Howard Week

July 30, 2000

Official might support reduced density at proposed development

Guy J. Guzzone, a North Laurel-Savage Democrat, indicated Monday night in a straw poll at a Howard County Zoning Board work session that he might support reducing the housing density of Maple Lawn Farms, a huge mixed-use development proposed for southern Howard County.

Two weeks ago, Guzzone said during a work session that he supported the density as is, angering neighbors who oppose the project.

In the straw poll, the board voted 3-2 on a revised plan for the 508-acre former turkey farm in Fulton. The vote was to decrease the housing density, to increase the employment space from 77 acres to 119.8 acres, and to add more moderate-income housing.

Community college to offer credit for Navy training

Howard Community College will be the first school in Maryland to offer college credit for training received in the Navy. An agreement between the two was signed Thursday.

The Navy plans to use HCC's proposal as the model for similar programs with other state community colleges, said Anne Ellis, a mid-Atlantic Navy education specialist. The program, she said, is open to those sailors entering the "most elite" yearlong Navy programs.

Navy officials hope the deal - to allow Navy students to earn an associate's degree with one year's worth of core classes in college - will encourage more sailors to seek a higher level of education, Ellis said.

Foes appealing ruling that allows park on estate

In a move that could mothball for many months Howard County's plans for a grand regional park in Columbia, opponents of the project have decided to appeal a judge's decision allowing the county to develop a 300-acre parcel known as the Blandair estate.

The notice of appeal was filed in Howard County Circuit Court on behalf of a group run by Byron C. Hall, an Ohio physics professor determined to preserve the estate according to what he says are the wishes of its former owner, Elizabeth C. "Nancy" Smith, who died in 1997 without leaving a will.

This latest twist in a more than two-year dispute about the property - the only remaining rural land in Columbia - means the fight could continue for many more months as it snakes its way through the backlogged appeals courts.

Gary J. Arthur, director of the county's Department of Recreation and Parks, said he is expecting to wait up to a year for a resolution.

Hall said Tuesday from his office in Dayton that he would push the case as far as the bench, and his finances, would allow. He declined to say how much his legal fees have totaled, but indicated that he does not have unlimited funds.

CA, two former officers reach `resolution'

The Columbia Association has come to an undisclosed "resolution" with two officers who left the organization during a period of turmoil in the spring.

Shelby A. Tucker King, who served as the association's general counsel and secretary, and Pam Mack, who was vice president for community relations, left after then-President Deborah O. McCarty ordered all six of the association's vice presidents to submit letters of resignation in March.

King resigned after refusing to sign the letter, said a source familiar with the situation. It was not clear whether Mack was fired or resigned.

King and Mack had retained lawyers and threatened to sue, according to another source involved in the matter.

School board meeting focuses on budgets, enrollment boom

Superintendent John O'Rourke spent his first school board meeting Thursday night listening to pleas for relief from crowded classrooms in a system that is growing even bigger.

At a public hearing on the capital budget for the 2001-2002 school year and a planning budget for the next five years, parents and community members detailed for O'Rourke and the five-member board how crowded the county's schools are becoming.

Although construction of the district's 11th high school won't begin until next year, many parents began asking Thursday night for a 12th.

The board voted, as expected, to build a wastewater treatment plant at Glenelg High School.

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