Hearing slated today on Arundel `fun park'

Zoning officer to address residents' concerns about proposal for Glen Burnie

`We are very concerned'

May 08, 2001|By Rona Kobell | Rona Kobell,SUN STAFF

Some Glen Burnie residents were not amused last week when they heard of a developer's plans to build a "fun park" near Ritchie Highway that would include go-carts and paintball. They'll take their concerns today to a county zoning officer.

Les Jenkins, developer of the proposed Les Jenkins Family Fun Park, is seeking a special exception to build the park in a commercially zoned district near Dover Road and Ritchie Highway.

The developer also has applied for a variance to build the park on the site, which is farther from a freeway than allowed for an amusement park. Both requests will be presented at a public hearing this morning at the county offices in Annapolis.

Jenkins' lawyer, Charles F. Delavan, said county officials told him Jenkins would not need the variance, but he applied for it anyway because the interpretation of the law varies.

It is the special exception that has neighbors in the communities off Furnace Branch Road steamed. They worry about traffic in the already clogged corridor - especially because Dover Road leads to the Glen Burnie Convenience Center, where trash and recycling are dropped off.

"A lot of people know it as the dump road," said Lois Kyle, who lives in nearby Twin Coves, a community of neat lawns and apartment complexes tucked behind Furnace Branch Road.

Kyle said Jenkins' proposal packs too many amusements onto one site. In addition to paintball and several go-cart tracks, Jenkins wants to include a skateboard park, a sports center, an indoor arcade, a BMX bike track and a caretaker's house, where he plans to live.

The noise in the area is already unbearable, Kyle said. Most days, she said, she can hear the Ritchie Highway car dealerships calling customers over megaphones.

Kyle and others expressed concerns at a hastily called neighborhood meeting last week at Point Pleasant Elementary School, where Jenkins and Delavan presented their plans.

Al Lucarelli, vice president of the Margate Improvement Association, was there. But he and his wife, Mona, who is the association's president, say they barely had time to discuss the plans with their neighbors because of the gathering's short notice. "This was so fast; we couldn't even get a meeting together," Mona Lucarelli said.

The short notice for the hearing has also bothered Sen. Philip C. Jimeno and Dels. Joan Cadden, John R. Leopold and Mary M. Rosso, who sent a letter to zoning hearing officer Stephen LeGendre outlining their concerns.

"We are very concerned about the lack of respect and courtesy," Leopold said of the one-week notice for today's hearing. "Clearly, it was not well received by the constituents or their elected officials."

The hearing will be held at 10:45 a.m. in Room 318 of the Arundel Center, 44 Calvert St., in Annapolis.

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