Donations should not determine value of Planned Unit Development in Catonsville

Letter to the editor

November 02, 2011

Neighborspace and Catonsville Rails To Trails are both great organizations.

However, allowing developers to make donations to side step planned unit development requirements is wrong, no matter the organization's merit.

The Catonsville Times was correct ("PUD benefits should remain specific to project's location," CatonsvilleTimes, Oct. 5) in stating, "Quirk's bill could turn a PUD request into a pay to play deal."

Opponents to Whalen Properties' medical building PUD feel that dealing with traffic increases, building sidewalks to the Beltway and noise remediation from the possibility of 24-hour ambulance services aren't meaningful community benefits.

They feel this is another case where big business is using its influence to get what it wants.

It's sad and discouraging to see their frustration.

It's no wonder that we have such low voter turnout.


I moved to Catonsville after losing office space in the Oella Mill, a redevelopment project I supported because it restored a historically significant building and grew our tax base without removing green fields. That was smart growth.

I ardently support the constantly redeveloping H-Mart shopping center, which is a diverse culinary gem.

I applaud and support many businesses in our district that have invested in our community and grow our economy without continued senseless infill development.

Can developer influence adversely affect a councilperson's ability to make unbiased land use decisions?

In my opinion, yes it can.

In this case, it appears that the proof is in the PUDding.


Rebecca Dongarra


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