Residents are making last-ditch effort to stop construction of mall in Arundel

June 27, 1999|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

Even as bulldozers are clearing trees for a proposed mega-mall in Hanover, opponents of the 1.4 million-square-foot Arundel Mills shopping complex are stepping up efforts to stop construction.

Convinced that many northwest Anne Arundel County residents aren't aware that county officials approved the $250 million development a year ago, a newly organized group has launched a last-minute door-to-door information campaign.

Today, they plan to finish a sweep through Severn, Jessup, Hanover and Harmans to distribute about 5,000 fliers outlining their objections to the mall. The group is also collecting signatures for a petition to give to federal and state environmental regulators reviewing the project. The deadline for public comment is Friday.

"The perception is that everybody wants this [the mall], and my feeling is we've got to change that rather quickly," said Gary Mauler, who is on the board of directors of the Jessup Improvement Association, which opposes the mall.

The Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Department of the Environment are expected to rule within the next few weeks on the mall developer's application to build on regulated wetlands and forests in the Piney Run watershed.

If the Virginia-based Mills Corp. obtains the necessary approvals, the company faces no major obstacles in its plan to clear 400 acres near Route 100 at the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Mills officials have scheduled a groundbreaking for July 15, and a grand opening late next year.

Pub Date: 6/27/99

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