BWI planning 3,000-space parking lot, 2-level garage on airport's west side

Size of projects spurs concern among nearby residents

May 31, 2000|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

Officials at Baltimore-Washington International Airport expect to unveil plans tonight for a 3,000-space parking lot and a two-story garage for car-rental companies in Hanover, on the west side of the airport.

The plans, which are not complete, include area communities' suggestions for concealing the parking area from passing motorists and might provide for road improvements, an airport spokesman said yesterday.

"We anticipate funding and doing roadway improvements," said John White, a BWI spokesman. "We are working with the county to see which roads need to be addressed."

Residents in Hanover and Harmans were concerned about plans for the parking lot because airport officials had not given the BWI/Linthicum Small Area Planning Group details, said Arthur Lisowsky, a member of the group.

He said he was concerned that the parking lot and adjacent garage, to be built at Hanover and Stoney Run roads, would be considered a blight by residents.

"We're trying to make it more community-friendly," said Lisow- sky, who has urged residents to attend tonight's BWI Neighbors Committee meeting at 7 p.m. on the third floor of the airport terminal.

In an e-mail, he said residents need to ensure that the airport's plans wouldn't leave Hanover resembling parts of Aviation Boulevard, where thousands of cars are parked on lots on both sides of the road.

"If they're going to put 3,000 cars there, don't put it so that we feel like we're driving into a parking lot when we're driving home at night," he said.

The state legislature appropriated $10.2 million this year for the Maryland Aviation Administration, which runs the airport, to acquire rights of way and engineer and design the parking lot. The administration expects to buy 13 properties to make way for the project.

The 3,000-space lot would be primarily for airport employees. A two-story parking garage for the seven rental-car companies that serve the airport is planned adjacent to the employee lot.

The car-rental companies crowd the third floor of the airport garage and use a small parking lot in front of the garage to wash and service their vehicles for customers, White said.

"They've all pushed for a new facility," White said. "They'll all have more space to operate."

In its recommendations, the small area planning group called for berms and buffers to shield the parking lots from view and suggested adding multilevel parking over existing lots.

Part of this year's $10.2 million appropriation will pay for buffers, White said, and the garage will be designed to allow for vertical expansion.

"What we do not want to do is make this a thing where it keeps spreading outward," he said.

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