Rezoning plan comments clarified
There has been a great deal written about the rezoning of 24 acres of land in the Brooklyn Park Small Area Plan. While most of the information reported by The Sun has been accurate, a recent letter to the editor, (Mr. Eamonn McGeady, Oct. 2) was filled with inaccuracies and misquotes. I cannot allow these mischaracterizations to be published without correcting them.
First, the Brooklyn Park Small Area Plan represents years of work on the part of the citizens and community groups in Brooklyn Park. The final rezoning that resulted from this plan is presented to the County Council in Bill 71-05. The recommendation to rezone 24 acres from W-3 (heavy industrial) to R-5 (medium residential) is one small part of this entire bill. This recommendation is not my recommendation; it is from the Small Area Plan, the County Planning Office and the county executive. This recommendation has also been presented at a public meeting to the Planning Advisory Board and was accepted with a 5-0 vote. To characterize this rezoning as my plan or that I have "dismissed industry" is a blatant untruth.
Baltimore City owns 98 acres of land in Anne Arundel County. There are three zoning classifications on this property: W-3, R-5 and Open Space. The Small Area Plan recommends rezoning 24 vacant acres from W-3 to R-5. A portion of the 98 acres is a closed Baltimore City landfill; the land does have complicated environmental issues. Baltimore Comptroller Joan Pratt supports the rezoning, and the citizens of Curtis Bay and Brooklyn strongly support the rezoning. I have attended meetings with the citizens of Curtis Bay and Brooklyn, and they repeatedly say they are tired of smokestack-type industry in their community. The South Baltimore Business Alliance is the only group that does not support the rezoning. Its members have said that 1,200 jobs are being lost; this is a completely false statement. No jobs are in jeopardy; this is vacant land.
The new homes in Cedar Hill will not be built on the Superfund site, but the Superfund site and part of the 98 acres will be used for a substantial buffer between the new homes and existing industrial business.
I object to Mr. McGeady's stating his opinion that I "cavalierly" dismissed the importance of the change in zoning or that I ever said industry should "pack it in." This is absolutely a false statement. I have represented the citizens and businesses in District 1 for seven years; both the businesses and residents that I represent know that I do not approach my work in a "cavalier" manner. I am a diligent, competent and concerned elected official with more than 30 years of business experience and a strong commitment to represent the citizens that elected me. I strongly object to the misrepresentation of my efforts by the SBBA.
Pamela G. Beidle
County councilwoman, 1st District