We want your opinions

August 20, 2006

ISSUE: An Annapolis developer has proposed building at least 1,600 homes on a major undeveloped tract near fast-growing Fort Meade, but some county officials and neighborhood residents worry about the project's impact on crowded roads and schools.

Developer John C. Stamato envisions a high-density enclave of urban-style living - homes, shops, restaurants and offices - on about 300 acres next to the Patuxent Research Refuge and within a mile of the booming Army post.

Stamato wants the county to create residential and commercial districts on the industrially zoned land along Route 198. He hopes to tap into the demand for housing generated by the base realignment and closure process, or BRAC, that is to bring thousands of workers to the Army post. A proposal would also reportedly set aside 10 percent of the residences for "work force" housing and market those units to Anne Arundel County employees.

But County Executive Janet S. Owens, who steps down this year, said she has misgivings about eliminating such a large tract of industrially zoned land, some of the last of its kind in western Anne Arundel. With the fall elections near, she said, the next county executive and council would be better positioned to consider such legislation.

YOUR VIEW: Should the County Council rezone about 300 acres near Fort Meade to allow 1,600 homes, as well as offices, shops and restaurants? Or should action be delayed until after the fall elections? Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com 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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