Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Baltimore County has no right to close the Essex SkyPark

Regarding your recent article about the Essex SkyPark, I would like to clarify the Essex SkyPark Association's understanding of the Shapiro property easement ("Members fret over Balto. Co. plans to close Essex Skypark," Jan. 4).

The easement was prepared by the Trust for Public Land for Mr. Shapiro before Baltimore County acquired the property. It was the Shapiro Trust's decision as landowner that determines what conditions would be placed on the property.

Upon donating the property to Maryland Environmental Trust, Mr. Shapiro put in the stipulations that he wanted. MET, as the recipient of the easement, was to be responsible for assuring that the conditions and the conservation values of the easement are upheld.

Any issues that MET has are enforceable upon the owner of the property, which is now Baltimore County. The perpetual easement dated Dec. 28, 2000, from the Shapiro Trust "grantor" to the Maryland Environmental Trust "grantee" is the guiding document that controls the land.

Paragraph A8 states that "the continued operation and use of the of the existing airport, provided however that (a) in the event their has been no airport activity for one year, the present use of the airport shall be deemed abandoned."

It is very clear Messrs. Gardina and Mohler plan to force the pilots out and state the airport has been abandoned as a way around the easement and to completely ignore the intent of the perpetual Shapiro Trust document.

The ESA has never been told we had to have an exit strategy or make plans to move. Our course of action was always to stay at the airport as stipulated in the easement.

The county signed off on two grants from the Maryland Aviation Agency for a new runway and lights. They also signed off on removal of certain trees that were causing safety issues to aircraft operations.

The Army Corps of Engineers also signed and approved the removal of the obstructions. Both documents are dated September 2011.

ESA just completed the repair of a storm damaged roof on our community hangar, at a cost of $38,000. Our course of action and the county's course of action with their approval letters and e-mails over the past five years would indicate ESA and Baltimore County were not discussing an exit plan or a gradual move to another site as stated by the county attorney in a letter dated Nov. 18, 2011.

It is inconceivable to the ESA that the county would completely ignore the fact the Lower Back River Community Action plan dated in 2000 supports the continued use of the airport. This was confirmed by Carl Maynard, president of the Back River Community Association, in The Sun article.

Mr. Kamenetz needs to counsel his direct reports and explain course of dealings and it's implications as they pertain to agreements both verbal and written.

Brian Dolan

The writer is the financial chairmen of the Essex SkyPark Association.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Pilots' eviction from Essex Skypark shows the greed of Baltimore County politicians

    In another example of state and local government's abuse of power, Baltimore County officials have taken it upon themselves to evict pilots from the Essex SkyPark, a site they have occupied for 60 years. All of the members of the Essex SkyPark Association are middle-class, hard-working people...

  • Getting help for traumatized children
    Getting help for traumatized children

    Thank you for running your investigative piece, "City violence can take hidden toll" (Dec. 14). Research has shown that trauma is the greatest environmental cause of mental health disorders in children, and neighborhoods with high rates of violence lead to serious trauma. In 2014, Maryland's...

  • Torture robs us of our humanity
    Torture robs us of our humanity

    The CIA's torture tactics were employed in the belief that the ends justify the means, but in reality they make us no better than those we fight and rob us of our humanity ("Report condemns CIA over torture," Dec. 10).

  • Where's the outrage when an officer is shot?
    Where's the outrage when an officer is shot?

    The Rev. Al Sharpton appeared on C-Span last Saturday in advance of his protest rally in Washington and said he doesn't discriminate when he protests shootings.

  • What about Pa. manure?
    What about Pa. manure?

    On an almost recurring basis lately, The Sun has devoted itself to bringing to everyone's attention the Eastern Shore poultry industry's polluted runoff flowing into the Chesapeake Bay ("Larry Hogan has a chance to be a green governor," Dec. 13). Attention should be directed to the Amish...

  • Unaffordable care in Bel Air
    Unaffordable care in Bel Air

    I am 59 years old, have been a practicing family physician for 30 years and I can't wait to pay my new health care premium for 2015. This past year, I paid $680 a month for my wife and me with a $5,400 deductible. With the Affordable Care Act, in 2015, I will be paying $700 a month with a...

Comments
Loading