County Council bill seeks ban on mixing of zoning...

Arundel Digest

April 18, 2001|By From staff reports

County Council bill seeks ban on mixing of zoning districts

Through a bill inspired by the continuing battle over a proposed Safeway strip mall in Deale, four County Council members want to specify that driveways, storm-water ponds and other "accessory" structures must be located in the same zoning district as the primary structure they support.

Under their bill introduced Monday night, a business on commercial land could not have its parking lot on land zoned residential, for example.

The bill's sponsors say the south county Safeway dispute brought the issue to light. The county had told Safeway to put runoff ponds on residential land adjoining its store site.

A new state law outlaws that practice for storm water in Anne Arundel, but does not ban the practice of mixing zoning categories for other uses, such as a parking lot.

Such mixing "flies in the face of the purpose of zoning," said one of the sponsors, Councilwoman Barbara D. Samorajczyk, an Annapolis Democrat. She said the measure clarifies existing county law and is not meant to double up against Safeway in case the state law is repealed or overturned.

It's not clear how many pending projects the bill could halt in the county. County planners are studying the bill, but County Executive Janet S. Owens said it may have "real consequences."

Accusations of `subterfuge' in research center transfer

County Councilwoman Barbara D. Samorajczyk is accusing the Owens administration of "subterfuge" in discussions with the Navy to transfer the former David Taylor Research Center for rebirth as a privately run high-tech office park.

One hangup in county-Navy talks is whether the 46 1/2 -acre property will be carved into many parcels before transfer, as the county wants. Top Navy officials say federal rules forbid it. That view cheers project critics, who fear the private developer could "flip," or quickly resell, the lots without enduring a lengthy county process.

In a recent letter to the Navy, Samorajczyk claims the county now wants the Navy to convey the site under a single deed with multiple parcels, instead of by multiple deeds. "This request amounts to a distinction without a difference," she wrote, calling it a "subterfuge" meant to circumvent regulations.

Owens said yesterday that Samorajczyk was "inaccurate," but would not elaborate. She said three major issues are delaying the transfer but gave no details. She also said the Navy's negotiating stance has her "gravely concerned" about the viability of plans to redevelop the former naval research center.

Police seek suspect in tanning salon robbery

A visitor to a Gambrills tanning salon was more interested in money than looks - using a gun to rob the business of an undisclosed amount of money as an employee arrived to open Monday morning, according to a report to police.

Olivia Surge told police she was opening the Sun Seekers Tanning Salon on Johns Hopkins Road when a man armed with a small black revolver demanded money. She said she gave him cash from the register, and he fled by the back door.

She described the robber as white, 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, and wearing a yellow rain jacket, denim pants and black tennis shoes. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 410-222-6155.

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