Elkridge developer pulls back

Kenfield sought to build industrial park, offices at former Superfund site

May 15, 2002|By Jamie Smith Hopkins | Jamie Smith Hopkins,SUN STAFF

A developer withdrew his request yesterday for industrial zoning on a contaminated parcel of Elkridge land, a proposal that had brought the community out en masse - with signs - to protest.

Peter Bosworth of Baltimore-based Kenfield LLC had hoped to build an office and industrial park on 25 acres at Route 103 and Interstate 95.

A former Superfund cleanup site, the residentially zoned property is too polluted with arsenic, mercury and chromium for the Maryland Department of the Environment to give its approval for home building.

Bosworth, who has MDE permission for nonresidential development, had been scheduled to appear before the Zoning Board tonight for continued hearings. Had he lost this case, he would have had to wait two years before trying again. He may now reapply at any time.

Dave Cool, who lives across Route 103 from the site and leads the opposition to the proposed development, said he is delighted that Kenfield withdrew.

"If they come back, I hope they open up the lines of communication before they file," he said.

Should Kenfield decide to seek money for the property through a government land preservation program, Cool promised the community would help. "I know we could get hundreds of people to lobby on their behalf," he said.

Bosworth could not be reached for comment yesterday, but he said several weeks ago that opponents were trying to block him from building anything.

"The end result they're after is to keep it open space by whatever means they can," he said.

Some residents believe the land is unsafe for any purpose, but Cool was prepared to argue that former Superfund sites have been redeveloped into many uses besides industrial parks.

Cool believes the last thing winding Route 103 needs is more truck traffic.

"The road's not adequate," he said.

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