Plan to sell land to block road plan shelved by council

February 05, 2000|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF

The Montgomery County Council, under pressure from General Assembly leaders, backed away yesterday from an effort to sell off land in the path of a proposed highway project scrapped by Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

The action, announced by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. at a State House news conference, ensures that the route of the long-planned east-west Intercounty Connector will be preserved until the next governor can revisit Glendening's decision to reject the highway proposal.

After receiving written assurance from Council President Michael Subin that the county will take no action on the land before the 2002 election, top legislators agreed to drop plans for a bill that would have blocked the Montgomery action.

"We want to put this issue to rest," said Miller, who lined up 31 of 47 senators as sponsors of legislation that would have blocked the council's plans.

The ICC, which has been in the state's transportation plans for nearly half a century, would link the high-growth, technology-rich Interstate 270 corridor with Interstate 95. The governor, a onetime supporter of the road, noted environmental considerations when announcing last year that the road should not be built.

Glendening's effort to sell state-owned parts of the right of way, a move that would have ended the hopes of ICC supporters, was blocked by fellow members on the Board of Public Works.

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