Supermarket plan is topic of meeting tonight

Residents question need for Giant, shops

January 15, 2003|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

Pasadena residents will meet tonight to discuss a Glen Burnie developer's plan to build a full-service Giant supermarket - and perhaps a restaurant and shops - on a busy corner at Mountain Road and Route 100.

Residents were surprised recently when they witnessed bulldozers clearing trees and grading in preparation for the new commercial center within walking distance of Lake Shore Plaza, which includes a Safeway.

"There has been some noise in the community about it going up for several reasons," said County Councilman Ron Dillon Jr., a Republican from Pasadena.

Dillon said people were caught off guard by the new development, partly because it is located at the site where Anne Arundel County officials once talked about constructing a senior center. But, he said, those plans have been scrapped.

Traffic in the area also is a concern because several road improvement projects, including a state project to widen Mountain Road, have been called off, he said.

"That area can be overwhelmed with traffic," said Dillon, who has talked about reviewing zoning on the Lake Shore peninsula in Pasadena due to traffic congestion and other development concerns.

But an official with the Fedder Co. of Glen Burnie, which bought the land and started grading in November, said yesterday that residents shouldn't be worried. The firm will pay for synchronized streetlights and lane restriping at the intersection of Hogneck Road and Mountain Road.

Fedder President and CEO Robert G. Pollokoff added that there are no plans to build a gas station at the site - a false rumor circulating in the community - because it would require a special exception from the county Office of Planning and Zoning, a time-consuming and costly process.

Pollokoff said the 55,000-square-foot Giant and 9,000-square-foot restaurant and retail building would "benefit the Pasadena community."

However, community members complained recently when they noticed that runoff from the site had discolored the Magothy River. "Half the Magothy River was orange from this project," said Thomas W. Redmond Sr., president of the Pasadena Business Association, which will hold the meeting tonight.

County officials told them that the runoff was not due to negligence by the developer, but to heavy rains.

Pollokoff said that his company recently ordered additional "mulch socks," fabric devices that trap sediment before it leaves the construction site. He said that crews are doing everything required by the county in terms of sediment control.

Redmond, a former council member who ran against Dillon in the 2002 primary election, also is worried that the Giant store will create an unstable business environment in an area that already has two large supermarket chains, as well as smaller groceries such as Angel's Food Market and Lauer's Supermarket and Bakery. The new Giant will be separated from an existing Safeway by a post office on the same strip.

"The big question is, do we need a new supermarket?" Redmond said.

But John S. Pantelides, a consultant working with Fedder, said that Giant did a survey of the area and decided it would "be a good site for them." Pollokoff said that many Pasadena shoppers go to the Giant in Severna Park to buy groceries.

Redmond said he and others are waiting to hear more from Fedder and county planning officials before deciding to support the project, which will be called Lake Shore Crossroads.

The meeting regarding the Lake Shore Crossroads proposal by the Fedder Co. will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Lake Shore Volunteer Fire Company, 4498 Mountain Road, Pasadena.

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