Is Parole development a good idea?

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Your Opinions

Thoughts on issues relating to Anne Arundel County

July 31, 2005

ISSUE: Developers of the proposed Annapolis Towne Center at Parole anticipate putting the first shovel into the ground for the 2.1 million-square-foot residential, retail and commercial project in the fall. The 35-acre development off U.S. 50 has the backing of County Executive Janet S. Owens. Opponents of the project say that the enclave will lack the access and open space needed to make the area inviting and will lead to traffic gridlock in and around the site. Will Annapolis Towne Center at Parole be good for the area? Or will it cause traffic nightmares?

More development is unnecessary

Thanks for the opportunity to speak out against the "Annapolis Town Centre at Parole."

The ATCP is symptomatic of the hyper-development that is overrunning the City of Annapolis and the local area. As one who passes through the Riva Road/West Street area twice each day, I can attest that this is an area already greatly overburdened by too much development and way too much traffic.

The mega-development proposed for ATCP is not needed and not wanted. It will only add to the congestion concentrated in that area. There are numerous other shopping malls within sight and within walking distance. Why do we need another? Who will benefit?

To add insult to injury, the developers have misappropriated the name "Annapolis Town Centre" (it is 3 miles from the center of Annapolis and is not even within the city limits) and denigrate the historical legacy of the Civil War parole camps (and their inhabitants) that were on the site and in the nearby area by tacking on the name "Parole" in tiny letters in their propaganda and on their signs.

The community would be better served with no shopping center/high-rise development on this historic site. Instead, it should be turned into public parkland (badly needed and wanted) with historical interpretation of the Civil War Camp Parole.

Robert Worden City of Annapolis

Too much traffic will doom any benefit

Our Councilwoman [Barbara] Samorajczyk speaks the truth. Traffic will abort the good that the Parole reclamation could bring to our community. Having attended many of the planning meetings and watched and listened to the good burghers painstakingly build the vision that they planned for Parole, only the feared auto congestion could undo their labors.

Our non-elected Planning and Zoners completely continue to miss the necessary vision when they continue to approve large townhouse development alongside "failed" roads emptying into Parole.

Unfortunately, we citizens who will be forced into our autos for lack of decent public transportation will add to that failure. The Parole rehab deserves much better and [County Executive) Janet Owens could have been more attentive to the process.

Gerald Loren Annapolis

Parole Plaza's replacement welcome

As a resident of the City of Annapolis, I am delighted this project is moving forward.

The old Parole Plaza was an eyesore and would have crumbled to the ground if the property hadn't been sold to a developer willing to make a colossal investment. If the residents of the area are not willing to pay higher taxes for more parks and "green space," they should be thankful for the development that continues to create jobs and maintain our existing tax rates.

Jan Russell Annapolis

Planning needed to avoid gridlock

Certainly redeveloping Parole Plaza is in everyone's best interest. No question here. One question is whether the present "plan for development" will create horrendous traffic problems for which Parole has been famous. Should gridlock result there will be no good for any of the parties. Open collaborative planning solves issues in advance. How do we reach that state?

Dick Lahn Crofton

We want your opinions

ISSUE: Public health researchers at the Johns Hopkins University recently completed a study that found Anne Arundel County firefighters have a somewhat greater risk of developing cancer than the general public, but that the health problems of 17 firefighters who contracted at least one form of cancer could not be directly linked to training methods at the fire academy in Millersville.

The $25,000 study found that county firefighters who trained in Millersville between 1971 and 1979 were exposed to cancer-causing PCBs when the Fire Department burned waste oil for exercises. But researchers stressed that the scope of the study was limited, and that they could not say exposure to the burned fuel led to the cancer cases.

The researchers recommended a broader look at cancer cases among the thousands of firefighters who trained at the facility. But state and county fire officials questioned whether a more-expensive study would produce more conclusive results.

YOUR VIEW: Should the county and state fund a more comprehensive study of the link between cancer cases involving Anne Arundel firefighters and training exercises in Millersville?

Tell us what you think at by Thursday. Please keep your responses short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be published Sunday.

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