Views differ on proposed zoning map

Amendments aimed at settling dispute in Deale, Shady Side

`A very good solution'

Battle over growth marks effort to set development goals

September 05, 2001|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County Council members heard last night from close to 50 South County residents who remain split over a proposed zoning map for Deale and Shady Side that would help to set development goals for the area.

With a handful of amendments on the table, the council meeting continued late into the night without the final vote that had been expected on the zoning map.

Council members heard more than an hour of public comments that included emotional and sometimes angry reaction by residents.

"I'm tired of coming out here again and again to hear the same thing," said Joanna Sanders of West River, who spoke in favor of the zoning map as it was presented to the administration by the Small Area Planning Committee. "I ask you one more time to support what the community has sent out. ... To have it ignored would be a crime."

One of those who spoke against the zoning plan was Claire Malicotte, a local business owner. She told the council that business owners in Deale feel under siege by anti-growth proponents and that the fear is that economic growth in the area will be choked.

"Take a close look at what the SAP [small area plan] will do to local land owners," she said.

Councilman John J. Klocko III, a Crofton Republican who represents the Deale and Shady Side areas, offered two amendments aimed at settling a bitter debate between preservationists and entrepreneurs, and among some council members, over proposed commercial zoning in the area.

The amendments would allow businesses operating at Routes 256 and 258, such as a Food Rite store, to maintain current commercial zoning.

Zoning on undeveloped commercial properties at the intersection, including land where Safeway Inc. had hoped to build a store, would be zoned so that development would be restricted to buildings of 25,000 square feet or smaller. The types of businesses would also be limited.

Klocko said he had the amendments drafted in preparation for a meeting a month ago but "didn't feel rock solid" about them. He said that in recent weeks, he has had time to talk with residents and council colleagues and that he now feels confident that the amendments will work best for the community.

One of those he met with was Ron Wolfe, who was chairman of the Deale and Shady Side Small Area Plan Committee. Wolfe said yesterday that he supports the amendments because they represent a compromise that will appeal to most residents. "It's a very good solution," he said.

"The council can do that," said Wolfe, referring to piecemeal zoning in which some parcels would be rezoned and some not. "But we were reluctant to pick and choose."

Any amendments to the Small Area Plan would force its addition to the council's Oct. 1 meeting for public hearing. If at that time the plan is amended again, it would require reintroduction of the legislation, as the current bill is set to expire next month.

At the meeting last night, a plan for South County was scheduled to be presented by members of the Office of Planning and Zoning.

Over the next eight months, four more plans - for Broadneck, Severna Park, Annapolis Neck peninsula and Edgewater - will be introduced, according to a schedule released by the Owens administration.

Before getting mired in debate and comment on the Deale and Shady Side plan last night, council members approved revised stormwater management regulations that are expected to ensure that runoff from parking lots and roofs gets some purification - natural or otherwise - before it flows into the Chesapeake Bay.

The new regulations call for developers of redevelopment sites to reduce hard surfaces such as parking lots, which impede absorption of rainwater into the ground, by 20 percent or enact other measures.

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