County Council eyeing negotiations on recycling plant

Owner required to address Selby Grove neighbors' issues

September 18, 2005|By Phillip McGowan | Phillip McGowan,SUN STAFF

The furor over a wood-waste recycling business in Pasadena may not be over after all.

As the Anne Arundel County Council turns its attention this week to rezoning portions of Glen Burnie and Brooklyn Park, council members are keeping a watchful eye on negotiations between representatives of A-A Recycle & Sand and the nearby community of Selby Grove.

The council voted two weeks ago to change the zoning of A-A Recycle's property from commercial to industrial use - on the condition that nearby residents gain written assurances from the plant's owner, William H. DeBaugh Jr., that he address concerns of noise, dust and smell emanating from the site.

County Councilwoman Pamela G. Beidle, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn Park, said that if DeBaugh didn't strike a deal soon, she would be among a council majority that would retaliate by voting to eliminate the industrial zoning of property that DeBaugh is leasing in Brooklyn Park.

The council will begin hearing public testimony tomorrow on the rezoning for Brooklyn Park and Glen Burnie.

"[DeBaugh] needs to complete the covenant deal," Beidle said Friday. "We passed the [zoning] plan based on him working this out."

Council members tend to vote the way of colleagues whose districts are affected by zoning changes, and Beidle followed the lead of County Council Chairman Ronald C. Dillon, a Pasadena Republican who strongly supported A-A Recycle's rezoning, as the council voted 6-1 to approve the package for the Pasadena/Marley Neck and Lake Shore areas.

Beidle did so six years after voting for a 1999 bill that required DeBaugh to relocate his recycling plant from Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard within three years.

That measure passed, 5-2, but DeBaugh kept his business open. The recent rezoning allows DeBaugh to apply for a special exception through the county to keep his business open.

Compromise attempted

Dillon has tried since late July to broker a compromise between DeBaugh and Selby Grove that would limit A-A Recycle to operating on weekdays, and require additional landscaping to buffer dust and sound from nearby homes.

DeBaugh and his attorney, Charles R. Schaller Jr., could not be reached for comment Friday night.

Del. Donald H. Dwyer Jr., an Anne Arundel Republican and a supporter of A-A Recycle, said that DeBaugh "has gone out of his way" to accommodate Selby Grove. Dwyer placed the onus of the negotiations on the residents, adding that the recycler should not be punished if no agreement is reached.

Upholding a bargain

The delegate said he was confident that if a deal was struck, DeBaugh "will uphold his end of the bargain."

Dillon reiterated Friday that there's plenty of motivation for DeBaugh to reach an accord, saying a deal would benefit the recycler as he goes through the public hearing process required as part of applying for a special exemption.

The council chairman said the two sides would meet again Tuesday.

"Both sides have reason to move forward," he said.

But community leaders have feared that DeBaugh would lose his desire to negotiate once the rezoning package went through. They base their apprehension on the fact that DeBaugh defied the county after the 1999 bill passed.

A promise

County Councilman C. Edward Middlebrooks, a Severn Republican, said at the council meeting two weeks ago that he would "make [DeBaugh] pay" if the recycler took steps to kill a deal.

"If he can't show he's acting responsibly," Beidle said in regard to DeBaugh's negotiating with Selby Grove, "why would we trust him to work with another piece of land and think he'll be responsible with that?"

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