Coalition forms to fight Annapolis dock rezoning

A coalition of groups concerned with redevelopment of downtown Annapolis is forming to fight a City Dock rezoning plan being promoted by Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen.

Members of the Coalition to Save Annapolis say they will formally launch their effort Tuesday. The coalition is composed of groups including the Ward One Residents Association, the Annapolis Business Association, the Historic Annapolis Foundation the United States Yacht Shows, the Fleet Reserve Club, and individual homeowners and business owners.

Members say they're concerned about the Annapolis City Dock Master Plan and a bill that's under consideration by the city council to change zoning along part of the dock. Coalition spokeswoman Heather Ford said members will discuss their concerns at an event at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Fleet Reserve Club, in Annapolis.

The Fleet Reserve Club is next to a vacant building that formerly housed Fawcett Boat Supplies. The Fawcett building is under contract to be sold, and the site could be a key factor in waterfront redevelopment.

Cohen, who introduced the rezoning bill in May, is in Ireland this week with the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Convention and Visitors Bureau on a trip to promote tourism.

Alderman Joe Budge, a Democrat who represents the downtown area, said Monday he frequently hears concerns about redevelopment plans, including provisions that could allow for taller buildings, the change of a traffic circle at the base of Main Street into a traditional intersection, and reduced parking areas.

But Budge wouldn't comment specifically on the rezoning legislation because it has not been considered by the city council, he said.

When it comes up for a public hearing this summer, he said, he expects it to be "well discussed" by aldermen and the public.

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