Council gives Kittleman a send-off

Colleague is to assume state Senate seat of father

His last two bills are tabled

Howard County

October 05, 2004|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

The Howard County Council bid a fond farewell last night to Councilman Allan H. Kittleman after six years of service, and then tabled his two final bills - one designed to preserve Frisky's Wildlife and Primate Sanctuary and the other regulating large, free-standing garages in his western county district.

Kittleman plans to resign this month to assume the state Senate seat of his father, Robert H. Kittleman, who died Sept. 11. His County Council seat will be vacant until a new member is chosen, likely before Thanksgiving.

He was lavishly praised and thanked by Democrats and the other council Republican, Christopher J. Merdon, and given a plaque and a new state-theme tie bearing Maryland's flag and a crab. Kittleman said he would wear it proudly in Annapolis.

But unable to agree on the thorny issues of the animal shelter or amendments to the garage measure, votes on both bills were delayed for a month - meaning Kittleman will not get to vote on them.

"The amendments I put in had tricky timing issues. We just wanted to make sure we get it right," said Council Chairman Guy Guzzone, a North Laurel-Savage Democrat, about his suggested changes to the bill limiting the size of detached garages in rural areas.

Kittleman's bill would allow detached garages of up to 2,000 square feet on 2-acre sites in rural areas, and he proposed an amendment to allow up to 2,200 square feet on lots larger than 2 acres.

The change is intended to cover a disputed, partially built 2,187-square-foot, two-story garage built by Kenneth and JoJo Montgomery in Highland that the county briefly allowed to go forward by mistake.

Guzzone's amendments would limit the height of detached garages to 15 feet, and double the setback to 20 feet on lots of less than 3 acres.

Working out provisions

But Guzzone said he has to work out when those provisions would take effect, to avoid affecting the disputed, half-built garage in Highland.

The garage bill resulted from a dispute between the Montgomerys and David and Caroline Denzler, their longtime neighbors. The garage in question is at least 25 feet tall, and sits 10 feet from the neighbors' property line.

The county mistakenly issued building permits for the garage and five others after new zoning rules took effect April 13 that set a maximum size of 800 square feet for detached garages in rural areas.

The Denzlers were shocked at the size of the wall facing their modest house and complained to the county, which discovered the error and issued stop-work orders on all the affected structures.

Kittleman also had wanted the council to vote on the Frisky's bill, which would create a place in county zoning law for the 13-year old West Friendship shelter.

Several neighbors have been trying to force shelter operator Colleen Layton to remove 31 monkeys they feel could carry potentially dangerous diseases if the primates escaped.

The bill allows wild-animal shelters on sites of 3 acres or more, with restrictions on noise, odor and safety, but other council members worried about the safety issue and the standards set in the law and wanted more study.

After the meeting, Kittleman was given his gifts and verbal support before he made a few remarks.

`Sad day to see you go'

Merdon, Kittleman's close political ally over the six years that the two Republicans were in the political minority on the five-member council, said, "It certainly is a sad day to see you go."

Guzzone and the council's other Democrats, east Columbia's David A. Rakes and west Columbia's Ken Ulman, teased Kittleman about past disagreements but wished him luck in the Senate.

Kittleman briefly choked with emotion after thanking everyone he has worked with, but particularly the council staff and his aide, William A. Theis Jr., one of the candidates hoping to succeed him.

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