It's not Miller's time

Senate president's bill: Legislation to stop Deale Safeway sends conflicting signals to businesses.

March 26, 2001

SENATE President Thomas V. Mike Miller is busy steering his chamber through the budget and proposals on gay rights, lobbying and gambling.

Yet, somehow Mr. Miller has found time this session to meddle in local Anne Arundel County business.

He's proposing a bill that aims to stop the controversial 77,000 square-foot Safeway supermarket and strip mall that county officials have approved for Deale.

His bill would prohibit storm water systems on residential land within a half mile of the Chesapeake Bay or its main tributaries. The "businesses" he's talking about is the Deale Safeway.

This is the kind of bill that raises hackles about the pitfalls of doing business in Maryland. Safeway got the idea to use adjacent residential land for storm water from Anne Arundel planners. It would be unfair now for the state to object to that plan. That would give the impression local and state governments are sending schizophrenic economic development signals.

Here's another problem. The bill could threaten the proposed high-tech David Taylor Research Center, whose storm water system could be subject to Mr. Miller's bill.

The bill should be defeated. If it passes, it deserves a fat veto.

If Mr. Miller wanted to contribute to the Safeway debate, he should have done it long ago -- not at this late date for Safeway and his legislative session.

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