mr. Leopold stated at the time that over the years a number of county employees brought to his attention that their job status and working conditions were adversely impacted after they brought to light alleged instances of abuse and mismanagement by their superiors.

I definitely agree with Mr. Sullam that the county should provide a "work environment in all county departments where subordinates are encouraged to make suggestions" and hope his call for reform will be heard at the Arundel Center.

Walter Holtz, Severna Park

High crimes and low blows

The economy is good.

The unemployment rate is down.

I don't believe the American people want Mike Tyson to go to prison.

Jack Carleton, Pasadena

Dredge recycling better than a track?

The powers that be in Anne Arundel County have decided that a "dredge spoils recycling operation" (or, for us non-politicos, a waste dump) would be far better economically than a NASCAR-style racetrack. I imagine next they'll be trying to sell their constituents on the health benefits of PCBs in their drinking water.

I never cease to be amazed at how the unscrupulous can manipulate the uneducated.

William Smith, Baltimore

Racetrack site better undeveloped

I have read numerous articles and heard opinions for and against the proposed speedway in Pasadena.

As an avid NASCAR fan, my family and I travel to Dover Downs twice annually to attend the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Grand National races there.

A recent issue of a racing magazine to which I subscribe stated that NASCAR officials have no intention of authorizing a WC or BGN event at this speedway if and when it is built.

Lesser-known levels of NASCAR do not have nearly the fan base of the others. In addition, reliance upon Indy-type racing for fan support would doom this facility has an expensive failure.

With these issues in mind, perhaps the land for this proposed project could remain undeveloped, a true rarity in northern Anne Arundel County.

Bill Hubbard, Ferndale

Councilwoman stood her ground

Being a NASCAR fan and all it was hard to swallow the pill. But if you look at it from a citizens perspective, indeed the site chosen for the raceway wasn't suitable.

Kudos to A. Shirley Murphy for standing her ground as County Council chambers filled with race fans wearing hard hats and team colors. Too bad former county councilman Thomas W. Redmond didn't do things the right way. I think that citizens of Anne Arundel County should thank Ms. Murphy for standing up against things being done the wrong way.

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