Zoning appeals board in Carroll rejects $5 million drive-in proposal

January 24, 2002|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

Noting concerns about noise and traffic, the Carroll Board of Zoning Appeals denied a developer's request yesterday to build the nation's first digital drive-in movie theaters on a hilly, 37-acre industrial site in Eldersburg.

The three-member board unanimously rejected Alan Ackerman's petition to build a $5 million, drive-in theater complex along Liberty Road after concluding the third day of a hearing that began in late November.

"I think their concept will work somewhere ... but I don't want to see Eldersburg or Carroll County be the guinea pig for something new," said board member Ronald Hoff, who expressed fear that the project would cause noise and traffic problems in an area that suffers from congested roads.

Bumper's Drive-In would have been home to two theater screens with space for 1,100 cars, two concession stands, a playground, an arcade and a small concert stage. The complex would have employed about 45 people, and a security force of about six officers, and would have generated about $300,000 a year in entertainment tax, according to Ackerman.

Ackerman had planned what he called a digital drive-in - he would have taken a digital signal from the Internet, a satellite or hard drive and put it on the screen.

About 60 Eldersburg residents cheered and applauded after the board cast its vote yesterday afternoon.

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