Essex redevelopment: a boon for the county or threat to...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 08, 2000

Essex redevelopment: a boon for the county or threat to property?

After reading Del. Diane DeCarlo's column about Baltimore County redevelopment, I am reminded why Marylanders are thought of as rubes when it comes to redevelopment ("Profiting from eminent domain," Opinion

Commentary, May 25).

I remember hearing the same tired arguments against building the Inner Harbor and Camden Yards.

I am sorry that beautiful tire stores and World War II-era apartments have to be torn down to improve a community but, as the saying goes, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs.

No matter what changes are proposed, there will always be somebody against them for one reason or another.

But the areas targeted for revitalization have been virtually ignored for decades while money flowed to other communities.

We finally get someone in office willing to rectify this neglect and along comes Ms. DeCarlo to ensure that the lives of a few aren't disrupted, no matter how many people would benefit.

Every day when I ride by what used to be Edgewater apartments, I thank County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger for razing that crime-ridden eyesore.

So unless Ms. DeCarlo is ready to put her money where her mouth is and purchase a condo in the Village of Tall Trees, then she ought to rethink her opinion.

While she may be trying to be the friend to the little guy, she is also coming across as someone who is against a long overdue neighborhood revitalization.

David Rupkey

Baltimore

Del. Diane DeCarlo is helping all Marylanders by standing against the Baltimore County eminent domain bill and for the referendum on it.

Seven years or one year is too long for the county executive and his appointed personnel to have free rein in determining what property should be condemned.

Several years ago, we narrowly escaped a water line across our pristine farm, which would have opened the area to condos and apartments and ruined the rural atmosphere of this ancient road.

The rationale for it was that it was the "shortest route." Only my ability to mount a court fight stopped this travesty.

The planners are not always right.

Marlene Magness

Joppa

Public input is critical to Owings Mills Town Center

The Owings Mills Town Center Transit Development Project has the potential to be one of the most exciting public-private-community partnerships to come along in quite some time (Public shouldn't be in the dark," editorial, May 26)

The concept being discussed by the state, Baltimore County and the community would include a lively mix of residential, retail and family-oriented uses that will reflect the fabric of Owings Mills.

Extensive public involvement by citizens of surrounding communities is key to this project's success.

We now are selecting a master developer. Five development teams have submitted proposals. Each team is being evaluated on its technical and financial ability to complete this project and its willingness to embrace community input.

Once a master developer is selected, residents and businesses will have a say in the concept plan.

The Sun's editorial suggested the public have a role in selecting the project's master developer.

State procurement law requires the development teams' identities and their proposals remain confidential.

But the state and Baltimore County are committed to ensuring the public helps create the look, content and feel of the development.

Working together through the Baltimore County development process, we will design and build a town center that will benefit Owings Mills and the surrounding communities for generations to come.

Ronald L. Freeland

Robert L. Hannon

Baltimore

The writers are, respectively, executive director of the Mass Transit Administration and of the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development.

Lewis' plea-bargain shows how celebrities escape justice

Ray Lewis is now a free man. This is just another example of the judicial system's double standard of giving celebrities (especially sports greats) a "get out of jail free" pass after they commit or participate in crimes, including obstruction of justice in a double murder case.

Ron Edwards

Annapolis

Police reckless drivers, not harmless fishermen

I am absolutely outraged and disgusted at the insensitivity and lack of logic in the decision to close the Nicodemus bridge to fishing ("`No Fishing' on Nicodemus roils water," May 21).

How can anyone deny the aged, handicapped and general public something that has been done for decades in the interest of safety concerns about cars hitting pedestrians -- and then suggest that the same people would be welcome to climb down rocky and slippery slopes?

Perhaps Baltimore City should ban all pedestrians from its sidewalks to save them from being hit by a car.

It seems to me that it's the drivers who should be policed, more than those fishing.

Stephan B. Brooks

Reisterstown

Missing Korean War troops must not be forgotten

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