"I'm extremely disappointed by how the council's handled this," said Dillon, a Republican. "It's really just a lack of stepping up. The council's tried to brush it off on the location committee... I just think it's really irresponsible for the council to let a proposal like this die without going on the record. I think it deserves a vote."
"From where I sit, it's unfair to the Cordish company and the stakeholders at the state level, to not vote," said Benoit, a Democrat. "For us to not make a decision on this, it's just not what we were hired to do."
Benoit vowed to introduce his own Arundel Mills zoning legislation - with the idea that he'd vote against it - if no one else does.
The state has already taken some steps on the Cordish proposal. The lottery commission, which regulates gambling and is overseeing background checks on slots applicants, determined last month that Cordish is financially and ethically qualified to operate a slots parlor.
"It's good to hear they may be moving forward," Fry said of the council. He could not be reached over the weekend, after Vitale told The Baltimore Sun about her alternate zoning proposal.
How council members would act on competing bills is not clear.
Further complicating the matter is a possible change in the council make-up.
Slots foe Joshua Cohen is the Democratic candidate for Annapolis mayor, and if he wins next month, the county council would appoint his successor. Some have speculated that any council members who don't want to support Cordish's proposal publicly could get around the dilemma by agreeing to name someone who is pro-slots - shifting the balance on the panel and boosting the odds for zoning approval.
Opponents of slots at Arundel Mills have vowed to fight Cordish at every turn. Nearby residents had argued that a decade-old agreement between the mall and developer of the surrounding property, which now has hundreds of homes, preclude the construction of a mega-slots parlor.
But the county's legal office said earlier this month that the development plans are "broad enough" to include slots.
Rob Annicelli, a Hanover resident who holds one of the covenants and head of Stop Slots at Arundel Mills Mall, disagrees. He says homeowners are ready to take Cordish to court over the covenants.
The grass-roots group also believes Cordish has undercounted the number of residents within a half mile of the proposed slots facility and overestimated the revenue a parlor there could produce. Annicelli said such discrepancies could be grounds for Stop Slots to try to invalidate Cordish's bid.
"We are going to go down every avenue we have," Annicelli said. "And we are going to stop them."